How to start and boost your small business marketing

Podcast 20 Dec 2022

Ready to master your marketing and find new customers? In this episode, we'll hear from experts about the importance of marketing as a small business owner and how you can leverage social media.

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Wondering how to start and boost your small business marketing? We're joined by TV personality Max McMurdo and Jo Sutherland, a marketing expert. They discuss:

  • Max's experience building his sustainable furniture business
  • Tip for how and where to market your small business (with your specific business needs!)
  • How to make social media work for you

Full episode transcript:

Jon Watkins: Welcome to this latest edition of the FSB podcast the go to podcast for news tips and important information for small businesses and self-employed. In this episode, we will be sharing tips on how you can begin marketing your small business or improve your existing marketing activities. Getting the word out about your business and connecting with potential customers and clients is crucial. But it's not always easy to know where to start. And it's getting even more complicated as even more channels and platforms launch and they changed the requirements for small businesses that want to market there. So today, we will unpick some of that and share some top tips from some marketing experts on how to raise the profile of your small business with customers. And our first expert is Max McMurdo, who is a designer, author and TV presenter that you'll likely recognise from a variety of TV shows such as Dragon's Den, Amazing Spaces, Fill Your House for Free and Find it, Fix it Flog it. Max has a number of business ventures of his own, and so can talk about his own experiences of marketing those and sharing some insights. And our second guest is Jo Sutherland, who is the founder of Wise Bird Marketing, a marketing agency that specialises in supporting passionate dedicated small businesses across hospitality, retail lifestyle, and b2b. Thank you for joining us. I thought we'd kick off just by each of you given us a sort of 30-second explanation of your backgrounds; I shared a little bit there but kind of you know, why are you here? And what can you help our audiences with?

Max McMurdo: So myself thanks very much, by the way for having us I'm by no means a marketing guru. But I've kind of learned how to market my business and myself the hard way probably. So I run a very small business, which is basically me myself and I, and I design and make things out of rubbish. So the first item was a chair made out of a shopping trolley, designed it and made it in my mum's back garden, and then thought 'Yay, I'm going to be worth millions of pounds because this is brilliant!' And then realised: 'Oh, I need to sell it don't I, and to sell it, I need people to know about it and for people to know about it, I need to market it.' And that's where my my life in marketing began. I'm still rubbish at marketing by the way and I pride myself on being rubbish. But I'd like to think I'm authentic and for me and my business is less about selling products and probably more about selling a lifestyle, a way of life, and myself weirdly, which is something I'm interested in asking Jo about because marketing yourself without sounding arrogant is a really challenging thing.

Jon Watkins: Good stuff, and Jo you're kind of from the the other side - you are a marketing specialist and guru.

Jo Sutherland: Hello, nice to be here Jon, I think guru might be slightly over egging it, but thank you very much. I spent years; a long, long time in content agencies. And what that means it's kind of creating stuff first it was print magazines, brochures, working with brands to kind of well to kind of connect with their customers to sell more things to get new customers to make existing customers more loyal. Initially that was very much the print then kind of digitally, usually with you know, large retailers say Sainsbury's, Tesco M&S. And that's, you know, that's brutal marketing. It really is it's trackable, and I really kind of cut my teeth. Then lastly, working with more B2B brands, which is slightly different. It's more targeted. You're talking to a much smaller audience, you have to connect in a different way. But I was really introduced to small businesses when I worked as commercial director on a digital lifestyle brand for women. The whole purpose of this brand was to connect women with their local businesses, encouraging them to go to bars, restaurants, cafés, hairdressers, and we had we launched a we launched a local business awards. 22,000 small businesses entered and that is when I really got to understand the pressures. The issues, its where I also met my business partner Sasha and together we sat down and we realised there is a huge gap in the market for no nonsense marketing support for small businesses. Accessible, jargon free, no bull and also an accessible price point because it can be overwhelming and confusing. And if what you are is brilliant at making stuff or doing someone's hair or running a brilliant café, you might not be fantastic at Digital Marketing.

