One of the most common mistakes people make is that they don’t market their business consistently to have any sort of impact. Marketing leads to sales and sales is the lifeblood of any business, regardless of the business. Without qualified leads to share your products or services with you have no business. Click To Tweet
Or as Shark Tank’s Kevin O’Leary would say, “You have no business. You have a hobby.” Ugh – that’s a harsh reality that many entrepreneurs struggle with, and my guest is that you do not want to be that person.
The good news is that marketing does not have to be expensive; there are several ways to market your small business online for free.
Here are five keys to boosting sales through effective marketing:
Get Clear – What are your services or your products? What do you do? Who is your ideal client? When you are clear and confident you can easily share quickly and concisely who you are and what it is that you do. The average attention span of most adults is about six seconds. That’s not much time to get someone’s attention so you must have a clear, definite statement as to how you can be of benefit to a prospective client. This statement will become your verbal calling card. It can quickly share with someone what your business is all about and prompt them to ask questions or ask for additional information
Become Visible – Becoming highly visible is one of the most successful forms of small business marketing; yet it’s often overlooked or avoided because it involves a bit of self-promotion and, let’s face it, for most of us tooting our own horn is not easy. Hence, personal brand visibility is one of the easiest items to put off, yet it shouldn’t be because branding can position you as an expert and quickly increase your business.
you must have a clear, definite statement as to how you can be of benefit to a prospective client Click To Tweet
Here’s an example of just how simple but effective branding can be:
My friend, Kathi is a real estate agent. She covers an area where there is at least one agent living on every street. On any given weekend there are multiple open house signs throughout our community. However, my friend’s name is on the majority of those signs due to her high volume of listings and sales. There’s no denying that she’s good at what she does, but there are plenty of agents who could just as easily handle business in this area. Yet, Kathi has risen above all others as the “go to gal for all your real estate needs”.
A few years ago Kathi rented a golf cart – she didn’t buy one, she didn’t have the finances to do that at the time, although now I’m certain she could purchase 10 golf carts. She simply hung signs (home made) on the back and the sides with her business name and the slogan “your go to gal in (our area) for all your RE needs.”
She drove that cart up and down the streets of our neighborhood, she took it to the grocery store, the bank, even drove her kids to school in that cart. It wasn’t long before people began to refer to her as the agent in the golf cart who always wears her hair in a high bun. She would receive calls asking if she’s the visor wearing, hair in a bun ‘mom’ driving the golf cart.
Even when the recession hit, Kathi drove up and down the streets keeping her name in front of people. Today, she is the leading real estate agent in my community. Everyone knows her and recommends her – she set herself apart from others with some simple inexpensive branding and no paid advertising just smart marketing. You can do the same.
Leverage the power of others – One of the easiest and FREE ways to promote your products and services is through online marketing. The Internet has opened the door to a world of possibilities, not since the Industrial Age have we had the potential for more people to start their own businesses. The web has enabled numerous people to build a business with little money, expand their reach and create passive, residual income. You can do the same; if you have a small business you absolutely should be marketing online. Through online marketing you’ll be able to reach more people in a shorter amount of time than marketing off-line. It’s like having a sales force covering ground for you.
Educational Seminars – Another great way to market your business is through seminars. You don’t have to be a fantastic public speaker to hold a seminar. Particularly when you are educating others about a subject you are well versed in. Let’s say you’re a life coach and your area of expertise is couples’ relationships. Setting up a seminar or webinar teaching couples about effective communication skills will help position you as a knowledgeable expert in your field. Sales and marketing are all about positioning and credibility.
How do you get an audience to attend and where do you hold your seminars? Start by joining networking events, meet up groups, church groups etc. Collaborate with another life coach, perhaps you teach communication skills while your peer discusses boundaries. You can target your ideal audience and advertise your seminar or webinar through social media or even on sites like Craigslist.
Implement online and offline marketing strategies – It is much easier to keep an existing client than to constantly get new ones. You must have a consistent, value based follow up plan in place and pay attention to building a relationship with your clients. One of the easiest ways to do this is through email communications or regular newsletters where you share valuable information for free. You can also offer discounts to existing clients, perhaps you have a new book or a new series of workshops you can discount or offer clients commission for every new client they refer.
Gather testimonials and ask for referrals. People may be singing your praises yet you’ll never know it unless you ask, So Ask! Make a point of asking for a referral and a written or better yet a verbal (recorded) testimony you can add to your website. There are plenty of marketing strategies you can implement in the next 24 hours that can quickly increase your business reach.
Marketing can seem a bit overwhelming and complicated, but it really is fairly simple. Focus on one area until you’ve mastered it.
Stay consistent with your marketing by focusing on one area until you've mastered it. Click To Tweet
Perhaps the (2) most important items from the list above are to Get Clear and Become Visible. The lack of these two items cause the greatest frustration for most business owners trying to grow their business especially online. You cannot market when you are not clear as to whom you are trying to reach. Once you are clear and you know your brand, you’ll be ready for the small business, big marketing strategies outlined above and the tools necessary to either start or expand your business online, (check out the free training series to help you do just that)!
Understanding how to market is crucial for any business – but it doesn’t have to be difficult or take hours.
Knowing what to do and when to do it can be a game changer! Instead of researching hundreds of strategies and trying to sift through the latest trends, access the free 3-part training series: Online Business Cheat Sheet! where you’ll get simple Step-by-Step lessons you can implement right away to take the stress out of creating and marketing your business online! You’ll also get additional tips for the sales and marketing mojo necessary to grow your business.
A key to your success will be your ability to build and retain an audience interested in what you have to offer. I’m here to help you do just that, to get started I’ve put together several free resources filled with tips and simple action steps designed to get your business successfully up & running online, build credibility in your industry and reach more clients! You’ll find these resources and more in our free FB group: theHUBlineCommunity.