The rules are different for small businesses. You brand isn't well known, but you can't afford to build a marketing department. Your choice is often between production and marketing, and production usually wins. How do you get started with a winning inbound marketing strategy?
You may have great products and services, but without an effective brand, who will remember you? How will you get found when people search for providers? Start by asking yourself who you are, what's your message and what makes you different. Here are some great tips to help you develop your brand.
Now that you have a memorable brand, you need to start spreading the word. You need to start making impressions on people, and you do that with interesting, relevant content - blogs, videos, webinars, whitepapers, whatever you can think of. Publish and promote your content on your website, social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn), social bookmarking sites (Digg, Delicious, etc.) and blog directories.
Spend some time in the social networking sites actually talking to people. Ask and answer questions. Start discussions and participate in as many as possible. Be genuine and helpful, not self-promotional or "spammy". The more of this you do the better. It helps to build a loyal following around you. Once you become better known, you can become a leader by starting groups and hosting events.
Remember, you started with an unknown brand. It takes a while, but with a consistent effort in branding, content creation and connecting, your brand reputation will grow and your sales will grow with it.