Jon Watkins: Yes, and Jo I was gonna come in there as you might also really not not know what we mean by marketing, like, you know, if you're not from that background, or have a sort of traditional view of marketing. When you were talking about starting out there was kind of, you know, in magazines and flyers and things like that there's a much more complicated world. When we talk about small business marketing, what are we talking about? What does that mean for small businesses? Jo, why don't you kick us off, and then Max you can chip in?

Jo Sutherland: Well, something that Max said to me just really resonated, because it is very easy to get into thinking oh I need to be on Facebook and Instagram, and actually, the first thing you should do, and we say this to all of our clients is to understand your purpose. You understand your purpose, you can market yourself so much better. And that is not, as when you said I'm selling a lifestyle that's exactly it, you're not selling a service or a product - well, you are, but what you really need to be thinking about is how you enhance people's lives, how you make it better, what you are giving people that they can't get from anybody else. And so what I mean by marketing, is thinking about your purpose, and telling people what that is. And yes, that may end up being through a website, or social, or a podcast, or by emailing them directly. But the first thing we say to everybody, and it's amazing how people struggle, people say I'm a florist, I sell flowers. You don't, you make people happier, because people can send really nice things to their mates. So that's the first thing is marketing, is communicating your purpose.

Jon Watkins: Yeah, Max, what does it mean to you, marketing?

Max McMurdo: Well, like I say, I'm kind of accidentally a business person. So I didn't really know. And I initially thought, like I said, I built a chair out of a shopping trolley and sofa out of the bathtub and thought, yeah, I need to sell them. So I need to advertise them. And I'm that old that I remember the Yellow Pages. So I thought, What do I do? There's not a section in the Yellow Pages, say, man who makes stuff out of rubbish, there wasn't that section. So weirdly, I don't know if Jo agrees, but probably my first marketing thing was to go to Camden Market, which is officially probably retail, but I was just putting myself in front of people to advertise myself and to get feedback from the customers and to learn what the customers were looking at. And, and I used to walk around half the time and witness what they're purchasing and work out why they're purchasing it and understanding my customer base, I guess. And increasingly, that's changed. Like I say, initially, I thought I had to try and sell my products, and I pretended to be a big company, and I pretended I've set up loads of fake email addresses. So come through to our sales department and, and actually, that put people off because there's loads of big shops out there where you can buy from a big corporation and support, you know, a multimillionaire becoming richer, but actually, when I was more honest and more authentic and said, Hey, I make all this myself in my little workshop in Bedfordshire, and I'm not a big company, and you get to speak to me, the designer on the phone. And quite often I'll deliver it because, well, mainly because I'm a control freak. And I don't want a delivery driver to damage my furniture. But also, how great is that, that you can actually speak with the designer and the manufacturer. And then they deliver it and I have a cup of tea at the end with the client in their lounge when they're sat on their chair. So actually, for me, I went completely the wrong way assumed that everybody has to pretend to be big and shiny, and with loads of stuff, and then realised actually, people want to get to know me. So a lot of my social media now isn't saying, Hey, here's a product do you want to buy it? It's a little bit behind the scenes of, I think the last post I put on Instagram was me de-icing my van with a pizza peel. And people engage with that they liked that they liked the fact I'm a bit stupid, and the fact I use things in the wrong manner. But it's not derogatory. It's not seen as a negative thing. It's actually seen as them getting to know me as a person. And that's what I represent is innovative thinking, thinking outside the box and that sort of thing. So, for me, it's a very, very difficult area to understand, because I'm a bit older, and I come from that time where you used to walk around the local village with flyers and put them through people's doors. And it turns out in Bedfordshire, there's not a lot of people in need of shopping trolley chairs.

Jon Watkins: There's definitely a correlation there between what you're saying though, isn't there? So Jo, you're talking about kind of finding your your point of difference, you know, what makes you different to your competitors, you know, how do you enhance people's life and add value? And Max, I guess you're saying that it's the same but it just so happens for you that's part of the person behind the product, you know, you're selling you as well as the product because you're a part of that. So it's the same thing, right? It's it's finding that that thing that differentiates you that that people really want from you and demonstrating that adds value to them, I guess is the same thing, right? How important is marketing like when we talk to small businesses? Max, I'll start with you, right. Yeah. When we talk to small businesses, they sort of start often with the product or the idea or what they want to do open a barbers or you know, open a café or start an IT consultancy, whatever it is, they start with that. And then they start on product and service and they shape that and maybe premises and things like that. It feels like sometimes that, you know, now I need to go and deliver it to, to the audiences a bit or potential customers comes a bit later. But how important is that, you sort of alluded to that a little bit already Max, you sort of built your product and then thought, 'Oh, I haven't marketed this'.

