In today’s digital marketplace, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the marketing advice. Tap into your social media, develop relevant content, build your personas, and know your digital conversion rates. We understand this can be new territory for small businesses. It’s ok, and we’re here to help. Today, we’re discussing twelve ideas to help market your small business. These are doable, inexpensive, easy to implement and can be creative in any industry sector.
Smile & Dial
Don’t underestimate the power of making phone calls. Use local phone directories to search for your ideal customer base. Phone and ask for an appointment to introduce your company or for permission to stop by with literature about your services. If your client base is regional or national, call to introduce yourself and build relationships over the phone with any support staff. Identify decision makers and follow up with digital LinkedIn connections or email communication.
Thank You Cards
Take the time to send thank you cards to existing clients and prospects with whom you’re currently working, to show your appreciation for their interest or business. A thank you card is often the key customer touch point that will demonstrate that you care and will inspire loyalty. You can also foster an environment of positive testimonials and referral business.
Food Is Relationship Building
Don’t underestimate the power of food. In the form of snacks, candies or breakfast, stopping by with something to eat can be the differentiator your company needs. For example, if your primary client target is construction companies, consider stopping by a job site with refreshments on a hot afternoon. If you’re looking to land accounting firms as clients, stop by the office during a busy tax prep season with donuts. If your client is a manufacturer, stop by with pizzas for linemen and feature a message asking for a “slice of their business.”
Consider stopping by local government or municipalities to introduce your business. Consumers looking for specific services may sometimes need government assistance in securing permits or have questions about projects. By making the personal connections with local government can encourage potential referrals. State, regional and federal government opportunities also exist, although usually in a more formal process. Review some of your regional or state needs and consider submitting proper proposals or RFP (Requests For Proposal) for new business.
Get involved with local volunteering. Wear your company branded shirt while serving meals at a local shelter or cleaning dog kennels for an animal shelter. Take pictures and tell your story via your social media platforms and website. Promote your social responsibility as an organization and demonstrate your investment in your community.
Hit the streets with your brochure or business cards. Introduce yourself to neighborhood business, regardless of their need for your offerings. Put a face and name to your business, and you never know, you might land a new client. Neighboring business may not need your services directly, but the people who work there may. As a secondary bonus, it may be good for you to get out from behind the desk for an afternoon of meeting and greeting.
Social Media Contests
Fill up a cooler full of summer fun items and create an online contest. Set your goal to increase likes and follows or drive more subscribers to your newsletter or website. Give away something anyone would love to have and watch as your audience promotes your business for you. Get extra mileage out of the contest by producing a video of the winner receiving the prize and asking your audience to tell you what you should give away next.
Promotional Branding Products
Take a candy jar, branded with your logo to each business prospect you have. Offer it to the front desk or administrative office staff. Now you have an opportunity to revisit each business with the intentions of refilling that candy jar. Build rapport with unique-to-you type items that support your business. If you’re in the home maintenance industry, consider branding a tape measure to offer your customers. Be sure to include not only your business name but also your website or phone number.
Not every networking group or community organization will offer direct clients. They will, however, provide an opportunity to meet new business contacts. You can practice introducing your brand, shake a few hands and hand out a stack of business cards. You can also ask for referrals, and learn about other entrepreneurs in your area. It never hurts to bounce ideas off of fellow business leaders and peers.
Trade Shows & Conventions
Tap into industry-specific trade shows and conventions. You don’t have to participate with a booth to get mileage out of attendance. Research your markets and look for opportunities to improve your business model and make connections with potential clients. Show up with your company shirts and plenty of business cards.
Newsletters & Blogs
Inspire new clients with storytelling. Tell your stories of industry experience and knowledge with newsletters and blogs. Encourage new followers and subscribers by creating engaging and relevant content. Offer DIY, or do-it-yourself tips in your space. The great aspect of newsletters and blogs, you can choose how committed you are to a timeline. If a weekly doesn’t fit your schedule, consider offering monthly or quarterly tales from your side of the desk.
In today’s technology based society it doesn’t hurt to have information that is easily accessible. In addition to writing blog post you may want to consider video messages as well. You can cover a wide variety of topics like the benefits of SEO, what your business is about, a product demonstration, and a number of other videos. Seeing is believing and videos that you can post to your site or link to your youtube account can really help get not only your name, but your products, services, and persona out there. In this digital world all you need is a smartphone and a little tech savvy.
The great advantage of marketing is there is always a host of creative ways to build your brand. Put a megaphone to your efforts and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert or invest a small fortune to land new business. To help enhance your current strategy and brainstorm for new ideas that inspire, contact T22Media for more information.