If you’re looking for a hands-on guide to leveraging the Internet and social media to grow your small business, then look no further than Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility and Crush Your Competition by Patrick Schwerdtfeger. Patrick not only delivers practical marketing advice in 80 bite-sized chapters, but he also lays out specific tasks so that you can take action immediately. There are sections on defining your business model, establishing an online presence, attracting qualified prospects and leveraging social media to grow your business.

While it’s tempting to skip around the book, Patrick is very deliberate in his layout. Even if you’re a seasoned business owner, start at the beginning with defining your business model. You may find that your focus is too broad or that you don’t have clear focus at all. The tasks you implement in the business model section feed into the rest of the book, so take your time. Also, don’t be scared. Yes, there are 80 chapters, but each chapter of Marketing Shortcuts is only a few pages long and gets right to the steps needed to grow your business. It’s a quick read with no fluff.

This book is full of actionable advice, so if you like learning the theory behind why you should perform a task you may be longing for more. A visit to your favorite small business blog or a Google search will remedy that. Patrick gives you the exact strategies used by very successful entrepreneurs, including a wine jelly salesman who transformed his business from one that just sold wine jelly to one offering a complete wine lovers’ retreat experience. It’s all about thinking differently. Here are some other tidbits from the book:

  • Optimize your web site for low competition, highly searched keywords instead of ones that are highly competitive (and likely expensive to own if you run a pay-per-click campaign)
  • Develop a positioning statement for your web site and fully utilize meta tags rather than leave them blank
  • Write one piece of content and use it 7 different ways rather than creating completely unique content for every channel

As a small business marketer, I love how Patrick gives readers the fundamentals of branding rather than going straight to promotional tactics. His chapters on social media are dead on. I’ll be using his techniques in my clients’ work as well as my own.

Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed: Leverage Resources, Establish Online Credibility and Crush Your Competition is a must-read for the do-it-yourself business owner.

A Must-Read: Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed

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