Max McMurdo: Yeah, well, for me, it was absolutely that way around. It was an afterthought. It was oh, I'm not selling anything because the chairs just sat in my mum and dad's back garden, so only the two immediate neighbours even though it exists. So for me, it was that way around entirely. But I've noticed interestingly, recently, a few of the brands I follow particularly outdoorsy, campervan kind of brands, is almost like they but they concentrate in the marketing before the product, they create a really cool brand. And you're watching their social media waiting to find out what the product is they're trying to sell you and almost with your card out, ready, like wherever these guys are going to sell me, I'm having it because I love the photography, I love their style, I just want to be a part of their movement and their group. And actually, the product almost becomes irrelevant. And you find yourself buying stuff done if you do this, but I buy things from brands, because I just want to be a part of that brand, not because I particularly need that product. And that fascinates me because again, I'm quite old school. And I think that the weird thing for me is I've never spent a penny on marketing, I don't actually go and put adverts in things. Quite often all I do is I attend events or I'm really fortunate I get to promote myself on television now. And that's my my route to market and my marketing. But again, I try not to take myself seriously even when you're on one of these shows, just chill out, have a laugh because the person watching you, they're buying into you as a person. And again, your authenticity. They don't want to come home from work, sit down and watch you be amazing and take life really seriously and get things perfect every time. So I've also learned that if I'm a bit silly, and I electrocute myself trying to make a table that powers your phone from a foot pedal off an old sewing machine, for example, that doesn't weirdly come across badly to the viewer. My sales go up people want to buy more from me because I've made a mistake. And you think, well, that's not what my marketing brain would tell me. You assume you've got to get everything right and be super professional. But actually people just like people, I say this talking quite a few schools and universities and colleges now. And I, the last presentation I did, I asked all the students to rip up their certificates - don't do this if you're listening! But I said, really they're pointless, people have never parted with their money, because I've got a certificate in product design. They parted with their money because hopefully they like me, I'm polite, I engage with them. I show them respect, I'm an empath, - they're the important thing is I think for business. So marketing isn't as clear cut as act really big and professional and shiny. In my opinion. It may be used to be, but particularly in the creative sector is not that way.

Jon Watkins: What do you think, Jo? How important is marketing? But also, you know, can we start thinking about some of those different channels that are available now and talking about some of those because it feels like you know, Max just mentioned handing out flyers. And that was kind of, you know, when I was a kid, that was how we did it too, right. But, you know, now the world is massive, and there are 1000s of tech platforms. So so how do we start thinking about those.

Jo Sutherland: So what I would say is that I agree with Max. And he might kind of shudder at this. But what he's done is he's created a brand, he's done it accidentally. And it's a very authentic brand, but he's created a brand. And he's also got the unique platform of like you say, you know, being on TV, and in you can be yourself because people really like that because you have an authentic and people connect with you. For somebody who's just starting out maybe kind of like a one man band, who I don't know is offering a service or selling a product, they really have to start from scratch. And the thing is that it's exactly what you said, people start a business because they've got a brilliant idea. And they think that everyone will care about it, you know, that build it and they'll come they don't. People couldn't care less. It's rubbish. People have got so much pressures on their time, their money, their resources. So you have to tell them, tell them and tell them again, what you what you're doing, what your services are, why it's better, why they should buy it from you. And I would say that, you know, we position ourselves as no nonsense. So we have said to small businesses who are starting out that's one person. Don't build a website. You do not need a website. What you need more than anything is a Google My Business listing. It is free. Google is I mean it it's where it's at. 75% of searches are local. Start with local - local hairdressers, local takeaway local cafe, and you can use your Google My Business listing, like a social platform. And it's completely free, it will verify where you are. So it knows that you're genuinely in the postcode you say, you can add your details, your opening hours, imagery, you can upload offers, etc. And then when you go on to when people are searching, then when they find you, you are in control of what they see. And they will see a listing down the right hand side, which is your Google My Business. So if you're just starting out, and that's completely free. If you are and I would, we would also say definitely that if you do have a website, it doesn't have to be extensive is better to be smaller, functional well built. And make sure that it's built with SEO in mind, which sounds really scary and techy. And it's not just work with the developer, just get someone who knows what they're doing to make sure the SEO on the back end and the content on the front allows you to be found. And maybe just start with if you're a business to consumer brand start with Facebook and Instagram. Just do some organic posts. There are lots of other platforms you can use, for example, Tiktok. And people really shy away from Tiktok, they think it's all about the kids and it's not, the largest growing demographic group who are joining TikTok are the over 40s and over 40s women, but the one thing I will really stress is that for the algorithm, Instagram, Tik Tok, you've got to be able to generate decent video content. I don't mean high quality. I just mean something that communicates a clear message about your business and does it in a really engaging way.

