Marketing is the lifeblood of your business growth, but yes, it is time consuming and may sometimes seem like an unnecessary exercise. It can also be costly to keep up some campaigns and many smaller businesses can simply not afford to consistently spend large amounts of funds on it. However, marketing is essential to the success of any business. The following ideas should help you ‘out there’, even on a budget!
- The elevator pitch
You should prepare and learn a simple line or two which is guaranteed to capture someone’s attention, including who you are, what problem you solve, and how you are different. Research shows that you have approximately eight seconds to grab the attention of an adult, and that if you get their attention, you have one minute to sell them your product. Devising an elevator pitch will mean you are always ready when the opportunity arises.
- Your community
You need your name in front of the people in your community. You can achieve this by sponsoring a small local event, contributing some cash into the annual activity or a charity you support, or offering an in-kind donation for enhancing the outreach of a non-profit’s activity while demonstrating what you do best. A small investment can reap big rewards.
There will almost certainly be other businesses in the area which do not compete with yours, and are natural alignment partners. You can approach these firms and brainstorm a joint marketing initiative. The result is a less expensive campaign as the costs are halved, and an opportunity to get in front of their customer list as well as your own!
- Public speaking
Public speaking is one of those activities that many people desperately try to avoid as it is outside nearly all our comfort zones. However, a public speech is an excellent way to raise the profile of your business – and outside the zone is where all the growth lies. Not only will you be exposed to a greater number of customers you will be seen as an expert in your field; the experience and exposure you will gain is truly invaluable.
These are one of the most powerful ways of building any business as you are coming recommended! Encourage existing customers to refer your services; there is no embarrassment in asking people to refer you. Most people will be willing to do this for you as you demonstrate you are doing it for them. Pre-prepared social media messages and LinkedIn testimonials are perfectly valid references to ask that they distribute.
- Free trials
If your product or service is reusable then it is a good idea to give away a small free trial. Demonstrating excellence, easy access and versatile applicability – this is one of the best ways to get a customer coming back for more.
Your customers need to feel special, important; in fact they should feel like a VIP. A great example is a recent online print purchase arrived with a ‘love’ note from the seller, and positive messaging written on the back. Adding a little extra to the purchase, such as a pressed flower or a chocolate will add a personal touch and make them feel special. This should inspire them to continue shopping with you, even if the product can be purchased inexpensively somewhere else.
- Online forums
There is almost certain to be an online forum which relates directly to your business area. If there is not a forum you should consider setting one up. It is better if you can join several, relevant forums. You then simply start to post your expert advice and offer people solutions to their problems. You should develop a name as a trustworthy business and, over time, you will notice your customer base slowly expanding. Note of caution: do not join or create more forums than you can competently add to once per week or twice per month.
- Trade shows
Trade shows are an opportunity to present and discuss what the customer is getting from a purchase. It’s important to be clear, accessible, pertinent, reliable, and present yourself and your product or service in a way that is easy to do business with. The cost of a trade show should be offset by the increase in the raised profile of your business, the adding of prime contacts for your list building, the feedback from potential new customers you meet, and up-to-date information on the latest developments in your field of expertise.
- Hang on to your customer!
It is very easy to let your customer drift away through resting on your laurels. Inattentiveness makes it likely your client can be tempted by a competitor or a more attentive business. The customer who has already bought a product is the one most likely to understand and like what you offer and perhaps need an additional component. Don’t wait for your customer to wander – keep in regular contact to see how you can continue to meet their existing or upcoming needs. Your business exists to solve a problem. If you are grateful for your clients, contact them with a personal email and let them know they are on your mind. Offer an industry article they mind find interesting, or a small sample of a product they’ve not yet tried.
Good marketing techniques are consistent, creative, and sensitive to market changes and the company’s available resources.
However, you must learn to use them properly in order to reap benefits and see a sensible return on your investment. Don’t forget about direct mail distribution either. Together with a properly laid-out marketing plan, this tactic will help you take your business to new heights.
Author Bio: Fredrick Cameron is the writer to this article. He is a regular contributor at many sites and mainly focuses on business and marketing related topics. He also writes for a site http://romax.co.uk/ offering direct marketing and mail distribution services.