Need Help Promoting your Business Online
“It costs 20% to get a repeat sale but 100% to get the first sale.” That is why we need to promote our businesses.
There are endless ideas for promoting small business to advertise, but no way can you do them all. And you don’t need to, because not every promotion will work for you.
Don’t do things, just because everyone does them. Instead
- Use 2-3 promotional activities and use them consistently and with purpose.
This is much more effective that using a lot of them on a random basis.
- Choose the tools that reach your customers.
Don’t waste your time blogging and tweeting if your customers don’t read blogs.
- Choose the tools that you feel comfortable with and that fit your working life.
Use your time wisely and don’t use tools you don’t like.
Promoting Small Business : How to Market Your Business to the Top!
Ideas to market your small business
You can advertise your business and your products via your website, brochures, leaflets and posters. Depending on your business promotional material can be placed in community locations, schools, universities, sports clubs, shops or professional institutions.
Place ads in magazines, on the radio, on billboards or Google Ad Words. TV is expensive. Collect testimonials for your advertisements and collect recommendations via LinkedIn.
Publish articles online, in magazines, newspapers, bulletins, be in guides and other books, and write a book or an e-book yourself. Write blogs, hubs or Ezines and back link them. Train to be a speaker and give talks in the community or associations. Write press releases about news in your business.
Get involved in community events, be a volunteer, a sponsor and a supporter. Make use of contests, special events or fairs to be present and promote your business.
Offer some free goodies. Demonstrate the use of your service, let your prospects try your product, give out free samples or coupons and offer free downloads from your website. Make a quiz; give away promotional gifts which carry your business name and web-address.
These activities are even more powerful if you can get your prospect’s contact details (e.g. make them sign up to receive a free download, fill in a quiz card to receive a gift or free sample).
The most powerful direct marketing is word of mouth, which you get in return for high quality and excellent service. The secret formula is “over-deliver rather than over-promise”.
Try to establish a contact with the visitors of your website. Offer a freebie in return for their email address. Maintain a relationship with your prospects and your customers via newsletters. Free events, like talks, workshops or demonstrations are wonderful possibilities to establish contacts, offer to send material via email.
Develop databases and customer mailing lists. Offer a customer loyalty program with a gift or discount for referrals or repeat sales.
Use your e-mail signature to inform everyone you email with about your business and what is new. You can do the same with your voicemail message (don’t overdo this, though, as people get impatient).
You are looking for contacts with potential clients. Keep in mind that often the contacts of your contacts can bring you in contact with clients, before you decide that a certain person is not interesting for you.
Become a member of all relevant clubs and associations. Meet people, listen to them, help them if you can and introduce your business benefits. Taking over an active role or being a speaker for events makes this an even more powerful marketing tool.
Join virtual networks like LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, MySpace etc. brush up your profile, collect contacts and recommendations, join groups, be active, professional and be helpful.
Watch out for strategic partnerships and bartering possibilities. A bartering example could be “you help me with my website; I promote your web-design service on it”.
In small business the business culture is shaped by the owner. Your biggest marketing asset assets are your personality, your enthusiasm, passion, credibility and reliability. Complement this with friendliness, expertise and excellent service.
Take time to give your business, your brands and your products good names: short, simple, easy, memorable, and legally available and conveying the product benefits.
Develop a memorable culture for your products, give them personality and a point of distinction. Invent an attractive logo for your business and/or product and brand your newsletters, business cards, brochures, postcards, merchandise etc with it. If you can develop a memorable mission or slogan for your business.
Choose the activities your want to do regularly and watch carefully which results you get. Find a way to measure the success of your activities. For example you can ask your customers how they heard about your business or your product, and if you sell via internet, you can integrate this in your purchase order.
There are more tools to evaluate the effectiveness of your website (see cool resources below).
Marketing for small businesses are not mass media campaigns but much focused activities to establish contact with potential clients. They cost more time and energy than money.
Your personality is a key success factor. Your clients will speak directly to the specialist and owner of the business.
You are nearer to your clients than the big companies, you can react more flexibly, more personally, and much quicker to your clients.