Jon Watkins: And they're changing those algorithms all the time right Jo, is that difficult as well for small businesses to understand, you know, what flies on different social channels and you know, how you make sure you surface through search or you know, your content surfaces when people are looking.

Jo Sutherland: So, I mean, basically, it's a full time job, which is why people come to us because - so my business partner is unbelievably creative, but she is also fantastic at knowing what the algorithms are doing. So you know, as soon as Tiktok launched, all the platforms said we've got to be in video, we've got to be in video! Instagram reels, which is just their term for video, you need video, you need good video content. And just to give you an idea about when it works really well. And also maybe with a brand that you didn't assume - we have been working with a knitting shop, a really cool knitting shop run by these two really young, much younger than us cooler people who are really into crafting, we've been doing this really lovely competition. And they don't, there's not a silly dance in sight. They're just showing great stuff they've knitted, patterns, things in the shop the colours in the shop. And it's worked brilliantly on TikTok. And it's worked brilliantly on Instagram, because you can do kind of nice video. But I don't think people should be scared by that I really, really don't. But you're right is tricky to keep up with the algorithm. And I suppose in terms of a tip, well, I've got two. The first is that your, if you just put something on your Facebook page, and you include a link to your website directly in that post, the algorithm will kill the reach, because all of those platforms want to keep you on Facebook, or on Instagram. But if you do social ads, which you can do, really for a really quite small amount of money. What paid social does is it overrides the algorithms. So don't post on Facebook and say, visit my website with the link because no one will see it.

Jon Watkins: Right. And I'm gonna ask you a little bit about paid channels in a bit. Max, you sort of said that you don't invest per se in, in advertising on on marketing on specific channels and stuff. But do you see more connection with your audience through certain channels? Like you know, do you get a lot of interaction on Instagram, particularly over Facebook, for example, are there certain channels that that in your space seem to be seem to connect best with audiences?

