6 Highly Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
Marketing is a challenge for all businesses. What simple time efficient and cost effective strategies can small businesses use?
All small businesses have a passion or desire to make a real difference through the products and/or services they offer. For many marketing is an area of real challenge. Even if you actively marketed on behalf of your business when in employment, it some how feels different when you are marketing for your own business. As a small business owner myself who does not have a background, there are a number of strategies that I have found to be highly effective personally or for others.
1. Utilising contacts
When you start out in business, the initial challenge is to get some clients. So often people start with a blank piece of paper and forget about all of the contacts they have made in the past through work and socially.
By listing all of these people you can probably identify 100 people who you can drop a letter or e-mail to let them know what you are up to and asking them to look out for any opportunities. You might even meet some for lunch or coffee. This is what I did to get my first 3 clients.
2. Focussed networking
There are plenty of opportunities to network. Some of it is very structured like BNI while there are other events that are less structured and more informal. What is vitally important is to find networking events that allow you to connect with your target clients. For example, if your target market is female business owners, then a specific networking events aimed at that market will be more focussed networking. I work with professionals so a branch meeting for accountants is an excellent place to network.
If you enjoy writing and sharing your knowledge and insights, writing can be a highly effective part of your marketing activity. As well as magazines, local papers and professional journals, there are now lots of options for submitting articles online. One of the real benefits of online articles is that they give you exposure to a much wider audience than a local or national publication.
If you are a consultant, coach, trainer, accountant, lawyer to name a few, speaking can be a highly cost effective and time efficient way of marketing. Yes it takes some time to pull together a speech but you can use it over and over again. The other major benefit is that your marketing is one to many rather than one to a few with networking.
This is not one of the strategies that I have used myself but is incredibly popular. Some people just blog while there are others who combine a blog with a podcast.
6. Trade shows and exhibitions
With trade shows and exhibitions you can either decide to exhibit or just even visit. This can be one of the more expensive options but can be highly valuable for product based businesses or service businesses that are well understood like telemarketing or banking.
There are numerous options open to you when it comes to marketing your business. Get creative and start identifying at least 3 channels to market that will have the greatest impact for your business.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with professionals and progressive organisations who want more success. Sign up for his free e-course and monthly newsletter at http://www.goalsandachievements.co.uk/