Promoting a business is an ongoing challenge for any organisation. Whether your business is new or established, here are a few marketing ideas that will help you but wont break the bank. Below are our Business Support on Demand’s top ten Marketing Solutions:
- Strategy. Define who your customer is and what is the best way to reach them… and be specific. Is your key decision maker the Chief Executive, the director of Marketing, or the receptionist? Will you find them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or neither? What business meetings or networking events would they attend? Write your answers down, and refer to them before you begin any marketing exercises.
- Get a website. A website is a great reference point for any potential clients. If you can't afford to have a bespoke website designed then just have a home page. Something giving an overview of your business with contact details is adequate. There are many website companies set up. Business Support on demand recommend Introspective
- Register with free listings for your business. See a small list below. To find more search free business listing on Google:
Business line directory
Business Directory UK
- Set up a profile on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that relate to your product. Remember, marketing isn’t about sitting at a computer all day. Use this medium to find names and door openers to potential clients. Then contact them via, telephone email, cold call or pay them a visit.
- Business Cards… at a minimum. If you don't have a business cards, have them created… immediately! Your business card and business stationary tell prospective customers you are a professional who takes your work seriously.
- Visit your friends, family and friends of friends first. When searching for new clients call the people you know. You’d be surprised at the links and contacts they have. Leave a stack of business cards for them to hand out to their friends.
- Look at your offering and try and generate some PR. Send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, TV stations, magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell. Remember, newspapers etc sell advertising space so your story needs to promote your products subtly. Press releases work best when your story has a hook. For example, a product donation to a school, charity or a community group will generate interest and promote your branding and company image. Create a press mailing list and send stories to them regularly. The key to any PR is the hook, the story and the interest.
- Make "cold calls." Not many businesses have new customers knocking the door down to use them. Sometimes you have to knock on their door first. Cold calls are calls to people who you would like to do business with. Briefly describe what you do and ask for an appointment to talk to them about ways you can support them and their business. Cold calling is not a task that many people like, however it’s a numbers game… and it works!
- Always ask for referrals. Ask existing customers, prospects and acquaintances. Have confidence in your services and ask for the referral. Ensure all referrals are followed up.
- Use other people to sell your product or service. In addition to selling your products yourself, look for partners, resellers or people who will generate leads for you in return for a commission on sales. This is a quick way to expand your sales force. Ensure your pricing structure allows for the fees or commissions you will have to pay on any sales that are made.
Look at the list above and action anything that you aren’t currently doing. Business Support on Demand wants your business to succeed.