Killer Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business - The Marketing Strategies Show | Small Biz Marketing Specialist
Killer Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business - The Marketing Strategies Show

Killer Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business – The Marketing Strategies Show

“Small Business Stacey” shares her top marketing strategies to grow businesses from Main Street and beyond with Jesse Stoddard on The Marketing Strategies Show.

Episode Transcript

If you’re an entrepreneur looking to grow your business, build your brand, and get yourself financially fit, then you are in the right place. Get ready to flex your marketing muscles and learn how to make sure every dollar spent on marketing fattens your bottom line. Welcome to the Marketing Strategy Show with your personal marketing trainer, Jesse Stoddard.

6 Days, 6 Simple Steps

Small Business Marketing Transformation Mini Course

I'm "Small Business Stacey" and I'm going to give you the 6 simple steps that can double - even triple - your sales. Are you ready to get your marketing into ACTION? Sign up below.

Jesse Stoddard: Small Business Stacey is a marketing expert on a mission to save small business and rebuild Main Street. No small feat for sure. Stacy knows one thing and one thing only will accomplish that mission: marketing. Stacey knows firsthand what great marketing can accomplish. She’s won numerous awards through her career for her marketing efforts, but not all days in her marketing world were bright, sunny, and profitable. In her coffee and smoothing business, which she still runs today, at one point, she was five hundred thousand dollars in debt and about to lose it all. Her house, her family, her sanity.

Killer Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business - The Marketing Strategies Show

She harnessed her marketing prowess to tap into the power of using Daily Deal sites like Groupon, which was a key strategy that took her business from five hundred thousand dollars in debt to a seven-figure profitable business and now she teaches other business owners how to do the same thing.

Okay, I have Stacey Riska on the line. Small Business Marketing Specialist. Thank you so much for being with me, Stacey.

Stacey Riska: Absolutely. Glad to be with you today.

Jesse Stoddard: And you’re saving small business one business at a time I guess. Right? Rebuilding Main Street.

Stacey Riska: My tag line is: “From Main Street and Beyond”, yes if there’s one thing small business owners need to do is get their marketing done.

Jesse Stoddard: That’s awesome. All right. Well, I’d love it if you could start out just by telling us a little bit more about your story. Filling in the gaps of the introduction so to speak. And I call it the hero’s journey, so I’m sure you weren’t always successful. And you probably had some bumps in the road. I’d love to hear about those too if you don’t mind.

Stacey Riska: Absolutely. I’m not wearing a cape at all. That’s for sure. So, my journey begins a long time ago. I’m probably dating myself. My first business was actually an outsourcing business where we did the back office work for associations and non-profits. Doing their call center, mailing, the filing, data entry, and this was you know, outsourcing before anybody knew what outsourcing was. And I loved doing it. I loved being hands-on and working on the computer. I built an amazing team around me, but then about ten years later I sort of had this midlife crisis and I realized, I need something fun to do. And so, what else would you do? You would buy a coffee and smoothie franchise. So, that’s what I ended up doing.

I bought a coffee and smoothie franchise where I got to wear a Hawaiian shirt, say “Aloha”, work behind a tiki bar serving coffees and smoothies. And that was a lot of fun and I built up a very successful and profitable business, and people started hearing about it and were coming to me saying, “Gosh, you know you have some great ideas. Can you share with me what you’re doing?” And then they would actually just say, “You know what? Can you just do it for me? I don’t have the time?”

And so, I realized there was an opportunity there and I loved helping small business owners. So, I ended up started the Small Biz Marketing Specialist and that’s what we do. We help small business owners get their marketing done, because it’s not that small business owners don’t know that they need to do marketing it’s just a matter of getting it done, right? Because they’ve got the day-to-day that they’re working on. And somebody may be a great plumber, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re great at marketing.

I hope what we’re gonna talk about is some of the steps that small business owners can take to get their marketing done, because it is just, it’s so important. People know that they need to do marketing, but when it comes to getting it done, that seems to be where they struggle.

Killer Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business - The Marketing Strategies Show

Jesse Stoddard: Yeah. Tell me a little bit more about your days with the coffee, smoothie stand you know, I’m sure that sounded like it was a difficult business for a while and was marketing the one thing that made the difference? Was that what got you out of that struggle that most of them have?

