Small Business owners and marketing professionals seeking expert insights gathered early at the Hilton Garden Inn on March 28, 2023, where they also enjoyed breakfast, networking, and an informative seminar featuring Certified Facebook Lead Trainer and Ads Expert Tristen Sutton.
Registration for the event filled quickly at more than 50 guests, and same-day registrants who were added to a waitlist.
“Fortunately, we were able to accommodate everyone who arrived. We really had a full house,” said Bobbie Jo Young, Director of Membership Development for the Temple Chamber of Commerce.
Small Business Connect was a long-anticipated initiative of the Temple Chamber of Commerce and Temple’s recent relationship with Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, helped catapult the initiative forward by recommending one of its subject matter experts to speak on a topic relevant to business owners who use their platforms.
“This event has been in the making for several years,” said Temple Chamber of Commerce President Rod Henry. “Having the right people, in the right place, at the right time made it all possible.”
‘Determine the Audience You Want to Reach’ is the seminar Sutton led attendees through. The session included steps to identify potential customers and best practices for engaging them in order to make the most of marketing dollars when leveraging tools like Facebook and Instagram Ads to drive leads for business.
Using the example of a high-end landscaping company that also offered gardening products, Sutton walked the crowd through developing an avatar for the fictitious organization. The avatar, more commonly known as a marketing persona, is used as a quick point of reference when developing messages for advertisements or determining the best places to market their products.
“Everyone who can afford your product is not your target audience,” Sutton told attendees, and acknowledged a common response he hears from entrepreneurs and business owners when he asks who they are trying to reach.
Sutton explained the conversion cove, where need and desire meet, is where businesses should focus their marketing efforts. Afterall, he explained, marketing is simply access to attention.
Sutton described how granular social ad platforms can be and allow marketers to decide who sees their ads and when. He also explained that businesses are entirely in control of how much they spend on an ad from as small a budget as $1 a day. However, he advised that social media ads are just one way to access the attention of prospective customers.
Sutton also expressed the value of free avenues such as Facebook groups that allow you to join conversations with people and prospective customers who share an interest in the products and services you offer. He warns against using groups as an opportunity to sell.
Instead, he advocates for business owners to be trusted advisors who add value to the conversations by answering questions they are knowledgeable about and offering recommendations when the situation calls for it. Not only does it help establish like and trust (the key elements in making sales), Sutton emphasized, but it establishes business owners as subject matter experts, which further builds credibility with target audiences.
Small Business Connect is designed to accommodate small business owners who often fill multiple roles and carefully balance their time. So, although the seminar topics are specific, the seminar content is a high-level overview with key takeaways that can be quickly implemented.
Attendees of the Meta seminar left with a template to help identify the target audiences who are most likely to purchase the products and services they offer, including the specific product or service they would be most affordable to those audiences based on demographic information collected while developing the avatar. Additionally, attendees learned they can access on-demand content and training developed by Meta via facebook.com/blueprint.
This month’s Small Business Connect was the first of a quarterly seminar series. Small Business Connect is a signature initiative of the Temple Chamber to champion resources and opportunities to enhance local small businesses, providing training from a subject matter expert.
Chamber Board Member and President of Perry Office Plus H.B. Macey serves as Chair of the initiative, which is made possible with the support and engagement of Meta, Extraco Banks, Ludwick Montgomery & Stapp, McLane Intelligent Solutions, and the Hilton Garden Inn.