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Episode 24: 

Small Business Marketing Strategist, Janine Coombes

You can watch the video interview by clicking the arrow in the image below or go to YouTube and watch then subscribe to my YouTube channel!

Show Notes:

About Janine: 

She helps small business get their head around marketing and make marketing work for them. She connects with people, i.e. lives, on LinkedIn


The perception of small businesses is that they need a big budget for marketing. With Janine's  corporate background she knows they don’t need a big budget.  It’s all about processes, knowing your target audience and knowing what your strategy is. That combination allows you to allocate resources wisely.


Janine jumped into communications, started setting up her social media and after awhile she realized she had no sales skills. Learning sales skills creates a journey to see where the line of sales starts and marketing takes off. You can no longer really define it.

Marketing and sales overlap in so many ways that people get confused on what’s marketing and what’s sales.


People are selling all the time.


You’re selling yourself all the time. By being visible you are selling and most people don't even realize it. When you are present, are visible, sales is more warm, less scary and is seen as less confrontational.


If people step back and look at their entire process, they realize sales is happening at any point in the buying journey. There no longer is a delineation between the two - the lines are blurred. 


How Janine helps businesses

Last year, she was focused on campaign marketing and putting together campaign plans. Business leaders are practicing content marketing – they create a blog post and are putting themselves out there. They are still missing the piece of “here’s this specific part that I can help you with”. 


Now her focus is wider. Her focus is on publishing The Content Marketing Myth book (scheduled publish date November 2019) where the discussion goes beyond just content. 

Content creation can be wonderful. But making sure strategies are in place is key. How she helps small businesses now is through marketing mentorship which is more high level than content marketing. For example, in initial conversations the customer may say they have a specific problem. As the relationship and conversations develop over the weeks, the problem turns out to be something with their strategy or they haven’t defined their audience, or the offer they have active isn’t quite right. So she offers something more flexible to meet the needs of small businesses.


Most businesses want to hit the ground running and see results yesterday. They'll say "Show me some leads!" What Janine does is focus on the response to “What is your objective?” The response is always different so Janine keeps them focused on "come back to the objective”


Janine's many years of marketing experience and marketing professional qualifications help small businesses stay focused on the goal.

When you’re in your own business, it’s so much harder to focus, to stay streamlined, to ignore the shiny objects. It can often times take time to get established and focus on what you want to accomplish as a business owner and not get caught up in the shiny objects. 

She recommends using your goals as a yard stick to measure progress. Keep objectives to a minimum, like 1 or 2, especially if you’re on your own. If you’re writing a book, or running a podcast, keep your goals focused and be realistic. Don't take on too much that will distract you from your goals. 


As a small business owner, you need to enjoy the challenges. Prioritize and say 'no' to things. You have to learn to love the journey. It’s not all about the end goal. It’s about flow and energy.


Personal Example:  Book Writing

She joined a MasterMind and it took all the guesswork out of the process. It helps clarify what to focus on:  who the target audience is and making sure she's giving them something they want to read - not just something she wants to write about (big difference!).


Janine's Message to Small Businesses

  1. As a small business owner: A lot (80%) of small business owners are on this journey. It's a right of passage to get sucked into the content, distracted by the shiny objects. Stay focused and find your own path. 

  2. She's not perfect: People who read the book should know she's on the other side of it – she's had the corporate experience, experience working with small businesses, has her professional qualifications...she's done the work and has made mistakes. 

  3. She feels your pain: Experience working with small businesses. Her experience goes beyond the social media tips and tricks type content. What she's doing is on the other end – helping you get your strategy sorted first.


She's objective and her experience in various capacities and roles is what will help businesses with their strategy. 


3 resources that's helped her along the way:

  1. Mindset work – some may not need it, but the majority of small business owners do (impostor syndrome, feeling like a fraud, comparison-itis, what will past coworkers think?). She went through 2 rounds of mindset coaching and highly recommends that for small business owners. 

  2. Doing a skills self analysis and being realistic with what skills you’re lacking – filling your knowledge gaps with someone you trust

  3. John Espirian on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the best online resource for connecting with people, networking, learning. John is her 'go to' person for anything LinkedIn!


One thing people may not know about you

I’m quite open with my life. But it might be fun for people to know:  She's in a choir! She's at the beginning of her singing journey but loves it. If you are watching her stuff, she's not like anyone else. She believes in pushing yourself beyond your boundaries and even at your hobbies. It's a reflection of the boundaries you set or push in your business. 

Connect with Janine online

  1. LinkedIn She loves it there!

  2. Youtube channel - The Secret Marketing Show (which is hilarious and educational!)

  3. See the book cover and sign up to be on her The Content Marketing Myth book waiting list here

  4. Visit Janine's website

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