You know you can do something else to get your business off the ground and you still don’t know for sure what. There was no shortage of someone who came offering you the gold and the moor, it seemed wonderful and even so it did not give you results. A part of you knows that there are simple things that can be done with little money but you don’t know which ones.
Here I propose these simple ideas to get you started marketing your business.
1. Choose your strong social network
Everyone tells you that you must have a presence on all networks or at least on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are even those who tell you when, where and how often to post, but I have seen that many startups and businesses on the rise tend to have a strong social network.
Identify yours: the one that gains more followers or in which it is easier to publish and interact with your customers. They might love the live streams or photos you share on Facebook, the real-time interaction on Twitter (Food Trucks have benefited from this medium), your Pinterest fans loving your product catalog, or going for a young audience. via Snapchat.
Identify the network that generates the most exposure and customers. Get used to it and that’s a good start for your social media strategy.
2. Connect with others like you
Known as Networking, it is what good marketers and businessmen have done all along: seek to create connections. Not all of them will be your clients or suppliers, but you can share ideas, seek feedback and even generate alliances that will serve you in the future.
How to start? Identify your sector or industry and search for activities, from those that are advertised on Facebook to those of specialized portals. Remember that Entrepreneur holds several events a year that will allow you to know not only success stories, but also people like you in search of growth.
As an additional tip: never forget to carry business cards.
3. Do you have a phone? Make videos
Many times we do not notice the wonderful machines that we have in our pockets: smartphones. Many focus on price, size or brand, but few on benefits. The videos that you can take with your phone, equipped with high definition and enhanced sound, can be options for your business.
Whether through a live broadcast via Facebook, a question and answer session on Periscope, small segments via Snapchat or Instagram and even a video blog on YouTube, you can show your products, your store, answer frequently asked questions from your customers or even communicate offers. . In fact, in this post I give you some ideas .
“But Armando, I’ve never been a good writer, that’s why I don’t get excited about the blog” was the excuse that broke records last year among my acquaintances: since I’m not good, I don’t write.
The truth is that all talents are perfected over time. Now ask yourself: who knows better about your business better than you? Who can tell what they do with more commitment and passion than you?
Go ahead, go to the computer and write. It’s free. Here are some ideas that may interest your customers and are easy to write. So tell the world about your business.
5. Don’t they read your ezines? How about physicists?
They tell you to send e-mails with newsletters to all your clients and contacts, but you get no response. If you use a tool like Mailchimp that lets you know how many opened the email or how many decide not to receive your emails, the situation does not look better.
Think outside the box a bit: what would be best for your customers? Perhaps a card, brochure, or newsletter short enough to read in the bathroom or office waiting room can work. The important thing is that you give them valuable information to take advantage of those 6 seconds of attention that they give you before that paper ends up in the trash.
6. Tell stories instead of sales pitches
Do you remember the last time a salesperson came to tell you about the benefits of their product and the promotion? They are rarely remembered because one develops that instinct to run away, but do you remember a friend who told you how they helped him with his car credit, where he found the ideal Christmas gift or an item that he loved at the supermarket ?
Stories are easier to tell and easier to retain because we associate products and services with people and put benefits in relatable terms. Who didn’t have to go through looking for a taxi in the rain and not find it until Uber helped with that problem? Who has not heard a story of solicitation in which the atmosphere of the restaurant was key for the moment?
Don’t count benefits. Tell stories and let people get hooked on them.
7. Don’t fly: show what you do
Have you ever had a flyer delivered to you on the street, did you look for where to throw it away and when you found a boat nearby you see it full of the same flyers? Before it was useful to give papers so that people could read them on the road, but now that there are telephones to find out, what ways are there?
Make yourself known, not only with video, but in more creative ways: coupons, discounts on the first visit, a glass of wine, a gift on the first purchase, free tastings or samples, promotions, home delivery … imagine what you can give as an extra to that person who is not yet your client and how to continue making your current clients fall in love so that, in addition to continuing to buy what you offer, they recommend you.
8. Do you have a cell phone? Record podcast
A podcast is an audio recording, more like radio shows, that you can record and upload to the web for others to listen to. There you only have your voice and what you count to attract someone who can listen to you in the office, in the car back from work or on a walk to school.
Before it was complicated not only to record them, but to upload them. Now, with phone recorders that offer acceptable quality and platforms like Soundcloud or Ivoox that automatically upload your podcasts to iTunes but can also be listened to through an App or through Twitter and Facebook, making yourself known has never been easier.
As a tip: it is more fun when there is more than one person, as conversations tend to be more enriching with the exchange of ideas. Even the topics of the blog can also work for the podcast.
9. Seek to be seen: stay present
Don’t even flies stop at your store? Maybe it’s time to assess your location. Is it attractive to customers? If it cannot be easily seen on the street, you have to evaluate how to solve that. Many great ideas are lost due to a bad location. Or simply because they are not seen.
I like to think about Food Trucks and the way they dealt with it: they upload their location and samples of their products on social media constantly. So you can make creative ways for them to see you.
Whether it’s uploading your catalog to Instagram or Pinterest, making voices in the street, leaving coupons to neighbors, giving cards at stationery stores near schools, making memes and viral content that makes people locate you, creativity is the limit. If you can’t think of anything, ask for advice from those around you.
10. Work on your online reputation
Have you already googled yourself? See what you find about your business. Does your location appear on Google Maps? You would be surprised by what is said on social networks, if they left a recommendation or complaint about your business on Foursquare, you can even know if there is any news about your business.
If, on the other hand, nothing appears, it is a good time to start. Create a Google+ account to be easier to find by the search engine. If you have reporter friends, give them a sample of your product so that they can recommend you to their editor or appear in a note, Add your business and its location on Facebook and Swarm. If you change locations, remember to update yourself on maps.
Moreover, I would recommend that if you are going to pay for advertising, it is better to invest that so that they find you in Google than to pay for flyers. Now, if you want to do it in a more structured way, here is a detailed guide .
11. Create a graphic identity
Maybe I should have started with this, but many take it for granted or simply don’t consider it when it should be the most important thing for people to recognize you. After all, remember that most of the stimuli we receive each day enter through the eyes.
Does your business have a logo? If so, put it to the test: ask clients, friends, and random people what they think and use that feedback. You may require a designer to support you with the creation of a new logo.
Remember that the logo is the face of your business: it must appear on your business cards, it will be the profile image on your social networks, it will be on the first slide of your sales presentation and on your website or online store, so Try to create a logo that is easy to remember.
With these eleven ideas, this year will be fantastic. Remember that you can learn more about marketing for SMEs in the texts found here at Entrepreneur and I am at your service to learn new ways to add value to your company.