Now twenty minutes a day does not sound like much and I am sure you hear advertising claims every day asking you to spend just 20 minutes a day to achieve some goal like; weight loss, firmer abs, more money, etc. Well in a way I too will be promising you more money, because it has been proven that if a small business spends over 15 minutes each day on marketing they will increase their revenue significantly, more than if they even focused this same amount of time in one lump, such as 90 minutes a week. The key is consistency and receptiveness.
First by spending time each day you will create a habit to take this small amount of time out of your day. Second if you are marketing more frequently the chances will increase dramatical that a likely consumer will try your business due to this fact.
Now if you think you can't very well do much in just 20 minutes, here are some ideas of what you can accomplish in this short amount of time.
Order new or additional business cards. Business cards are one of the least expensive, with the largest chance of ROI, of almost ANY marketing item. For the new year think about making a slight change to a card to help track the effectiveness of your card campaigns. For instance, have a card with a slightly different order of information, orientation, size or color imprint of your phone or web site address just for cards you give to current customers for referrals. Make a card with a different tag line you only give to Building Management or Realtors or plan to hand out at a show or event. Cards can be ordered very cheaply from places like Vistaprint.com so that you could have 4-5 different ones available to hand out at any time. Just be sure to keep the feel of the cards and your logo the same so that no customer is ever confused as to who you are and whom they are contacting.
Open a separate Facebook page for your business, away from your personal one. It takes very little time and is a newer option that will make you look more professional and make it easier to gain, interact and relate to your customers.
Even if you do not text, like I don't, open a Twitter account for your business. It takes just a few minutes to link it to your Facebook business account so that when you post on one it also appears on the other. You can also link posts to LinkedIn.
Have a LinkedIn account if you do a lot of B2B business. Since this is more of a business vs. only a personal social media, you will gain better business contacts and SEO with it with these types of customers.
Post often to your Facebook business page or Twitter. With help from programs like TweetDeck, you can spend the 20 minutes scheduling a week or more of posts at just one sitting and then do other things for your 20 minutes on the other days.
Make a blog post some where at least once a week. If you do not have a blog area on your own web site you should really think about making one, but if not you can still blog. Use the blog feature found at many of the industry on line forums, on LinkedIn and other web sites. As long as you are consistent with your tags and links back to your own site or Facebook business page this type of organic SEO will help and build over time.
Become a member, look for and answer consumer questions at web sites like Yahoo answers at http://answers.yahoo.com/ or www.ask.com/. You can look in the categories you want to be associated with to find questions you want to answer. Once you start answering and get likes to your answers you will build an on site reputation and can even have questions e-mailed to you to be answered. Being helpful with out looking for gain can bring you customers from your area.
Search for and buy a new or reliable give-a-way marketing item. There are some great sites out there that you can subscribe to for sales, product alerts and ideas for items. We use 4imprint.com a lot.
Send out a newsletter. It doesn't have to be long. Just make sure you are giving your customers some free tips, home help or advise, no sales pitch needs to be included. Mention up coming events you will be attending, like a home show, link to interesting sites your customers may enjoy, mention a certification class you took or industry event you attended. Once your open rates are up then the occasial sales offer will more likely be opened and acted on.
Send out a targeted e-mail for a specific reason or campaign. With a well segmented customer e-mail list, sending short targeted e-mails with messages or offers will take little time but can generate huge benefits. Once a month send all your customer's birthday message, customer anniversaries, off season offers etc.
If you do not already have a well segmented list, spend your 20 minutes at least once a week making some using the resources you have available, Quickbooks, Salesforce or other CMR software.
I hope you start spending your 20 minutes a day working on marketing for a profitable New Year.