By Jess Grew – Marketing and Events Coordinator.
1. Get and use business cards
They aren’t just useless bits of card that everyone throws away. It can be a great method to ensure your name gets remembered. Do you remember that time you met someone and they told you their name and where they work, did you remember it? Did you write down their contact details?…If they had given you their business card you might just have taken it back to the office and got someone to add their details to a database or CRM system and / or you may have even sent them an email.
2. Write a blog and share helpful information and tips regularly
Shout about your business and how amazing you are, do you have a team of experts full of knowledge? Get them to put it down in a blog or white paper and share this with your target market. You want your customers, contacts and potential clients to come to you for the best advice no matter what the subject. Adding fresh, new content to your website will also boost your presence in the search engines and if used correctly could create more traffic to your website. A Forbes articles provides more reasons why it’s a good idea, you will apparently be in the minority if you don’t blog!
3. Listen to your customers, know your customers
This is the only way to get your marketing message right and to ensure it appeals to the right people. Here are 5 easy ways to collect customer feedback. Thank your customers, send personal cards / messages. Don’t we all want to feel special, valued and appreciated? Predictable Profits explains how a ‘Thank You’ = PROFITS!
4. Read! Be creative!
Read popular business books for inspiration and keep an ongoing list of creative ideas, you never know when they will come in handy for a wacky marketing idea, perhaps a video or advert.
5. Get social – create a presence on social media
If you haven’t already, create a page or profile on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram… if your target market are using it create a profile on it, people can spend hours on these sites. Create a Google+ page, yes you won’t use it, and yes it’s useless but Google uses it to optimise SEO. Use your social media to engage your customers and provide customer service when necessary. Send an email newsletter, let your customers / potential customers and contacts know what you are up to, any important updates they should now about, any news…
6. Be generous, offer a discount or special offer
It could be an opportunity to pick up extra customers with the chance to convert them to loyal repeat customers. In an article by Search Engine Journal, they explain how the use of online vouchers can be used as bait for SEO. You could even write a press release or blog about the offer, publish it online which will create even better SEO.
7. Referrals are your friend
Ask customers for referrals, create a referral network with other professionals, ask customers for testimonials, these are all forms of free advertising, we as human beings are also more likely to trust the word of friends, family or colleagues.
8. Get your name out there – sponsor a charity or local event
It gets your name out there without being too direct. It’s also an opportunity for other people to promote your business and reach audiences you might not normally reach. Network with other business owners – Inspire hosts quarterly networking drinks, register your interest if you would like to attend our next session.
9. Review competitors
Don’t ignore them! It is essential to keep an eye on what they’re doing, this could involve looking at their websites and / or keeping up to date with industry announcements. Google the search terms your business would like to rank for on Google, see what companies rank highest – now study how they write about their service / products and how well they put forward their customer reviews, value propositions and marketing…now compare to yours. What can you do differently? This is a good opportunity to help you make more informed decisions on marketing strategies for the future or even future pricing structures.
10. Most importantly, every day: provide value!
As an article from Onboardly explains people always buy the benefit, not the feature!