Marketing in 2021 – What Should You Be Doing? | Podcast Ep 01

Episode 1

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What should you be doing in your marketing in 2021, so that you can make this year your biggest year ever with more clients and customers, more sales and bigger impact? 

The first thing most small business owners ask me is should I be concentrating on growing my Facebook page or starting a YouTube channel? Should I redo my website or send out a media release? The problem with this is that they’re looking at it totally the wrong way around.

Listen in to discover what is going to help you achieve the biggest impact in the shortest amount of time with marketing made simple because at the end of the day, you don’t need to burnout to grow.  


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Brene Brown’s “The Call to Courage

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“Nicci knows her stuff and is really easy to listen to. Super helpful. I’ve already started implementing some ideas into my business.”


Welcome to the first episode of the Simply Standout Marketing podcast. Today, we’re going to be talking about what you should be doing in your marketing in 2021 so that you can make this year your biggest year ever with more clients, more sales and bigger impact. So stay tuned!

The Simply Standout Marketing podcast is for you, the small business owner wanting to supercharge your marketing with simple, actionable strategies and inspiration so you can smash your goals and grow your business. Now it’s your turn to discover what actions to take to make your business truly stand out and succeed. Let’s get started.

And welcome. It’s great to have you here. My name’s Nicci O’Mara. I’m your host and the founder of Simply Standout Marketing. Now, the first question you’re probably asking yourself is, why should I listen to what you have to say? Well, I’ve spent the past 25 years as a marketing communications strategist helping to grow hundreds of businesses, both big and small, by cutting through the fluff and the hype and providing real and sustainable marketing solutions to people. Now, I’m also a Certified Practising Marketer and have gained some amazing insight and experience working with businesses in so many different industries tourism, finance, health, retail, education, agriculture and not for profit.

Look, I’ve experienced the huge changes to marketing over the years. And the biggest problems I’ve seen businesses stumble on time and time again is that they skip the fundamentals, the things that will attract more customers, generate more sales, more consistently, and provide you with a business that you love.

Now, this is apparent even more so now, because marketing is this huge, enormous beast. And also we’ve gone through so many big changes in the last 12 months.

Over the years, I’ve worked out why you haven’t attracted those dream number of new potential customers, even when you followed the exact steps that the big social media influencer taught you or that you’ve read a book. And more importantly, I know how to fix it. I get why you’re having trouble standing out from your competition and why you feel overwhelmed and discouraged.

And it’s all from experience. Now, the great thing is that you get to listen to whomever you choose because there’s no one person or one business that is a perfect fit for everyone. And that goes for me to.

My mission now is to make marketing simpler for small businesses so that they can reach their potential, grow to be hugely successful and give them the life that they’ve always dreamed of. Because, I mean, that’s why we all go into small business in the first place.

Now, I believe that incredibly successful marketing is actually really and truly within reach of the vast majority of small businesses, but that currently it’s seen as being too expensive, too overwhelming and too time consuming. So it’s all too often relegated to the too hard basket.

Now, I also believe that we can reduce the high rate of businesses, and this is my mission to do that, that go under or never reach their potential by showing, I want to show those business owners who are willing to listen and to learn that they can reap the rewards from marketing done well.

So let’s get started on what you should be concentrating on this year in your marketing if you want to have the best year ever and be able to withstand any crap that 2021 throws at you.

The first thing most small business owners ask me is should I be concentrating on growing my Facebook page or starting a YouTube channel? Should I redo my website or send out a media release? The problem with this is that they’re looking at it totally the wrong way around. These questions are the ones that see businesses focusing on the wrong things first, which leads to wasting money and time on their marketing, and it never gets them the success that they know they’re capable of.

So the answer lies in turning your marketing totally upside down and taking action. It’s all about starting at the finish line.

So what do I mean by that? You need to decide exactly what you want to achieve so that everything you do, every strategy, tactic, behaviour is targeted at reaching those goals. Now, before you say to me, oh I don’t do goals because they don’t work, I’m going to call you out on it and say that’s B.S. because the biggest reason people say they don’t create goals is FEAR.

