The internet has a LOT of resources.
Sometimes it’s hard to know who to trust and which resources to pick. The pressure is worse when you’re a small business owner and your decision of where to get your resources impacts your livelihood.
Marketing is by far the hardest to make decisions about! Everyone seems to be a marketing guru of some sort, and you know that not everyone’s advice is trustworthy.
So I decided to create a list of my go-to marketing resources for information, software, and books and share them with you.
But before the resources…
There are two important concepts you need to understand.
Marketing is an ongoing skill
Business owners are constantly improving different skill sets, and marketing is one of them.
You have to dedicate time to constantly learning about marketing to grow this skillset. All the resources and information sites in the world won’t do you any good if you let them just sit there. To make those resources work for you, you must dedicate time to learning about them and exploring different avenues of marketing.
Marketing is a skill set that every business owner is continually growing, including me. Good marketing eludes people who don’t wrap their minds around this concept, because they don’t dedicate time to the skill set.
Ask granular questions
To get better answers when you’re searching for marketing tips, ask more narrow and focused questions.
If you search “How to make good posts on Facebook”, you’re likely to get a gigantic article series with unfocused writing or an unhelpful video where someone is trying to answer a big question in a short amount of time in order to keep your attention.
However, if you search “Tips for a good Facebook Live”, you’re more likely to get a 5 tip column with actionable advice.
In this respect, you have to help your search engine lead you to helpful content by being as specific as possible with the questions you ask.
Caveat before we go on: Don’t beat yourself up or get discouraged if you’ve asked broad questions and are not sure how to narrow your questions. Since Marketing is an ongrowing skill, you’ll learn to ask more focused questions as you learn more about marketing.
This is a list of information resources that I trust, use, and recommend to clients on a regular basis.
- I couldn’t make this list without including the link to my company’s website and here’s why: we have tons of articles going out every single month, and we talk about marketing a lot. Everything from a broadscale understanding of how marketing works to the minute details of how to build your website for marketing purposes is in our articles.
- Hubspot has a lot of great SEO (Search Engine Optimization: what makes a website come up in search engine searches) on their site, so they come up in a lot of searches. But beyond that, they have a lot of great marketing information, they keep it all very up-to-date, and they give you direct links to a lot of their favorite resources.
- This is the website of one of the best SEO copywriters in the business, and she shares a lot of her tips in her blogs for writing great SEO. If you’re doing a lot of online marketing, I definitely recommend checking her content out!
- This is a free four-part course on marketing that I had the opportunity to create with the San Antonio SBDC. It walks you through a lot of information on marketing, and gives you action items as well so that you can apply the information immediately.
Softwares for Marketing
- Canva is a FANTASTIC tool that makes creating great graphics for flyers, social media, brochures, business cards, etc, insanely simple. It has a great database of pictures business owners can tap into, subscriptions or pay-as-you-go options, and more templates than you can shake a stick at. It's a valuable resource for every business owner looking to level-up their representation!
- Every business should have a transcription service that they are using, but this is the one we use at time of writing. Otter.ai allows you to transcribe roughly 6,000 minutes of text a month for about $10. On top of being practically unbeatable pricewise, they actually do a fantastic job at transcribing text.
- Making sure individual posts go out on time to each social media every day is a hassle, so I recommend finding a scheduling site for your social media. Buffer is the one that we use currently because it allows you to post to numerous different sites and gives you a huge queue that allows you to schedule posts weeks in advance.
- Restream works along the same lines as Buffer, except for Live videos! Instead of having to go live on Facebook and then Instagram and then LinkedIn separately, I can go live through Restream and it starts the livestream on all my platforms. It’s great for Social Media Marketing.
- Although it isn’t strictly related to marketing, Asana is extremely useful for marketing. Great marketing needs to work together as a cohesive whole. Whether you’re marketing individually and need to keep track of what To Do and when to do it, or your business has grown to the point that you have multiple people working on marketing, it’s important to keep everyone on the same page. Asana is a great place to create a list of tasks that are assigned to different people so that everyone can see what is going on and how to work their different aspects of marketing together. Using Asana for marketing helps you avoid having a website that’s not connected to the social media that’s not connected to the press releases going out.
- Emailing platforms are a must-have for running a business, and this is my favorite one. I love it for two reasons: the reporting, and the ease of use. If your emailing platform is a pain in the butt to use, you’ll never send emails to cultivate your list! And if you’re not looking at reports for how your emails are getting opened, you don’t know what to correct or how to correct it. ActiveCampaign has a great reporting system and it’s extremely user-friendly once it’s set up.
These are the marketing books that have blown my mind and changed my life and my marketing.
- StoryBrand -- Donald Miller
- Miller’s book teaches a brilliant, cohesive process for designing a marketing message that grabs and holds your client’s attention. Although I only read it recently, it’s one book I wish I’d read a long time ago!
- Lingo -- Jeffrey Shaw
- You cannot market to your prospects unless you speak to them in a way they understand (their language, or Lingo), and Shaw’s book teaches you to do that. It breaks down the steps to understanding your prospects language and then teaches you how to speak it so they understand your message.
- Influence -- Dr. Robert Cialdini
- Marketing and psychology are two sides of the same coin. If you didn’t know that before, that may be why you struggle with marketing. Cialdini’s book is my all-time favorite marketing book because it teaches you the psychology behind marketing: how to understand people and put your information out there in a way that draws people to you and doesn’t push them away.
None of these links or books are sponsored to be on this list…
I know a lot of people get lists like this sponsored, but my goal was to give you a place where you can come back to find resources as you grow your marketing skills. So I hope this list helps you as these resources have helped me.
Remember: Marketing is a growing skill. And it may be a beast, but you have the power to grow and learn and turn it into a sales producing machine!
If you’re looking for a free resource, check out the Sales Accelerator Workshop we’re doing at the beginning of August! I’ll be running a free online workshop from 10:30-11:30 AM, August 10th-14th to help entrepreneurs develop rapid, sustainable sales in their businesses and we’ll be spending a whole session on social media marketing.