To scale a business as opposed to growing a business are two entirely different concepts, yet they are often confused in the world of business and marketing. However understanding the difference is key to achieving overall success in a business, and mitigating risk. 

In my almost 10 years of working in marketing at a strategic level, I have experience scaling businesses organically through digital marketing techniques. I will discuss how to scale a business in this blog, providing real-life examples over the course of my marketing career to illustrate how you can also successfully scale your business. 

Is It Possible To Scale A Business Through Digital Marketing? 

What exactly does it mean to scale a business? And is this possible through digital marketing? You’ll be pleased to know, it is entirely possible to scale a business, and I will explain how in 10 easy steps. First, let’s explore this concept a little more. 

To scale a business means adding revenue faster than adding costs to a business. Most small businesses, especially new businesses in a market do not have the ability to add costs instantly, as it can pose a risk. Growing a business on the other hand refers to businesses that add revenue at a similar rate as costs.  

For example, imagine a small business is targeting organic leads through its website over the period of a year because they have developed an organic SEO strategy. They have little marketing budget that only covers the cost of their talented marketer and some tools.

But that talented marketer is able to qualify leads through powerful SEO tactics and generates £250,000 over the year because the content has targeted high-intent prospects. This is just one example of the successful scaling of a business.  

However, scaling a business requires knowledge and experience at a strategic level for successful planning and execution across the correct channels and digital assets. The good news is, it is entirely possible and can produce all sorts of exciting opportunities. 

10 Steps To Successfully Scale A Business Through Digital Marketing 

It always helps to start with a plan. Creating simple but effective steps will help identify what resources and capabilities are required to scale a business over a period of time. 

1. Establish Branding Elements

Before you begin thinking about marketing strategy, it’s important to ensure all branding elements are established and in place ready to go. The following points will help you define your branding and prepare you for developing your marketing strategy. 

  • What is your mission? What is it your business is focusing on today, and what are its objectives? Your mission statement focuses on the present. 
  • What is your vision statement? This defines where you see your business in the future. Where would you like it to go? 
  • What are your values? What are your most inner beliefs, that transpire to your business? It might be sustainability, honesty, integrity etc. 
  • What’s your brand’s tone of voice? It often helps to think in adjectives. Maybe it’s conversational, caring, or authoritative and conservative. This will be present in your messaging.
  • What about imagery, logos, fonts, and colours? Ensure these are all in place as they represent your brand guidelines, will help maintain consistency and enable prospects to identify your brand over others. 

2. Create A Basic Marketing Strategy And Plan

This doesn’t have to be in-depth, after all most small businesses do not have the marketing team to execute this. However, creating a basic roadmap will help you identify your direction, capabilities, marketing channels, tactics, messaging, resources and more. Having a clearly defined plan is the first step to successfully scaling a business through digital marketing. 

The table below outlines a basic framework for creating a marketing strategy, so anyone can do this, from business owners to marketing personnel.  

Marketing Strategy StagesExplanation
ResearchCarrying our research as a first step allows you to assess your target market, competition, social media platforms, messaging and more. Consider marketing frameworks to help during this process such as SWOT analysis, Value Proposition Modelling, and PESTLE. 
SMART ObjectivesWhat are your objectives? Not necessarily monetary focused, but what are looking to achieve through marketing? What tactics are required in order to achieve your goals? Ensure objectives are specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and timely. 
AudienceWho are you targeting? It helps to delve into customer persona exercises to fully understand your audience so you can talk to them directly through your marketing. 
ReachHow are you going to reach your audience? What platforms do they engage on? What do they search for on Google? 
EngageWhat marketing activities are required to engage with your audience? Bare in mind if you are looking to scale, you are most likely thinking about organic marketing activities. 
ConvertThis is the ultimate goal and having your strategy defined gives you a better chance. How will measure success? And how will your measurement redefine your objectives and marketing? 
Marketing Strategy Stages

3. Assess Your Product/Service Through The Marketing Mix

Do you understand your product and service inside out? Do your customers and prospects understand it? Can you define your Unique Selling Point (USP) in a sentence? To successfully scale a business, it’s important to revisit these questions. 

It’s surprising the number of businesses that struggle to define their USP. But how can you expect your prospects to understand it if you don’t? 

Revisiting your product and services through the marketing mix, and asking yourself some key questions in relation to the product, price, place and promotion can really help you identify its strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to ensure that all elements of your marketing strategy are in place for successful execution. It can also be helpful to talk with your existing customers. They are often the most obvious, but most forgotten when it comes to gaining constructive feedback on your product/service. 

4. Define Your Marketing Budget

As much as it would be nice, it’s not possible to scale through marketing for free. However, it can be done with minimal if planned properly. 