Max McMurdo: Yeah, I think initially I set out with Facebook and Twitter. And I don't want to let go of Twitter because you can just engage more verbally with people. But it just isn't worth the investment really for me. I would never suggest I gain from Twitter at all. I think for me, it's important to have a presence on all of them and you interact, I try and interact daily on every social media platform. But I'm fully aware I do neglect that as part of my business, if I have to make something with my hands physically that must be produced by the end of the day, or do some social media and marketing, unfortunately, my priorities are more old school get the thing fabricated and out. It's interesting with the whole the analytics and stuff, I struggle with Tiktok, I've, again, I've gone on there, and one video can get, and I've tested this in a very non scientific way, I had what I considered a very average video, but with the right piece of music that was trending at the time, got 120,000 views, but I was really annoyed because the video was pretty poor. I then posted the same video, the exact same video with music that wasn't trending, but was much more well suited to that video, in my opinion, from an editing editing point of view, and they got 3000 views. So it is it's just all out of our control. It's all algorithms. And so I find Tiktok very hard to predict. And for me, it's just a fun thing. But I think you're right, a lot of people are using it really, really well, aren't they, you know, like Gordon Ramsay, and people you wouldn't expect to need to do marketing, like he's a household name. Why is he investing his time in marketing? But they are they're doing really well out of it. And so for me, Instagram is the one and particularly now I've got the stories as well, and I find it it's an easier interface for me being old. And it's beautiful photography as well. And I try my little thing is I try an alternate mindset. It doesn't feel salesy. I'm an anti salesy person. So, I maybe put products I've made on there, but then I'll make sure the next post is more about my house boat or sustainability, I try and make sure - my golden rule is on social media, if someone's posted three selfies in a row, I unfollow them. I don't know why we should be looking out in life, we should look outwards a little bit more at the beautiful world around us. But so I try and alternate mine to keep it varied, but it's not strategic at all, I should probably actually speak to Joe after this podcast about doing something more, more focused. And I have got a new little business in the pipeline. So it's a really good opportunity. Funnily enough, I'll tell you very briefly. So it's myself and a fellow creative Carwen, we both run our own small creative businesses badly. And we both acknowledge that because our focus is purely on the product and making beautiful things. We've never once tried to market our products properly. And we get embarrassed about saying our products are good, he'll tell people my work is good. And I'll tell people his work is good. But we can't focus on ourselves. So we've started a business and one thing we've promised is about building campaigns is that we'll both use this as a way of showing we can do marketing, because it's not about us and our personnel per se, the two of us coming together means we're saying the product is good. And therefore we don't feel arrogant, and big headed. And all of those things that creative people are really nervous about sounding like. So yeah, we're using it as a bit of an experiment to see if we can both sort of grow up a little bit and, and be proactively positive about the products that we're creating. We won't, will shy away from it again, oh, we just want to make things!

Jon Watkins: I'm just frantically going through my Instagram, make sure I've never posted three selfies in a row. But there's an interesting point you make there Max about, you know, you're not marketing people, you're focused on products, right? Because that's, that's where your skill is. And that's that's what you do. And there is this sort of sense when we do these, these podcasts that sometimes, you know, some areas of business people automatically realise they should get expert help or outsource. So you know it for example, you it's your lots of people think well, I'm not an IT specialist, I've got someone to look after that. So I can focus on much more business. I'm sure Jo is going to tell me that definitely, that you should definitely outsource your marketing to an agency like us. But there is a point here isn't there that you can't do everything as a small business owner. And it's okay to get help and guidance and to outsource something so you can focus on your core activity, right?

Jo Sutherland: Well, we just always say to the people that we work with, you can't grow your business, you can't work on your business if you're working in your business. And, you know, we just found an accountant because we realised that we were literally not, well we were terrible. We just didn't really understand the finances of a small business, but we could market ourselves. I do just want to pick up on a couple of things that Mike said, because I've had so many similar conversations. Well, the first thing is, is audience, use the channel and really understand your audience when you're thinking about who your products are for. Then think about the audience, have a have an impression of them in mind when you're writing your marketing. Talk to them and think about where they are. Are they on Instagram because it's so visual? Are they on Facebook because it's about community and chatting and an interest. So we're working with a cycling clothing brand. So we have joined as the as the brand, lots of Facebook groups, cycling Facebook groups, because it's all about community. If it's visual, it's Instagram, if you can create great video, then be on Tik Tok, and do rails on Instagram. So think about your audience, think about where they are, make sure that the channel that you're on is talking to them directly. And Max, I've had so many conversations with people who say, I just can't say how good my product, I'm just, I'm so uncomfortable. It's a very British thing. And I will say to them, well, first of all, you're not talking about you, talking about your business. And also you can talk about, you didn't have to say this piece of furniture I created is amazing. Just talk about the time, the effort, the skill, what went into it, you don't have to say, it's fantastic, because people will pick all of that up from knowing the lengths that you've gone to create it, the technique you've used to create it, if you just talk about that people will get that it's really fantastic. And people who are starting out and want to have a very much a business to business profile. They might be on LinkedIn, for example, as a person. And I always suggest that they create a business profile on LinkedIn. So we have a coach who supports people that have issues with problem drinking, she has her own personal profile, because she was a really big cheese in advertising. And we really encouraged her to set up a LinkedIn page, which was wine to water, so that she could feel dispassionate and post and post testimonials and talk about her achievements. Without that sense of it's me to have been boasting, which would make her feel really uncomfortable. So there are ways around it. But you can definitely talk about the quality of what you do. Without being explicit. Just explain the techniques that you deploy to do it, and people will get it.

