Member Spotlight: Marketing Maven

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Member Spotlight: Marketing Maven

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Sydni Craig-Hart has been an NASE Member since 2005. She owns Smart Simple Marketing in Emeryville, Calif.

Tell us about your business.

I teach busy entrepreneurs how to use simple marketing strategies to make more money in their business. I started my business in 2005 as a virtual marketing assistant and after a couple of years was consistently receiving requests for consulting. I realized I enjoyed teaching and consulting more than being the actual technician, so in 2009 I transitioned fully into coaching and consulting.

How do you market your business?

Our primary marketing strategies include generating referrals, speaking (both in person and on virtual events like teleseminars and webinars) and networking. To support these three main strategies we also do email marketing, blogging, participate in social media and develop strategic partnerships with other businesses offering complementary services. This formula has worked for us from day one, and we continue to refine it to focus our energy on the activities that get the best results.

What obstacles have you faced in running your business?

Like all entrepreneurs, we’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. We’ve purchased items we didn’t need, pursued opportunities that didn’t really fit our goals and tried to implement too many ideas at one time. But what always gets me back on track is going back to why I started my business in the first place—eliminating marketing overwhelm, solving my clients’ problems and helping them to be more successful in their business.

How has the NASE helped your business?

Let me count the ways! We were first introduced to the NASE because of its health insurance benefits, but we found so much value in the many other benefits. We’ve taken full advantage of the Legal Club services, the Emergency Roadside Assistance and the NASE HRA 105 where we can deduct our health insurance premiums. It’s just a great feeling to know that we have the organization behind us and access to a one-stop shop of benefits and services at great prices.

What advice would you offer your fellow NASE Members?

Slow down and stop trying to do so much! I know what it’s like to wear all the hats in your business and feel like you need to work 25 hours a day, 8 days a week. But really, 80 percent of your results are coming from 20 percent of your effort. So you can save yourself a lot of time, money and needless frustration by just focusing on that 20 percent, especially as it relates to your marketing efforts.

One other thing is to be consistent! It’s not your customer’s job to remember that you’re in business and available to help them. You have to keep reminding them, week in and week out. It’s not what marketing strategy you pursue that really makes the difference, it’s being consistent in your efforts. Consistency builds trust and credibility, and you’ll find that your clients will come to you first because you've stayed top of mind.

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