Stacey Riska: Well, you know, I ran into a situation where I grew too fast. I’m in the Washington, DC area and I came into this business with big aspirations and hopes and I did everything and I grew really quickly. So, within my first two years of business, I had ten of these mobile tiki bars going around the area. I had three stores in operation. One was in a mall and two were in Dulles Airport. So, I had a lot of money invested in this business and then 2008 came and everybody stopped going out to get a smoothie. Nobody was traveling. Nobody was spending money. I remember just sitting in my store wondering where the next customer was gonna come from. I mean, those were very dark days. I didn’t have enough money to cover payroll. It created a lot of tension at home. My kids were young. There was a lot of pressure and tension. And I was five hundred thousand dollars in debt. I did not know where my next customer was coming from.

And I remember driving down the road one day coming home from my store and I just started crying, but not just crying, I mean, full out just like bawling so much so that I had to pull over on the side of the road. I remember it took a few minutes to come through from that and when I got home I remember opening up the door and looking … I have a mirror right when I walk in, and I looked at myself, and I said, “This is the fork in the road. You’re gonna go down one path and you’re either going to give up the business and possibly lose your house and all this money that you invested or you’re gonna go down the other fork and you’re gonna fight to save your business.” And I looked at it with very clear glasses on, you know?

I knew I had a business that could and should be profitable, and when I looked at it, I realized most of my profitability was coming from catering. So, I realized that that’s where I needed to focus on that I couldn’t be everything to everybody, but if I focused on this one key piece of my business that was working that I had a chance to save it. I did something a little bit outrageous. I actually ran a Groupon, which most coffee and smoothie business owners would be like, “No. Don’t do it.” You know? Everybody says run from Groupon and Daily Deals, but I will tell you that it was the key strategy that took my business from five hundred thousand dollars in debt to a seven-figure profitable business.

So, I can tell you, I am a case study, a testament that Daily Deal Marketing does work, but … only when you do it right. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. Running like a ten dollar deal for 20 dollars isn’t gonna do it. What I learned was that you have to package high price things, so for example, with my catering, I was offering packages that started at $575, so it just completely took price out of the equation because instead of marketing it as smoothie catering, I renamed it as the “Ultimate Hawaiian Get-Away Without the 12-Hour Flight”. So, which would you rather have? Smoothie Catering? or “The Ultimate Hawaiian Get-Away” where you get a vacation in a cup and a Hawaiian parasol in your drink and tiki tenders who are blending these drinks up fresh. When you position it that way, people don’t really care what the price is, they want it.

And that completely transformed my business. So, I was able to survive 2008 and now here we are many years later I still have my coffee and smoothie business and the nice thing is is that it runs without my involvement. I have a manager running the day-to-day. I maybe spend an hour or two marketing it each week. And now I get to do what I love doing best, helping small business owners with their marketing.

Jesse Stoddard: I love it. What an awesome story. Thank you for sharing that. You know you made me realize that inadvertently I had success with that in the fitness industry with the Groupon and Living Social and Daily Deal Biz in the same way. I think you did it more eloquently and better, but we stumbled upon the same truth. In the fitness business, it’s the same thing. Gyms and personal trainers and boot camps and cross fit. They hate the daily deals, because they attract what we call “deal hoppers”. So, it’s somebody who will sign up to go to a fitness class and they literally are just going to go to all of the daily deal fitness classes they can all month long. So, they go to one gym, then they go to another one, and then they go to another one, and their gym membership is basically daily deals bouncing around.

So, it really got a bad name. It worked for a few years, then it stopped. What we discovered was it still worked, you just had to do it right, like you mentioned. So, I love that. What we did is we packaged really high priced body transformation packages rather than 30 days for 30 bucks packages.

Stacey Riska: Right.

Jesse Stoddard: So, what it did was it attracted a different clientele. So, I’m assuming that’s what yours did too. It attracts a slightly different clientele. One that would like to spend a little bit of money, isn’t afraid to spend some money, but they also want a good deal. So, if it has a higher perceived value, then when you do your price drop, it’s still some money invested, right? Is that kind of what you’re saying?

