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July 10, 2023

Why Every Small Business Should Use a Flywheel Marketing Strategy

As a small business leader, you’re pulled in multiple directions and are ultimately responsible for everything. Because of this, when things get busy or you have to tend to on-fire issues, marketing quickly gets put on the back burner—or pushed to other team members who may or may not have the right marketing experience.

This leads to not knowing what to do, inconsistent branding, confusing messaging, errors in communication and marketing pieces, and trying one tactic after another without seeing the results you want.

Thankfully, in this four-part series, we’ll explore how you can use the flywheel marketing strategy to bring clarity, structure, and growth to your organization.


Your marketing efforts will be more effective when you use the flywheel marketing strategy.

The flywheel marketing method is a marketing strategy where your website and online marketing efforts are in sync and function as a flywheel to continually produce results.

Setting up flywheel marketing does take some upfront work, but once it’s in place, your marketing will more or less continue to work on its own—requiring only minimal maintenance—which is ideal for busy small businesses or nonprofits.

The flywheel marketing system includes four phases:

  1. Understanding your audience and creating clear messaging
  2. Building a strong foundation with a strategically-built, SEO-optimized website
  3. Creating content and a sales funnel that serve your ideal client well
  4. Promoting your services and content

But, before we get started in outlining each of these areas, let’s discuss three things you’ll need to remember when developing and implementing your marketing systems:

  • Present your organization as a guide and never as the hero of your marketing story.
  • Create messaging that captures your audience’s attention and leads them to do the thing you want them to do.
  • Set metrics that measure both your progress and effectiveness in meeting your mission.



Always create clear messaging before implementing marketing strategy.

You can build a stunning website, post a reel a day, implement sales funnels, and do all of the marketing things you’re “supposed to do.” However, all of these efforts and tactics are a waste of time, money, and resources if your messaging isn’t clear.

Clear messaging—which is communication that your ideal customers and supporters can understand quickly and easily—is the key to successful marketing and communication. It is vital because people don’t always support the “best” organizations, they support the ones they can understand the easiest.

By using a story-based framework to develop clear messaging, your ideal customers will be 22 times more likely to remember your organization. This is because story is the most effective form of communication and marketing.

In doing so, you’ll ensure:

  • Your marketing and communication is audience-focused and
  • Has the power to engage and convert more leads than ever before



Be the guide, not the hero.

It’s important to make your potential customers the hero of your marketing story—and not you or your business.

When it comes to identifying and reaching your ideal customers, it really comes down to telling a great story.  The reason you want to use a story-based framework is because a great story has the power to attract the right people and engage and hold their attention. But—the problem is—most marketers and business leaders don't know how to do it.

If you take a moment and think about the flow of your favorite book or movie, it more than likely followed a specific pattern that kept you engaged and rooting for the hero—and the formula probably went something like this:

The main character or the hero of the story wanted something— like to stop the love of his life from marrying another man, save his daughter from kidnappers, or stop the bad guys from blowing up a major city. However, the hero encountered a major problem along the way and wasn’t sure what to do. He may have even thought he wasn't capable of completing his mission at all.

Then, the hero met someone—a guide—who understood the predicament he was in and the emotional turmoil he was experiencing. The guide then helped the hero overcome these challenges, and because of this, the hero was able to save the day.

If you follow the logic of story—as a small business, you don’t want to be the uncertain hero who needs help. You want to be the guide—the one who helps the hero do the thing he needs to do. Your customer must be the hero in your marketing stories.


man working on a laptop computer to build a flywheel marketing strategy


Identify and set metrics that measure your performance and business mission success.

As a business leader, you understand the significance of measuring your progress and ensuring that every resource you mobilize is utilized effectively. However, there is an essential need to also adopt performance metrics that truly resonate with your mission.

Every organization, no matter what its industry, needs three kinds of performance metrics:

  • Resources
    Measuring the growth or stability of an organization
  • Effectiveness
    Measuring the reach and effectiveness of the staff and/or programs
  • Mission
    Measuring the tasks and programs that impact the future

It is through these metrics that you can demonstrate your impact, continuously improve, and make a profound difference in the lives of those you serve.


Explore the Flywheel Marketing Strategy

As a recap, the flywheel marketing system is a marketing strategy where your website and online marketing efforts are in sync and function as a flywheel to continually produce results.

It includes four phases:

  1. Audience Identification
    If you want to speak to the right people and convert them more effectively, you must identify your ideal customers and clarify your messaging.
  2. Website Design
    Use your new, concise messaging to build a strategic, lead-generating website. This will become the foundation for all of your marketing efforts.
  3. Content & Sales Funnels
    To build trust and generate stronger leads, you need to develop smart content and sales funnels that pique curiosity and provide value to your ideal customers.
  4. Social, Email & Promotion
    To reach your ideal customers, you need to use social media ads, Google ads, and email marketing to lead prospects to your strategically-built website.


Over the next several blogs, we will unpack each section of the flywheel marketing strategy and give you steps to follow. This will help you build marketing systems that bring clarity, structure, and growth to your organization. The next article will review messaging framework—which is the first step of the flywheel marketing strategy.

With this four-step marketing strategy, you'll stop spending time and money on marketing tactics that aren't producing results and finally see the growth you've been working so hard to achieve.


Schedule a discovery call to learn how to clarify, simply, and generate more revenue with a flywheel marketing strategy


See the growth you’ve been working so hard to achieve with our proven, four-step flywheel marketing strategy.

Treefrog Marketing is a marketing agency for small businesses located in Lafayette, Indiana that builds marketing systems that bring clarity, structure, and growth. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, digital marketing, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Leverage Kelly’s marketing experience, insights, and leadership to grow your business.

As the founder and chief marketing strategist at Treefrog Marketing, a co-host of the Priority Pursuit Podcast, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and fractional chief marketing officer, Kelly Rice has spent more than two decades helping small businesses take their companies to the next level by providing trustworthy leadership and building effective marketing strategies and systems.

She has dedicated her career to helping small businesses succeed because she knows, firsthand, how hard they work to make their communities a better place. 

Still, many people undervalue the strength and ingenuity of small businesses, but not Kelly. She believes they deserve to have a marketing partner and strategy that works as hard as they do.

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