Any successful businessperson will tell you if customers can’t find you, then they can’t buy your, no doubt excellent, goods and services. That’s why we have marketing and everything that goes into that extensive discipline.
The challenge is that marketing, done well, can be an expensive and time-consuming activity that’s outside of the experience and budgets of the average start-up or SME. But it’s essential and whether you have 50p or £50k to spend you still need to invest some time and thought into this vital business discipline.
However, to get you started here are some cheap and effective ways to get your marketing push underway. You’ll be surprised how effective these simple techniques can be in getting the word out about your business.
Digital marketing can be a complicated and confusing area, but a little knowledge can go a long way and is very useful when coupled with a proactive ‘have a go’ attitude.
So if you don’t know your blogs from your tweets or your LinkedIn from your Instagram, it’s time to brush up your knowledge and put some of what you learn to use. Look for your local Google Garage as a way to learn skills on a budget.
Network, Network, Network
You’ll find there is no shortage of networking events to attend in your city. Indeed there may be too many on any given day so you’ll have to choose carefully. However, these can be an invaluable way to learn how to connect with people AND the people they know.
You have to be brave, get involved and have a compelling ‘elevator pitch’ but once you’ve got that down pat good things can and will follow.
Try this. Take out your business card and ask yourself: If I found this on the street from the information on it would I be able to understand what my business does and why I should call? If you can’t honestly answer ‘yes’, you might want to get it redesigned.
Don’t forget the average networker will collect hundreds of cards a year and when they review them, they may not remember who you are or what you do. Unless you tell them – with your card – using both sides!
Assuming you’re not a shrinking violet, and depending on your business, then making yourself as memorable as possible could be an option. At any business event, most people will be wearing the same corporate clothes and doing their best to blend in.
This doesn’t mean you have to and bucking this convention might get you results both on the day and afterwards. Imagine when you make a follow-up phone call saying: ‘yes that was me, the one wearing the top hat.’ Chances are that the sales conversation will flow much easier as all the explaining re who you are and where you met are more easily dealt with.
Give Before Receiving
If you can offer something useful to the wider business community, then this is a great way to raise your profile. Perhaps you could speak at a networking event or business get together. Offer some free training in an area in which you have an expertise, donate some goods to a high profile charity raffle or even host events at your premises.
None of these ideas will cost you very much, but the impact on the perception and profile of you and your business could be profound.
So Give It A Go
The core message here is don’t let lack of knowledge or money stop you from doing some basic marketing. Once this has had an effect and you have some more funds to invest, then you can up your marketing game and grow your business further.
And if you need some business copy for your new website, sales literature or press release, do get in touch and the I&D team will make sure your spanking new words are the very best they can be!