Stacey Riska: Yeah. I mean, the nice thing about daily deals is its amazing lead generation ’cause the nice thing about Groupon or any of these other daily deal sites is they’re doing the marketing for you. There is no way that I could have had the reach and exposure that Groupon gave me. You know? And when you think about it, you’re gonna spend money to market your business anyways. So, when people say, “Oh, well it’s so expensive to do a Groupon. They take such a big percentage.” Well, when you factor in that you’re gonna spend money to do marketing anyways. If you’re at least covering the cost to bring that person in the door, as long as you have cross-sell and up-sell and opportunity to continue doing business with that person, then it totally pays for itself.

So, again, it’s a mindset of not looking at that as a transaction where you’re in the door, out the door, you know, just a coffee or a smoothie, bye-bye, never see you again. You want to build a list just like you’re talking about in the fitness industry. You don’t want them to come just once. You want them to be completely hooked and come back and see amazing results. And refer others and become your brand ambassadors. People don’t realize it, but daily brand marketing is really nothing more than a form of lead generation.

Killer Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business - The Marketing Strategies Show

Jesse Stoddard: That’s awesome. Hey, who are your marketing mentors?

Stacey Riska: Oh, my. You know, Dan Kennedy definitely comes to mind. I love his no BS style where he just gets in your face and just says, you know, this is the way you need to do it and forget what everybody else is saying. I’ve been in his community for more years than I can remember and he’s always stuck, tried and true to his beliefs. He’s not like this charlatan out there saying, “Oh, I have this program and I have that program, but yet I’ve never done it myself.” You know, everything that he teaches he has done it himself. I really admire that.

I also, I really admire Bill Glazer. I had the opportunity to meet Bill many years ago and I love his sort of outrageous advertising. He did a whole book on this, and I’m sort of a little quirky in my own ways, and I’ve always been known for doing these types of marketing. Like I had done a smoothie in a box. You know, some other things that were a little, no pun intended, outside of the box. And you know, Bill Glazer is all about doing that and he shares how those results helped him grow his clothing store. I’ve had similar results in all of my businesses and that’s what I help my clients do when they come to work with me at the Small Biz Marketing Specialist.

So, those are two people who have been very impactful in building my marketing approaches and how I help my clients.

Jesse Stoddard: Great. Great examples. They are leaders.

Stacey Riska: Yep.

Jesse Stoddard: What is marketing to you? You know, if you had to come up with a working definition and somebody says, “What is marketing?” What would you tell them?

Stacey Riska: To me, marketing is really very simple. It’s delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. I mean, that’s really what it is. It’s nothing more that that. Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

And you know, I’ve worked with so many small business owners and I see the different approaches that they take to it. There’s the guy delivering what I call “hope marketing”. You can just sort of see him doing the hope dance. He has his fingers crossed and he’s like bowing. “I hope my marketing works. I hope my marketing works.” Right? And we all know it doesn’t work.

So, then that small business owner moves to what I call “spaghetti marketing”. They’re just taking spaghetti and throwing it at the wall ’cause maybe this will work and maybe that will work. “Today I’m gonna try social media. Oh, that didn’t work. Tomorrow I’m gonna try email. Nope. That didn’t work. Today I’m gonna try content marketing.” Just throwing spaghetti at the wall, and nothing’s sticking.

So, then that small business owner moves into what I call “ant marketing” and this is like the worst of the worst. Ant marketing, you know if you’ve ever seen ants, they all just follow each other in a line, right? But nobody knows where they’re really going. This is the same with small business owners. Like Suzi’s hair salon will see that the guy down the street sent out a postcard. So, Suzi’s gonna do that also, right? But has no idea if it’ll work or not. It’s sort of just copying what everybody else is doing, but yet none of it is working. So, don’t follow the ants.

Then what ends up happening is they end up where I call “helpless marketing”, because they’ve tried everything and nothing is working. So, they feel that they’re helpless. So, you know, I think then what happens is marketing is viewed as this negative kind of thing, right? Where it’s like, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to do it. I don’t have the time to do it. So, I’m not gonna do anything.” Unfortunately then small business owners get into what I call “complacency mode” and then they wonder why their business is failing.

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

Napoleon Hill 

So, what I do is I talk about this in my upcoming book: “Small Business Marketing Made EZ” where I lay out what I call the action system where each of those letters stands for the blueprint of how to get their marketing into action, literally and figuratively, because as we talked about in the beginning, there’s nothing more important to a small business owner’s growth than doing marketing, right? You know. You know from your fitness experience you can’t just build it and come, ’cause that doesn’t work, right?