It’s important to figure out what resources are required in order to execute a marketing strategy. Are you a business owner, and plan on doing it yourself, or do you require the help of a marketing executive? Do you need to set a budget aside to account for third-party freelancers like PR professionals or web developers? What tools do you require in order to fulfil your marketing requirements? 

This is why I have set strategy and planning as step 2, as it will provide you with a clear view of your requirements, and so you can allocate costs to the relevant marketing resources. 

5. Leverage The Right Talent

After defining branding, marketing strategy, plan and budgets, it’s necessary to decide what talent is required in order to execute all these important marketing elements to scale a business. 

Will you hire a marketing professional or team? Is it easier to outsource to a marketing consultant or fractional marketing director? Or will you do it yourself? Assessing knowledge and experience against your business’ marketing needs will make this decision-making process easier. It’s important to bare in mind that executing a marketing strategy is not easy, especially without someone who has the experience, education and skills to do so, and so much care should go into this stage when deciding where to allocate the budget. 

6. Create A Search Engine Optimsation (SEO) Strategy

This is an element of marketing I cannot emphasise enough. Search Engine Optimisation is incredibly powerful when it comes to attracting high-intent prospects to a business. With the right guidance, creating an SEO strategy that reflects all elements of a marketing strategy will assist in scaling a business quicker, and often not much investment has to go into this if executed correctly. 

For example, a website is perhaps the most important digital asset to a business, with it being the central hub the majority of customers and prospects visit. With the right SEO processes in place, a website has the ability to attract a generous amount of visitors when ranked well on Google’s search engine. 

I’ve helped tech businesses attract high-intent leads worth over £100,000 by developing healthy organic SEO strategies, with minimal investment.

Thinking of SEO in 4 pillars is helpful. 

Technical SEOPage speed, user experience (UX), page experience, mobile-friendliness, crawlability, indexability. 
On-page SEOURL slugs, page titles, meta descriptions, image alt text, internal/external links, keyword optimised, href tags, structured data. 
Website ContentContent creation, and copywriting with optimised keywords based on the marketing strategy will help rank a website. Blogging is the most effective way to rank a website high on Google, by targeting long-tailed keywords, and high-intent customers. 
Off-Page SEOOff-page SEO is focused on building website authority which in turn helps attract more relevant visitors. This includes backlink building, local SEO tactics such as Google Business Profiles, and social media presence. 
Forms of SEO

7. Utilise The Correct Social Media Channels 

To complement marketing efforts, social media platforms are often used to build brand awareness and drive referral traffic to websites. Social media accounts are free to set-up up and provide helpful tips on how to optmise profiles effectively. 

You don’t need to go onto every single social media platform out there, rather identify the best platform based on your marketing strategy. For many B2B businesses, LinkedIn is the best platform, with over 875 million users as of this year. 

Consistent, clear messaging that showcases value is a sure way to grow connections, and help scale a business. 

8. Promote Your Personal Brand 

Behind every business, are knowledgable, experienced individuals with stories to tell. In 2023, personal branding is going to be more powerful than ever before. But why is this? 

Essentially, customers are increasingly wanting to see the humans behind a brand. It helps establish a connection and trust, which in turn makes is easier to develop a successful business relationship. 

Many industry-leading experts are promoting their personal brands on social media platforms, and this is especially powerful when it comes to scaling a business. Your personal brand represents your emotional, intellectual and visual values. It’s not used to talk about business as per se, but your experiences, and emotion. Personal branding should showcase consistency and authenticity and focusing on the three elements helps convey messages that build trust and convert prospects. 

9. Invest In A Public Relations Strategy 

Another method of building brand awareness and trust is through public relations. Whenever you have something to shout about, whether that be growth, a partnership, a new customer, or a new start at your business, share that story through a press release. 

There are many editors out there that would jump at the chance to share your story, and this can be conveyed through a professional PR executive. On the other hand, if you are watching your budget, writing your own press release, and researching a handful of editors at the relevant publications to share it with can work.

It’s always helpful to include a backlink to your website, as this will help build your website’s authority, and attract more visitors.  

10. Network

Lastly, networking is very powerful for building relationships and generating new business, all of which help scale a business. No matter where you live, there are normally many networking events held on a weekly basis, some in person, and some online. 

It’s also helpful to check in with your local Chamber of Commerce, as they tend to put on networking events. This is also a great way to establish relationships within your community. 

By putting some time aside for networking, you will quickly be amazed at how easy it can be to attract new business. 

Are you looking to scale your business? Sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to the marketing side of things. I provide marketing consultancy and fractional marketing services, so you don’t have to worry about a thing. If you would like a free 30-minute consultation to discuss my service, please get in touch today.