They’re scared of failing, of not reaching their goals, of who they need to be to reach those goals, of having to take action outside of their comfort zone. Believe me, I’ve been there. Running a small business is tough, and to do it successfully will take you so far out of your comfort zone. But the consequences, as we all know, are high. Something like 60 per cent of all businesses fail in the first three years, and it’s even more when you get to 10 years.

The beautiful thing is you’re not alone in your quest for a bigger, better business. And if you look in the right places, you’ll find a whole bunch of people, including me, who’ll help you learn and improve in all the areas where you’re not a rock star. Because you’re no doubt fantastic at your job, but when you take the leap into running your own business, there are a whole lot of skills that each of us don’t have that you need to learn in order to successfully run a business.

So I want you to think, how often have you found yourself spending hours working on some great new thing that promises to get you more followers or make your website look prettier, only to realise that it wasn’t the best use of your time or your money.

Over the years, I’ve found that if I’m not clear on what I’m trying to achieve, the goals that I want to get to, and know exactly how I’m going to get there, I find it seriously easy to get distracted working on something in the “good to do pile” because I didn’t really want to do what’s in the “essential for growth but so far out of my comfort zone pile”, or something popped up in my Facebook feed that looks like a great idea and takes me down a rabbit hole.

Look, at the end of the day, there’s no point in, for example, concentrating on growing your Instagram following if what you really need to do is to improve client retention rates. And what’s the point in spending a day developing a new campaign or offer when it’s not something that your audience wants? Think about it this way. Without goals, it’s like getting in a car without a destination in mind. How will you know which direction you should be heading, how much fuel you need and when you’ve arrived?

So the first step in how I do goal setting is to work out exactly what you want to achieve in the next 12 months and by what date. Yes, I know there’s nothing revolutionary there, but just stay with me.

Do you want to increase your revenue by 50 percent or double your website traffic or grow your email list by 5000 or 500? Maybe you’re aiming to hire a new staff member. You could be wanting to take a two week trip somewhere with a family, which is something I’d love to do right about now. Or you want to automate more so you can reduce your hours.

Now, once you’ve worked out your big hairy goals and made sure that they’re in alignment with your vision and your business goals, it’s really good to then split them into 90 day goals.

What are you going to achieve in the next 90 days and the 90 days after that?

You might ask why and because, well, having a really big goal to aim for is fantastic and you do need it. 12 months is one hell of a long way away. And setting goals is all about taking action. Trying to wrap your head around what actions you need to take over a 12 month period is too big and is why so many people fail at reaching their goals with their personal goals or business goals.

Also, it’s much simpler to to reassess your progress and you goals 90 day cycles, especially now when so much is changing in the world. So break it down. Make sure you include a revenue figure. How much money do you want to make every 90 days, and by the end of the year? Try and break it down to something along the lines of this.

By the first of June, twenty twenty one, we will grow our website users by ten percent, increase our email list by one thousand, which is a twenty percent increase, and gain twenty new customers in order to achieve our revenue goal of fifty thousand dollars per month.

Now those figures are totally made up, but what I’m trying to demonstrate is that it’s not the size of your list or the number of users on your website that matters. But the continual month-on-month growth there’s no point in trying to compete with one of the biggest competitors or something like that because you’ve got to run your own race.

Most small businesses don’t need big numbers anyway, to be successful. They need growth in numbers from the right kind of people.

Now that you know what you want to achieve, if you truly want to succeed, you’re going to have to ask yourself a few hard questions.

Who do you need to be in order to make your goals happen?

Now, that was probably one of the hardest questions I’ve had to ask myself in the last 12 months. Who did I have to be? Will the person you are now achieve the success you desire and the life that you dream of? Or do you need to leap from your comfort zone and choose courage over comfort.

Before you start working out what marketing activities you’re going to undertake, think about the person you need to be that will show up consistently every week on the same day on a Facebook live to provide value and connect with your people. Or, who is the person you need to be that will commit to walking into that networking event when all you want to do is to be at home in your pjs with a glass of wine. Who’s the person who’s going to show up every day and do what needs to be done to make things happen?

Are you putting yourself out there as a leader that stands for something and gives people something worth following? Or are you trying so hard to fit in that you don’t stand out and you get lost in the crowd?