So, you know to me, marketing is delivering the right message to the right person at the right time and my action system really helps them do that.

Jesse Stoddard: Stacey, you mentioned earlier tips for small businesses to get it all done. Let’s get to that in a second ’cause I think we can talk tactics in a minute. First couple more kind of general philosophical things I wanna ask. So, what do you think is the difference between marketing and sales?

Stacey Riska: Well, we just talked about what marketing is. If you were to ask two different people what’s marketing versus sales, you might get very different answers. To me marketing versus sales, it really comes down to a mindset, you know, because when you do your marketing the right way, then those customers, clients, and patients, they come to you. To me, marketing is what we just talked about: the right message to the right person at the right time. And when you do that, all the people will come to you sort of naturally.

Whereas sales is more of the touch points along the customer journey, so you know, people many times view sales as a monetary transaction, but I view it differently. Sales is more each of the touch points, so somebody, for example, may opt in to get a free report from your website. That to me it’s still a sale. You now have brought somebody into your funnel. You don’t necessarily then want to say, “Will you marry me?” Right? And ask for the million dollar sale. You need to create little “sales” along the customer journey because people will buy when they’re ready, not when you’re ready.

So, to me the difference between marketing and sales is marketing is what you do to bring people into your funnel whereas sales is the touch points along the customer journey that whether monetary or not ultimately will lead to a monetary transaction.

Jesse Stoddard: That’s a good answer. I like it.

Stacey Riska: Oh, okay. Good.

Jesse Stoddard: Yeah. Hey –

Stacey Riska: I passed the test.

Jesse Stoddard: Yes you did. All right. Hey, are you finding that your clients and the businesses that you’re talking to, prospective clients, are you finding that they have marketing plans at all?

Stacey Riska: No. I’m not and it’s very sad. So, actually, it’s one of the most popular lead generations on my website is to get a free marketing plan. It seems like people know they need a marketing plan, but when it comes down to getting it done, they’ll sit at a blank computer screen, like, what is a marketing plan? What am I supposed to put in it? And they get so bogged down in all of the details, but as the title of my book says, “Small Business Marketing Made Easy”, marketing doesn’t have to be hard. You know? And creating a marketing plan doesn’t have to be hard.

Killer Marketing Strategies For Your Small Business - The Marketing Strategies Show

You just have to start with something. And a marketing plan can be focusing on just one key area of your business, you know? It may be just lead generation or finding like who your perfect customer is. Because here’s what small business owners do. I’ll ask them, you know, “Oh, who do you serve? Who’s a good customer for you?” And they’ll be so broad. “I serve everybody within a five-mile radius of my store.” “I serve anybody who golfs.” “I serve stay-at-home moms.” So, you know, which in general sounds like a good audience, but you can’t effectively serve all of those people.

So, the first thing I do when I help small business owners do their marketing plan is get in touch with your “who”. Who do you serve? And you need to get really specific. In my coffee and smoothie business, a good target market for us for the catering is Human Resource Managers. But again, that’s just so broad, right? I can’t serve all Human Resource Managers, so I am very specific. I know that my “who” her name is Carol. She is a Human Resource Manager at a company that has 50 or more employees who care about recruiting, retaining, and motivating their staff and is charged with putting on different types of staff appreciation events. It’s not her main job or main job function to put on these types of events. So, she struggles with you know, what to do and how to do it and she doesn’t have the time. So, she’s looking for something fun and different. Well, here is my coffee and smoothie business.

By me getting really clear on who I’m serving, I’m able to develop messaging and I know the media ’cause I know where those HR managers hang out and it’s like I’m having a one on one conversations. And that’s what marketing’s all about and that’s where you start. Getting really specific on your “who”, because if you know who you’re talking to, what their pains are, what they’re looking for, you can be the go-to solution.

And marketing is really nothing more than having that one on one conversation with them.

Jesse Stoddard: Okay, so you may have already answered this in several different responses to my questions, so let’s maybe summarize it again for people. So, in brief, what does it take to create a great marketing strategy or maybe the ultimate marketing plan. Like if you just had to summarize that for somebody, what does it take to make that happen?

