10 Tips for Marketing A Small Business

marketing a small businessMarketing a small business is a balance between traditional advertising and social media marketing. One alone may drive sales however in the long run, a combination of both will gain awareness, build trust and relationships keeping your company top of mind to create repeat customers. Social media marketing has provided an opportunity to be able to listen to what you customers are saying about your product or service. Use this to your advantage. Define your customer by creating a persona of who they are, their buying habits and speak to them. Tailor your message to reflect the various mediums as what works in print or on tv may not carry over into online.

10 Tips for Marketing a Small Business

1. Rotate Mediums. Rotate where your ads are placed. This is difficult as tv and radio are expensive for a small business. If your budget only warrants 1 medium, consider rotating your schedule.

2. Direct Mail. Direct mail is still very viable and produces results with the proper message to your target market.  Have an updated list that is addressed to a person and not TO OUR FRIENDS AT. Show you did your homework and focus on your customer or a strong potential customer.  Anyone else is a waste of paper and postage.

3. Newsletter.  A newsletter is probably the only piece of you marketing materials that can support more than one message. Do not junk it up with too many products or services.  Use the article space to showcase to feature how it makes a difference or what you are doing as a company to make a difference.

4. Email Marketing. Your newsletter will be emailed but what about an email campaign to advise loyal customers of loyal customer discounts, special events for them (focusing on exclusivity).

5. Impeccable Customer Service. No room for mediocre here. This starts with answering the phone. When a customer has a problem solve it as quickly as possible. The value to your company of a happy customer who was not so happy at the beginning of a call is priceless.

6. Charitable Work. Donating your time for some organizations is just as important as donating the dollars. Be a drop off for food, clothing or shelter during the holidays. The focus is not on your company but how your organization made a difference helping others. You care, support and help others – it does not cost you anything more than time but goes a very long way when people hear that you are a drop off center (see what I am getting at?).

7. Community Involvement.  Be a part of your community by being active as much as you can. Friends, family and kids are a responsibility but involve them if you can. Wear your company shirt and show your human side by being active. If you sponsor a local team, catch a game or two.

8. Blog. Being active online is just as important as being active offline. If time is a factor or writing skills dissuade you from starting, hire a ghost blogger. There is chatter about this within the social media world – positive and negative. I fully support ghost blogging (not only as I am a ghost blogger) but for some companies this is the only way to have a blog and we know that blogs create awareness, trust and new customers.

9. Be “Socially” Active.  Do not abandon your twitter, facebook, social bookmark sites. Make time to be involved as there are more great articles shared each minute on these sites that are not only educational but entertaining.  Define your level of activity and stick to it.

10.  Giveaway. Free is not a four letter word anymore. If not you, someone else is. Free is an opportunity – an opportunity to get new customers, bring back old ones to ultimately increase sales.

These may seem to be pretty basic tips and they are.  However, many are forgotten.  Each minute that you leave your house or the office is opportunity to be marketing your business. Chat with the people where you get your coffee, they will ask what you do and will remember if you are there a lot.  Stop focusing on the hard selling points to find new ways to get people to know what your offerings are.

What are you doing to market your business?

photo credit: tobybarnes