Top Ten Tips for Marketing Your Business
1. Give something away for Free. Although promotional products provide a nice give away to remind your customers to do business with you, what we mean here is to give away something of value to potential customers so that they can see a sample of your product, service, or information. The Internet makes this easy. Be sure to have plenty of useful information on your website that is valuable to your target market. It takes several visits to your website before most people will buy something, so give them a reason to come back again by providing them with valuable information. An example of this is to provide some free reports or programs for potential customers to download for free in exchange for providing you with their email address. That way, you get a potential client, and they get something they can use for free. Some of the people that come to your website for free information will eventually become paying customers.
2. Write an e-mail newsletter. One of the best ways to give something away is with a Free email newsletter. This allows you to easily stay in touch with your clients and potential customers and by providing something your clients want with every issue, you also have an opportunity to sell additional products and services. When you do this, don’t be surprised when you get a phone call from a potential client that read your newsletter because one of your subscribers found it interesting enough to forward to his colleagues.
3. Writing articles for magazines and trade publications is another way to increase your business. This is an excellent way to gain name recognition and become known as an industry expert. It may not bring you a lot of business over night, but over time the benefits can be tremendous.
4. Get a website. Once you have written that article or paper, take advantage of multiple methods of distribution. Update your website regularly with useful content because it gives potential clients a reason to return to your site. The more pages on your website that contain valuable information, the more hits you will get from search engine results.
5. Write your ‘Elevator Speech’ or Audio Logo’. For those of you who prefer talking rather than writing, take advantage of every opportunity to tell people what you do. These are different names for an introductory paragraph given when meeting a stranger that says what’s special about your talents and lets the listener know what’s in it for them while encouraging a conversation to begin. It should include elements of your main marketing message and you unique competitive advantage.
6. Speaking can be a great way to reach potential new clients. Giving presentations at local association meetings is a great way to prospect for additional business. When you select a group that can use your services, you should come away from the presentation with at least a couple of good leads. People will want to talk with you after the meeting because they feel you are the expert.
7. Teach your specialty at continuing education classes. You can probably get a local college to let you teach a one or two night class every quarter. This will give you even more credibility with your audience than speaking. Here you really are the expert. You won’t get paid much for teaching the classes, but the business you pick up should make it worth your time.
8. Networking at business association meetings is a good way to get business referrals. Don’t go to any networking meeting with the mindset that you’re going to get work from it that day. Going to meetings continuously over time builds up a network of people who are familiar with you and what you do. It also let’s you become familiar with other business people that could be your potential partners in the future. Getting more involved in these organizations costs more time, but increases the networking benefit.
9. Partner with vendors that offer complementary products to your product or service. Be sure to sign up for a few good affiliate programs to generate additional revenue for your business through your website. When your business is large enough, you can increase your revenues by offering your own affiliate program.
10. Write a marketing plan. Do this as part of your business plan. A good place to get a start, especially if you are trying to market your expertise by running a service business or selling information products, is to get this Free Marketing Plan Workbook.
The key to marketing yourself or your firm is effectively communicating your message to potential clients. Using a few of these tools will help you do that, and more importantly, increase your revenue stream.
For some examples of how other small business people are using these insightful ideas, check out this article about marketing yourself by Joe DiNunno.