Stacey Riska: I always say the KISS formula is best, right? Keep it Simple, Sam. Right? So, again, if you feel like you’re staring at the computer screen because you’re working on your marketing plan and you don’t know where to start or what to do and you get so bogged down in the tactics, where you want to start is defining your “who”. Who do you serve? Because when you get really clear on that and you know what their pain points are, then you can position how you can best serve them.

Then it’s just a matter of defining what you’re gonna say to them, which is your message. And the media, where can you reach them? Those are the three key pieces to any marketing plan. Market your who. Message what you’re gonna say. And media. Where do those people hang out, so where are you gonna deliver the message? That’s the three components of a marketing plan, right? It’s so simple.

Jesse Stoddard: I love it. Hey, you mentioned maybe having some more tips for small businesses to get it done, and I really want to hear more about that, because a lot of what we focus on as marketers is helping them with these strategies and teaching and concepts and it’s all great, but then I always run into somebody who’s like, “Well, that’s wonderful, but how am I gonna get all this stuff done?” Do you have tips for that?

Stacey Riska: Yeah, they should call me.

Jesse Stoddard: Great. Awesome. That’s a good tip.

Stacey Riska: That’s certainly what we do, but for the small business owner who wants to do marketing on their own that’s why I’ve laid out the ACTION system. It’s a very simple formula that you follow where A stands for attention, which we just talked about. Defining your who, how do you get the attention of that group that you can best serve.

And C stands for connection, because now that you’ve got their attention, like we talked about. You’re not gonna say, “Hey, will you marry me?” We need to have little steps along the way. What you’re really trying to do is build that no like trust factor, because people may not be ready to open up their wallet to you on the first date. So, C you wanna build those connections.

The T in the action system stands for transaction. So many small business owners think that this means money, right? I made a sale, whoo hoo! But T is nothing more than the beginning of the relationship, and each of those mini sales along the way, each of those is a transaction, wherever that customer is along their journey.

And I stands for invest, because when you invest in your marketing, it means that you’re making smart decisions based on metrics. So, remember how we talked about the spaghetti marketing, just throwing stuff at the wall? This is how you prevent that. When you invest in your marketing, you’re using metrics to make decisions so you know what’s working an what’s not and you know the ROI.

Once you have those pieces in place, you move onto O which stands for ongoing, because marketing is not a one and done, you know? Marketing is doing something every single day. Small business owners can do this. It doesn’t mean … I think what happens is they get so overwhelmed. They feel like they have to do everything in one hour, and it’s just not realistic that that can be done. But you can take little, small steps every single day that compound over time and they will make big results in your business. So, make marketing an ongoing part of your culture.

And finally, N in the ACTION system stands for nurture, because if you’ve done everything right up until that point, you have built that no like trust factor. People are in your community that you want to nurture those relationships so that they come back again with open wallets. They leave rave reviews. They refer others. And they ultimately become your brand ambassadors.

So, that’s what the ACTION system is really all about. Moving from attention, connection, transaction, invest, ongoing, and nurture.

Jesse Stoddard: I think it makes an overwhelming topic a lot easier to digest. So, that’s fantastic. Yeah, that’s great. I love it. And the word action is a good word.

Stacey Riska: Literally and figuratively. Right.

Jesse Stoddard: Hey, maybe just a couple specific examples. Maybe clients or your own, but what are your best or maybe your favorite examples of great marketing strategies that you’ve used for yourself or your clients?

Stacey Riska: Well, let me share one of those quote-unquote out-of-the-box ones, which is my smoothie in a box package. So, it’s a direct mail piece that I call “lumpy mail”. You’re probably familiar with it, but the audience may not be. And so “lumpy mail” means something that has like some um, it’s lumpy literally, it stands out in your mailbox. So, you think when you go to your mailbox, most people have sort of A, B, C pile, and I wanna make sure my mail’s getting in the A pile. That’s what people are gonna open up immediately. That’s what my smoothie in a box is.

So, on the outside of the package, I have stickers all about Hawaii. So, it’s sort of like a little gift package that’s being sent. It sort of appears it’s coming from Hawaii. And when the person opens it up, there’s this gift wrap in there and right on the top, I have a personalized airline ticket. It literally looks like they’re going to Hawaii. It has their name on it and their seat number and everything.

Jesse Stoddard: Cool.