So many people and brands spend their time copying others who are more successful than them, not realising that it actually has the opposite effect. But this takes a long time to work out.

Another thing to consider, are you trying to play small so you don’t get hurt? Not reaching your goals and or having to close your business is likely to hurt far more than dealing with a bunch of idiots on a keyboard who thought it important to comment on your appearance or the colour of your logo, or what they think about your service. For most of us, our business is our baby, but we need to stop with that. Believe me, I’ve played small for a long, long time and it’s just not worth it.

One show that I’d highly, highly recommend watching for everyone who’s been playing small or who just needs a little more courage in their life. Is Brene Brown’s “The Call to Courage” on Netflix? It’s amazing. I think I need to watch it again soon.

Have you ever thought about the people and small brands that you admire most and what it is about them that makes you look up to them? Do you follow them purely because they have a great Instagram feed? They send out really cool, fun emails or they appear to be successful? Or is it just because they stand for what they believe? They stand up and say what they really actually think. And it’s different to what others are saying. They have similar values to you and they show empathy and courage, could be confidence. And often serving their customers is their number one priority. And that’s another reason why a lot of people follow others.

Now, this is the world of small business. So sadly for all of us, we don’t get to hide in the boardroom, even if you are the CEO or the owner.

The great thing is you are in a unique position of being able to bring human connection to your customers so use it. Big businesses pay millions of dollars each year to try, probably billions actually, to try and create this type of connection.

OK, let’s move on to the last part of your goal setting, now it’s time to lay out the framework for what your marketing activities you need to use to reach your goals, concentrating on the 20 percent of activities that will provide you with 80 percent of the results, because, as you know, you can’t do everything.

Think about what are the sequence of events that need to occur to get you the result that you’re looking for. Now, I’m going to simplify it here, but consider this. If you want to get five new clients fast, what are the most important things you can do that will help you reach that goal? Do you need to create an offer, phone 10 prospective clients, then send them an email, follow up.

If you are trying to build your email list, it could be running a Facebook ad that leads to a downloadable ebook with an opt in page, leading to an email that delivers the e-book and then a follow up series of emails.

And if you want to increase bookings during the quiet period, you could come up with an extra special offer, create a sales page and automation email to your valued customers and encourage them to send on to friends and family. You then send them a second email to those who didn’t book because you would know that through tagging in your email software. And you’d also make sure that they knew that there was a deadline that they had to actually get in and buy before them. There are so many different ways.

There’s no point in growing your email list if you’re not going to consistently email your customers or potential customers with great content. There’s no point in concentrating all your time on SEO if you need to find customers right now. Even though SEO is vital and you have to do it for long term growth, it won’t bring you any new clients straight away. It’s a long term thing. So you’d put it on the list for next month or for the next quarter if you had to.

And there’s no point in having an incredible product or service. If you’re not going to market it properly, don’t hand it off to someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. It is your baby. Think about it, know what you’re doing, learn, we all have to learn, even me. Stick to the activities that will help you reach your goals faster and that will have a much bigger impact. And then you’re going to make progress step by step if you keep taking action.

Because there are plenty of things you can be doing but prioritizing and keeping the finish line in sight are the keys. Look, so much has changed in the way that people and businesses consume and respond to marketing in the last five years, let alone in the last twelve months, which has just been crazy. So much has changed in the way that we actually all do business.

So creating goals and a plan to achieve those goals is all about achieving real growth, both short term and long term, because we’re looking for sustainable growth, ethical and make your business stand out and reach its potential type of growth.

To help you stand out and reach your goals, I’ve developed a six-step workbook for you to download that’s going to help you reach your goals rather than staying on the path that you’re on now.

It guides you to understand your people better stand out from your competition, improve your messaging and set the foundations, get you the fundamentals that you need to help you take your business to the next level. To celebrate the launch of my podcast, you can download it for free for a limited time by visiting

For those of you driving, exercising, cooking, dinner, or with your hands full with, you know, a baby, a glass of wine, whatever it happens to be, you’ll find the link in the show notes.

Thanks so much for joining me on our first ever episode. We’ve got so much good stuff coming up. So remember to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing. I look forward to talking to you again in the next episode.

Thanks for listening to the Simply Standout Marketing podcast. 


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