If you’re a small biz owner struggling to get your products/service and brand, you’re not alone. Every business faces this mountain at some point.
Climbing that mountain can be downright discouraging when results don’t happen as quickly as you think they should.
Fortunately there is no lack of creative (aaaandd not so creative) ways to get your business out there to the public and generate buzz some buzz.
I’d highly recommend writing up a marketing plan before you start.
As with everything, there’s something about writing down your plans and goals that helps propel them into the light and bring them to fruition.
Your marketing plan doesn’t have to be extensive or intricate.
It might simply be a list of ideas as a starting point to jump off. The point is to get them down on paper, and then start putting them into action.
Here are some great ideas to get your juices erm… flowing.
Craft Your Pitch
Your elevator pitch that is. Sometimes folks call it an elevator speech, or presentation, or story. Some folks even call it a power greeting.
Whatever you’d like to call it, it serves the same purpose.
It should quickly, succinctly, and memorably sum up your product or service, as well as your value proposition.
So when people ask you (and they will) “What do you do?” you can confidently give them a reply that’s not only effective, but interesting.
Way more interesting than stammering along, stuttering out something like “Um, Um… I mow lawns.”
Mowing lawns I might note, can be open to some pretty wild interpretation. Just sayin’.
Bling Your Biz
OK, so maybe bling isn’t the right word in this case. I’m talking about spreading your business info around.
Plaster your business website URL and/or your phone number on all marketing materials you choose to hand out to the masses.
Make sure your important bits are on your business cards, your company letterhead, your promo posters, your auto signage, t-shirts (your own and your employees), and whatever else you may be using to increase brand awareness.
If you run an ad in your local paper or yellow pages, make sure you’re including your web URL there too.
Unless you’re taking out a full page spread, you’ve only got a limited amount of characters to convey your message.
Why not just direct them to your website and let your website do the job it’s supposed to do?
If you’ve done your job right, your website is a sparkling, spot on, professionally written and designed representation of your business and brand.
Put Foot to Pavement
Get your business out into your community. Sometimes it takes good old fashioned face to face time to make inroads.
You can garner face time with your local public by making your presence known at community events.
Things like parades, community fairs, festivals, flea markets… all of these are places you can rent a booth and promote your business, and more importantly build some quality relationships with your potential customers.
Another idea to garner face time might be participating in trade show exhibits. Don’t focus only on those trade shows related to your product or service.
Sometimes the more off beat options yield the best results and help you stand out from the crowd.
Just don’t waste your time or resources hitting up new (aka untested) trade shows.
Go with the ones that have a proven track record and use your marketing dollars wisely.
Tap the ‘Net
The Internet isn’t just a place to slap up a website and call it a day.
With the progression of technology, new tools emerge almost every day.
While you definitely want to (and already should!) have a professional website representing your business and brand, you can take that web presence a step further and become engaged with social media channels.
These days, social media is the new handshake in business, and if you aren’t at least making an effort to master these tools, you’re probably doing your business a huge disservice.
In addition to getting active on social sharing platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, you should also get your business onto some of the local search, business directories, and review sites.
Yelp, Urban Spoon (if you’re a restaurant), Merchant Circle, Foursquare, Google Places, CitySearch, YellowPages.com, Think Local, and Manta are just a handful of the potential resources you can tap into and get active on.
Check out Hubspot and their post of 50 Business Directories for Local Marketing for the full monty.
You also might consider publishing a blog if it fits within your business model and budget. I wouldn’t recommend undertaking the venture lightly however, because there’s no point in doing it if you aren’t committed to doing it well.
A blog representing your business can make or break you.
It’s an opportunity to showcase your expertise and knowledge and build a relationship with your target audience. Kind of like this one. Hint, hint, poke, poke.
But if you don’t put your best foot forward in regards to the quality of your content, you will wind up hurting your business more than you help it.
Over to You
Do you have more ideas on ways to broadcast your business and brand to the public? How do you advertise and market your product or services? What have you found to be the most effective? Drop your thoughts in the comments below, and please share this post if you found it useful.