Stacey Riska: And then they’re all excited and then they delve deeper into the package and in there is literally a smoothie. Well, it’s not literally a smoothie, because you can’t send that through the mail, right? But it’s a cup with a lei in it. And when they open up this package, there’s a cover letter that says, sorry we couldn’t send a real smoothie, but we can bring the smoothie to you with our smoothie catering package.

So, take the lei out of the cup, put it over your neck, do the hula around the desk, don’t worry if everybody’s laughing at you, they’ll be smiling from ear to ear when you have us come in and do a smoothie bar. And this package, it’s like printing money. I can almost say that because it costs about five dollars to send out, but my average catering job is about eight hundred dollars.

Now, for every two out of three packages that I send out, I get an immediate job from it. And ultimately, usually, within three to six months I’m getting three out of three. It’s almost … it’s just like printing money … like almost every one of these smoothie in-a-box packages that I send out I get an average eight hundred dollar catering job.

So, do I want to wash, lather, rinse, and repeat? Heck yeah. So, that’s one of my examples of something that’s worked really well.

Jesse Stoddard: Great example too. We have a lot of people that talk about digital marketing all the time, so I love hearing about print media. It’s not going away any time soon. In fact, the response rate is a lot better and that’s what you’re giving as an example of creativity and analytics, you know? Like it’s creative and it gets a great ROI and I love those examples. Thank you for sharing that one.

Stacey Riska: Absolutely.

Jesse Stoddard: Hey, speaking of technology, what tools would you recommend? Or things that you use, maybe it’s software, maybe it’s an app on your phone, maybe it’s a gadget. Is there anything that you use in your daily business or maybe recommend for clients?

Stacey Riska: Well, I’m gonna give you two answers, okay? One is obviously everybody wants to go online, and well, here’s the challenge. Small business owners are strapped for time. And we’ve talked a lot about marketing and what they can do to get it into action, but if they wanna have a business where they’re not strapped to the chair, you know, so many small business owners can’t even get away for vacation, because they’re just, they’re strapped to their business. And they have, I call them systems, but they’re not really systems, it’s just like a human USB cord, because they have a calendar program over here and an Excel spreadsheet over there and an email program over here and all these ten different systems that don’t talk to each other. So, for small business owners that want freedom so they’re not locked to their job and control to know that their marketing is getting done, we’re actually an Infusionsoft certified partner.

So, I highly recommend that small business owners really look at getting some kind of marketing automation tool in place, because then your marketing really becomes turnkey. I would bet that if you were to look at a lead that comes in who perhaps for some reason doesn’t do business with you right away, you may have a one, two, maybe even three-step process to follow up, but then you forget about them. Six months, eight months, 12 months down the road, they’ve never heard from you again. But again, people don’t buy from you when you’re ready, they buy from you when they’re ready. So, marketing automation allows you to stay in contact with them and communicate with them and move them further down the customer journey.

So, my one answer is to make sure that you have some kind of marketing automation in place. It really changes your business. My other answer is actually on the other spectrum, because to me the most important tool that any small business owner can use is actually not technology related, it’s the friggin’ phone. Pick up the telephone and talk to people. You know, it’s like I don’t know what it is, but people just wanna live in a world where they don’t have to literally talk to somebody. They wanna text. They wanna email. They want everything online. Nothing offline. Well, the reality is people do business with people and having like a real conversation with somebody on your phone is what will make that happen and come to fruition. So, if I had to get rid of everything in my business and I could only keep one thing, it would be the phone.

Jesse Stoddard: I love it. Hey, what marketing books do you recommend? I know you have yours and I’m sure that you’ve stood on the shoulders of giants like myself and read a lot and maybe business books or sales books.

What are your favorites?

Stacey Riska: Wow, you know, as I mentioned before, Dan Kennedy is definitely one of my marketing mentors and all of his No BS books are sitting right in front of me on my bookshelf. You know, “Wealth Attraction”, “The No BS Time Management”, just his style of writing I really enjoy. Some other books that I love the slight edge, which you know, again, we’re talking about getting into action, get your marketing into action. It’s those little steps, the slight edge as he refers to that will get you there. And another book I really enjoyed is “Ask” by Ryan Levesque. I don’t know if you read that one or not, but the whole point is if you ask your customers, clients, and patients what they want, they’ll tell you, and then you can build out the marketing systems to bring them in. All these things are really so simple, right? But yet it seems as small business owners we want to complicate it and make it harder than it is.