Jon Watkins: Yeah, that's a nice thing, isn't it? It's about it's that sort of difference between advertising and marketing, I guess, you know, back in the day, everyone used to just tell you their product was the best right? You know, it's the Everest, wasn't it? Everest, adverts will be the best or buy the best, right. But now we have to, we have to share why and the reasons and prove it and demonstrate in for you guys, and a lot of small businesses. I guess that's actually about the person behind it. It's about you know, what you bring in terms of your different approach your expertise, you know, your experiences of doing it before, right. And Jo, would, I'm going to put you both on the spot in a minute and ask you for some specific tips for our audience. I know you shared some along the way, but it'd be good just to give them a sort of two or three each, if you can, but just before that, Jo, I want to ask you about certain platforms for certain types of business. I don't know if like, certain platforms lend themselves better. I know you do a lot of work with b2b businesses as well as b2c customers or clients. So, you know, is the I mean, the obvious sort of thing people always say that LinkedIn is for business and Facebook was for, for consumers and stuff like that, what what platforms work better for different types of businesses, if any?

Jo Sutherland: Well, I'll be honest, there is a truism in that so I predominantly deal with our business to business clients, and the vast majority of them. We do a lot on LinkedIn, we do a lot on Twitter, especially if it's the kind of brand that that lends itself to conversation, to news to picking up on things that are current and happening. But also, again, this is this is really true of consumer as well as business brands. Don't forget your own channels. So we encourage everybody to collect the data of the business of their clients, you know that you are at the mercy of the algorithms, social platforms go down, you need to have a strong database of your own clients that you can communicate with them directly. You can communicate them within a targeted way. And also, especially with b2b clients, sometimes it's not just all about the digital. It's about networking, it's about attending conferences, it's about speaking, it's about meeting people face to face. So with the b2b clients, there's definitely I would say a very, very holistic approach to it. Because they're, you know, they're their audiences much is much smaller is quite targeted, it's quite niche. So you do have to be kind of, you have to be very broad in your thinking. And I would say that, yeah, if if you are very visual, then Instagram is definitely the platform you have to be on. If you can create great video, Instagram and Tik Tok. And if you are delivering a service or a product that appeals really strongly to a community to an interest or a hobby, to someone's passion, the way to use Facebook is not just to be posting generic posts on Facebook, which work, but it's about joining the groups where people are having those conversations, and join those conversations. So that's how that's how I would use it. And Snapchat, I should know. But it's really just my 16 year old who's all over that.

Jon Watkins: I want to I want to share some specific tips for our audience. So Jo I'm going to start with you. There are two or three things that you say I'm a small business just looking to start dipping my toe in the water around marketing or, or an initial sort of marketing launch from a business. What's two or three things that are absolute musts for you?

Jo Sutherland: And well, I know, I've said it a million times, I'm gonna say it again, understand your purpose. What are you giving people that will make their life better, not what you're selling, not your services. But what how are you enhancing their lives. And if you're really clear with that, it will make doing your marketing so much easier. be crystal clear about who the audience is, who are you selling to, it won't be everybody who is going to buy your products, and have a really clear mental image in your head of who they are. And again, it will make your marketing easier. And also will help you choose the right channels for them. And you can start off really small. And the third, well the third thing is kind of intertwined. You can bypass the kind of constraints of the algorithm by doing some paid social, it's really important you do paid social that you are not just going hey, we're here. But you're creating a social ad is about a specific call to action, go to my website, sign up for the newsletter take advantage of this offer. And you can spend, you can spend as little as 2030 quid for your first ad, you can start out really, really small. setting that up, is quite straightforward. But what I would say is, you can spend hours working in the weeds of trying to do your marketing, when and of course, I'm gonna say this, but outsource it I'm not saying outsource, it's someone that knows what they're doing. Because you can spend the best part of your day doing it, you can outsource it to someone who can do it faster, quicker and infinitely better. And you can get on with making stuff selling stuff and actually be working on the growth of your business rather than in the weeds of it.

