First things first though - develop a marketing strategy for your business or all your efforts will be wasted!
Before spending a penny on marketing your business, you need to be clear about your business goals and ensure your marketing strategy supports those goals.
Ask yourself what is the main objective that you are aiming to achieve with your marketing strategy. Once you have defined your goals for your business you can create a marketing plan which supports these goals.
Next step is to be clear on who is your competition and make sure you do some basic research on these businesses. This will help you define your own business strengths and weaknesses, spot any gaps you might want to fill and help identify your ideal customers.
From this you will be able to develop your unique selling propositions, or USPs and develop clear messages for potential customers to help show them why they will benefit from using your business.
Next steps are to look at some marketing activities ideas to help you achieve these goals. There is masses you can do yourself to help promote your business and here are just three ideas:
1 Don’t forget we all buy goods and services after reading good reviews or referrals.
Ask your current customers and business associates to help you tell your business story to potential customers.
Ask them to add a referral to your social media pages, to your website, to any directories you are listed on, to your Google My Business feed, your LinkedIn profile or for your marketing materials.
It’s OK to offer an incentive when asking! This could anything from a discount on your services or product discount or a gift card to use at another local business.
2 Seek out some speaker engagements.
Offer to speak to local business networks or trade networks to get yourself in front of a crowd of target customers. It’s one of the quickest ways to establish yourself as an expert and gain some leads for your business.
You could look at offering your own events to your target audiences or join with another business or businesses to offer a wider event. We do this at BLM. I link up with another couple of local businesses to offer seminars for start-up businesses and those wanting to grow. Delegates come away with a great deal of information from experts who have also been through similar stages of business growth.
3 Create a regular newsletter.
One of the best ways to stay in front of your clients and potential customers is by sending out a regular newsletter.
You do not need heaps of news to do this – sometimes the best focus on just one really useful or timely topic.
You need to keep your small business in front of your clients and potential customers all the time. You just never know when your potential customers will have a need and be ready to buy. By offering a regular newsletter with helpful tips is a great way to have regular, helpful and positive contact.