Jesse Stoddard: Who’s a good referral for you, Stacey?

Stacey Riska: Who’s a good referral for me? You know, we help small business owners on Main Street and beyond, so you know a good client for us is somebody that gets that they need to do marketing, but realizes that my mantra, which is “do what you do best, and outsource the rest” is what’s gonna help their business grow. Usually, there are between five and 50 employees and they may not necessarily have a dedicated marketing person in-house, but they know that they need marketing to grow their business. And that’s what I’m really passionate … those types of businesses I love to be an extension of their staff, help them to do what they do best and we get the outsourcing piece done.

Jesse Stoddard: Awesome. So, how can people find out more about you and special offers you’ve got going on and your book? How does somebody get a hold of you or find out more about you?

Stacey Riska: Sure, thanks for asking. My home base is and there’s a lot of free information and resources on there, so I encourage people to go there and check it out. If you wanna get a free copy of my book, just go to or you can reach out to me via email. I’m at smallbizstacey, that’s small B-I-Z-S-T-A-C-E-Y (

Jesse Stoddard: Awesome and can you think of anybody else that I should interview for the marketing strategy show?

Stacey Riska: I have a lot of clients who have had some really great success with marketing. You know I bet that whether it’s the realtor who became number one in her area, or I have a technology firm who has great information that I think all small business owners need to know about when it comes to … they deal with cybersecurity and that is such a big issue today with privacy and everything. So, yeah depending on you know, what type of small business you’d like to talk to, I can certainly put you in touch with some.

Jesse Stoddard: That’d be great. And by the way, I really loved your article. I think it’s the March issue of No BS Marketing Newsletter. You had an article in there I believe. Is this the last issue?

Stacey Riska: I am a regular contributor every single month, so I’m trying to share some great information of how small business owners on Main Street and beyond can do their marketing.

Jesse Stoddard: Well, I love it ’cause it’s very practical information and I always have a lot of highlights in your article.

Stacey Riska: Well, that’s good. That’s better than throwing darts at it.

Jesse Stoddard: Yeah. Awesome. Hey do you have any last words for us?

Stacey Riska: You know, we talked a lot about marketing and I know for many small business owners it seems completely overwhelming. So, I don’t want you to be in any of those approaches we talked about. I don’t want you to have “hope marketing”, “spaghetti marketing”, “ant marketing”, “helpless marketing”. Those are not gonna help your business grow. What you need to do is get into ACTION and I mean that literally and figuratively. I encourage you to get a free copy of the book so you can learn how to get your marketing into action and just make it a part of your culture that you’re gonna do something every single day to commit to doing marketing and you will see that your business will grow and prosper.

Jesse Stoddard: Stacy, thank you very much for being with me today. This has been great.

Stacey Riska: Great. I really enjoyed being with you as well.

Thanks for joining us for the Marketing Strategy Show with your personal marketing trainer, Jesse Stoddard. He can’t do the push-ups for you, but he can help you stay accountable to your marketing goals. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, rate, and review. And let others know that you loved the show so that they can love it too.

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About the Author smallbizmarketing

Stacey Riska, aka "Small Business Stacey" is a serial entrepreneur who is passionate about saving small - and not so small - businesses one marketing plan at a time. She helps business owners become a #SmallBizMarketingWiz by teaching them marketing strategies that get MORE: MORE leads, MORE customers/clients/patients, MORE sales, and MORE profit. Stacey's in-demand "Small Biz Marketing Success Coaching and Mastermind Program" is transforming the businesses - and lives - of those who want wealth, freedom, and market domination. Her highly acclaimed book "Small Business Marketing Made EZ" lays out the 6-simple-step plan to get your marketing into ACTION - literally and figuratively. Stacey is also the creator of Cups To Gallons, the place where independent coffee, smoothie, juice bar, ice cream, dessert and snack shop owners go to learn how get into lucrative catering so they stop selling by the cup and start selling by the gallon. In this program she teaches from experience, as it was the key strategy that transformed her coffee and smoothie business from being $500K in debt to a 7-figure profitable business. When not saving the small business world, she enjoys sipping red wine, eating chocolate (who doesn't!) and spending time with her amazing husband.

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