Do you want fries with that? Or onion rings? Or both? Or a side salad?


There are just too many choices when it comes to marketing a business these days. Online, offline, traditional, digital, there is a never ending stream of efforts a business owner can make to make their business stand out. Marketing that is meaningful can get lost in a sea of choices.


The thing is, all of these choices can get overwhelming- especially for the smaller business. Budgets are tight (or non-existent), staff resources can be limited. Running the business itself can get in the way of marketing the business to success.


Keep it simple and quit the overwhelm roller coaster


Recently, I was struck anew about the importance of making marketing meaningful as a way of standing out. To make marketing meaningful for both the company and the consumer is truly a thing of beauty and, oddly enough, refreshing to the masses who are bombarded with thousands of messages per day.


Maybe it sounds old-fashioned to some, but I think the idea of engaging your target audiences, rather than marketing to them, is the best way to showcase and live your brand.


The best and most effective way for your business to stand out is to create memorable experiences and opportunities to connect.


Engagement creates connection


It’s all about creating opportunities to show your clients your appreciation for their business and/or interest in what you offer.


My favorite ways to do that are:


1.    Write a personal note in a note card and send it to your client BY SNAIL MAIL. Ah, snail mail. A long-loved tradition used in communication. Sending a little note via post makes an impact- especially if the card is eye-catching and even more importantly, the message within is hand-written and sincere.


2.    If your budget allows, take a client for coffee or lunch. Enjoy conversation and nurture the relationship you are building. Share business or personal stories over a cuppa joe. It doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. The effort to get together and spend time is worth it.


3.    If you have a Social Media presence and you can send a shout out to a client who is launching something new, or making strides in their industry- do it! Tag them, hashtag it, and have fun throwing the spotlight on their achievements. Make the post about them, not about you.


One of the key elements to remember in client appreciation is to expect nothing in return. It’s purely about the joy of giving back to your clients in little ways (or bigger ways if you’re able).


This is the core of true client engagement- it’s more meaningful than just “marketing” to them. It’s personal. Your customers will feel connected to you, and because people resonate with people, will be more likely to use your services again or refer you to their network.


Remember: Meaningful engagement is memorable marketing…and can be profitable in the long run.


Learn more about my signature small business marketing program that mentors business owners in creating meaningful (and profitable) marketing moments with their customers.