Jon Watkins: Yeah, good stuff. Max, what would you what would you share, one or two, three tips for the audience around kind of, you know, getting their brand out there and connecting with audiences?

Max McMurdo: Obviously, what Joe said she knows what she's talking about. But for me, I think it be your like, who are you? What do you really stand for? What are your true beliefs? What are you passionate about, and just be that real person, the products are almost irrelevant if people buy people, were on this planet for a very short period of time aren't we want to hang around with like minded nice people, so just be nice. And I guess the other one I think I realised I do is I attend lots of events. So instead of, I don't get a kick out of creating nice imagery and writing adverts and stuff, particularly but I love being around people events and talking to like minded people. So if I go to Grand Designs, for example, that's a nine day show sometimes they might only pay me to be there for three of the days, but I actually just stay for the entirety because your customer base are there, they want to meet you, they want to chat to you. And you might have a little chat with somebody over a coffee at one of the shows about design or my campervan or whatever it is, I've taken to that show. Six months later, when they're in need of somebody to build a built-in wardrobe you're first on their mind and they've liked you they've engaged with you and and they've got on with you and against the last one would be worth it. This is not an advert in any way, shape or form. But actually, I've never ever considered that I should potentially pay a marketing company to help me with my business, which now having participated in this podcast makes me feel a bit stupid because you're absolutely right. If I need welding doing I go to a welder, upholstery and upholsterer, but why marketing? Did I go now? I'll blog that myself. And you've said that your business partner knows when the algorithms change. I didn't know we had algorithms, let alone and they've changed. So why am I trying to second guess something I truly don't understand? And I'm not interested in rather than taking the advice of a professional who presumably enjoys doing that as well. So yeah, and I've not been paid to say that. I just think that that is a moment of realisation through this morning's podcast. So thank you for that.

Jon Watkins: Well, we've achieved one thing, if anything, and that's that you both are...

Jo Sutherland: I'm not paying you but I now will pay you. And literally if we were in the same room, I'd give you a massive hug. And yeah, I do love it. That's the other thing is this. Sorry, Jon. I'm going slightly off tangent but both session I've worked she's got some big advertising agencies. I've got some big content agencies, really big clients. We get a genuine kick out of when, you know, a jeweller that we work with. sells a really lovely piece of jewellery rate you know, he's it's a next generation jewellers, when the local pub there's a community pub that we work with when they are full for one of their quiz nights. You know, we get a genuine kick out of that. And we really love what we do. And something that lots of people see as a really horrible chore. in their day to day running of their business, is something that we get a real kick out of, and we really enjoy and working with small businesses is particularly rewarding, because it matters so much to that person, as an individual. So that's why we really love it.

Jon Watkins: Yeah, I think, like, it's real, isn't it? You know, I think the the advantage of being small businesses is that you can see instant impact around these things. If your great big organisation making TV ads and things. It's not always so obvious what little tweaks and changes, you know what difference they make. But if you're a small business, I think you can see pretty instant response, you know, when Max is talking about engagement with videos, you know, because change in the music, you can see that really quickly and instantly. I think the only other thing I wanted to just just add, and it's an observation really was you both mentioned networking. And that is a form of marketing, isn't it? You know, that's getting your message out there. But just delivering it in person yourself, right? It's going to events, it's going to shows or it's going to networking groups of people who could be potential partners, clients, customers, and that sort of thing. So I guess that's an important part. But again, to do that, it brings us nicely back to the very first thing you talked about Jo, which is purpose, you've got to know what you're trying to convey about your business and your offer and your proposition when you get there, I guess. So. Listen, that was amazing. I really enjoyed it. Thanks so much for sharing your insights and for sharing your stories a little bit as well about your own businesses, because I think there's loads of really valuable tips in there for for our audience. Yeah, so thanks, really, really enjoyed it. I'd also like to thank our audience for listening. And to remind you that you can subscribe to the FSB podcasts to receive regular updates and guidance on the big issues affecting small businesses. And please also remember that you can find a whole host of additional webinars, podcasts and other content on the First Voice website, which is , and on the FSB website, Jo, Max, thanks very much for joining really enjoyed it.

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