Many startup founders struggle to get marketing right. Competition is stiff, and it’s easy to feel lost in the crowd. We’ve compiled a list of eight things you can do to become a pro at marketing your small business.
1. Be clear about your target market
Make sure your marketing strategy is focused. Don’t try to sell to people who don’t want to buy. Envision your ideal customer–where they hang out and what they enjoy doing in their spare time–then go where they are. Speak to them in your advertising. Make sure your niche is clearly defined so they recognize you. When you know your niche, you will know your customers.
2. Offer incentives
Offer discounts and incentives strategically. Discounts and gifts can encourage new customers to buy and make existing ones feel appreciated. Be cautious, though: People are hardwired to enjoy saving money, but they also have a tendency to undervalue things they get for free.
3. Tap into the power of social media
Make sure your business has social media accounts. Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all good places to find your customers. You can even save money by using features like Facebook Ads. If you’re really savvy about it, you can conceivably advertise for free.
4. Maintain a blog
Advertise your offerings without marketing too aggressively by setting up a blog. Use it to keep customers informed about trends in your field. At the same time, you build trust by letting them get to know you.
5. Optimize your website
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Give yourself an advantage over your competition by improving the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website. This will help you rank higher in search results and attract more visitors to your site. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to hire an SEO company for this. You can actually do it yourself with a little research and practice.
6. Use email effectively
Email can be a handy tool when looking to attract new clients. Create a list of companies you would like to work with. Find out who their key personnel are and send them personalized introductory messages, explaining how you can help them. Follow up the email with a phone call.
To those already in your list of contacts, offer something of value–a free template or coupon code, perhaps–then have respondents opt in for email updates. This method works because it keeps you on your clients’ radar.
7. Partner with other businesses
Reach out to local businesses, offering to collaborate with them. You can approach them directly or search online for business groups in your area to find potential partners and networking opportunities. Collaboration opens the door for you to advertise to each other’s customers and work together on marketing events. You will be able to both share the expenses and reap the benefits.
8. Team up with an influencer
An influencer in your field could be a boon to your business because they are seen as authorities and already hold sway over your target market. There may be one in your area with a large online following who would be happy to collaborate with you if you contact them directly. There are also agencies that can match your business with an influencer whose image fits your brand.
With these tips, you now have a starting point to begin constructing your marketing strategy. Do your research and see what works best for you.