Following Small Business Trends – Featured Interview with Anita Campbell

Founder and CEO, Anita Campbell Associates Ltd.

Anita Campbell talks to Bill Ringle about the nuggets of advice that small business owners need to succeed in the midst of their busy schedule.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How she made the successful transition from the corporate world to being a successful entrepreneur.
  • What other entrepreneurs want from learning materials and networking.
  • Four trends that are driven by different forces and are shaping what tools and strategies entrepreneurs use to grow.

 

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:38 Campbell’s journey from corporate attorney to business decision-maker and consultant to founder of Small Business Trends.

4:07 [On curating content in the web’s earlier days] – “We would follow our website statistics and see which articles were most popular. We would see which articles were getting linked to by others, just which ones were getting the attention, and from there we were able to do more of the things that were really popular.”

5:08 [On reacting to customer feedback] – “Like any magazine we get communications from readers and we act on that.”

5:47 The different types of content, personalities, and media Campbell hosts on her podcast.

6:37 “We like an eclectic mix of good information whether it’s on technology, or human resources, management, marketing, whatever it is, as long as it’s of interest to small businesses.”

7:08 “People are interested in actionable kinds of advice rather than long essays that may be real thought pieces, I mean there’s a place for those, but we need to have a steady diet of good actionable tips.”

7:52 “A lot of our advice applies whether you are a sole proprietor, or if you have a staff of 5,10, 50 people working in the business. We just react to ‘What do people say is the most important to them?’”

8:22 How tracking private email shares can indicate the success of published content.

9:25 [On SBT’s most popular content] “Our perennial favorites are the startup failure statistics, they get quoted a lot…People are just trying to make sure that they don’t become a statistic.”

10:10 [On SBT’s popular 1 page marketing plan] “People are looking for something that doesn’t overwhelm them, and when you think about your typical small business owner – well think about yourself, I think about myself – I have so many things coming at me in a day’s time I don’t have big blocks of time to sit down and write a lengthy marketing plan.”

11:15 “We want help. We look for aids and assistance. But it’s gotta be stuff that we can deal with quickly, because we don’t have a lot of time.”

12:25 [On the inspiration for Visual Marketing] “We’re very busy, our brains our fried from all of the other things we have to worry about and get done in a day. Even if we have some outside marketing help, we’re rolling up our sleeves and helping our outside marketing agency or consultant. And we have to think up new ideas and that’s very tough.”

12:50 Campbell’s technique for quick idea formulation.

13:20 [What the book is about] “It’s 99 examples that you can use of low-cost creative marketing to pull ideas and hopefully trigger some ideas of something you can apply in your own business.”

13:55 “With the explosion of blogs today, so many small business, and in particular those that sell B2B to other small business, have started their own blogs. And while getting information and advice was useful, one thing that so many of them were looking for is a way to also get visibility for their own blog, for their own thoughts, and to be able to share with the world what they are doing.”

14:24 “One of the very powerful things that we learned was that we could become more popular if we helped our readers become better known.”

15:01 “While we want to give you information and resources as a reader, we know that it’s also key for you as a small business owner – perhaps you’re a consultant, account, or some sort of professional, head of your own marketing agency – you need to establish your own thought leadership, and to be able to get out there and let the world know what you’re doing.”

16:00 The story of BIzSugar.com and what it does for small business owners.

17:57 [On BizSugar’s content] – “We keep the site very focused on small business, we don’t allow anything off topic in there. If you are really into sports or entertainment, there are plenty of sites for that. BizSugar is not one of them. And it’s because we keep it so focused that it’s a useful resource.”

19:35 “We’re open and we relish serving even the smallest of small business, or even if you think your business is a mundane kind of business, there’s probably a place for it to be mentioned in some way. We always look for the unique, what’s special about a business. I think every business has something special – I don’t care how small, where you’re located, there’s something special in your business, and if we can spot that, we love to talk about it.”

20:45 On how Small Business Trends is able to track changes and trends in the market, especially with emerging technology. 

Expert Bio

Anita Campbell is a small business expert who serves as CEO of Anita Campbell Associates Ltd, a woman-owned consulting firm helping companies and organizations reach the small business market. Prior to starting her own businesses in 2001, Anita held a variety of senior executive positions in the corporate world, including Senior Vice President of Bell & Howell Publishing Services, culminating in the role of CEO of an information technology subsidiary of Bell & Howell.

As Publisher of several online media properties and syndicated content, Anita reaches over 1 million small business owners and entrepreneurs annually. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication, and hosts Small Business Trends Radio, where she interviews other small business experts.

Anita is a prolific writer and a regular speaker at small business, marketing and technology events. Her new book, Visual Marketing, was published in September, 2011. In addition to her own publications, her articles and columns have been published at places such as Inc Technology, OPEN Forum, and Success Magazine. Her expertise is often sought by the media, and she is quoted in The New York TimesFortuneUSA Today, and many other outlets.

For more information, visit Anita’s website.

Contact Info for Anita Campbell

Business Phone: 330-242-1893

Web address: AnitaCampbell.com

Web address: SmallBizTrends.com

Travels From: Cleveland, OH

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Books by Anita Campbell