Starting your own business can be a daunting task. Not only do you often have to come up with a product or service that people will actually want to pay for, but you also have to start to wear many different hats. If you’re the leader of your startup and you plan on beginning your business on your own, you have to try your hand at a number of different skills. Some will stick, others won’t. But, the trick is to learn what you can, when you can. Then, you can try out and test different options to see what works for you.
This is certainly the case when it comes to marketing. Of course, there are marketing agencies, Advertising Firms, and social media professionals that you could turn to. But if you want to have a go at doing it yourself, these are the marketing techniques that you need to know about.
First of all, it’s important to appreciate that you are one of your best marketing tools. Although you might not be used to it, as a business owner, you need to be comfortable talking about your business. After all, if you can’t shout about your products or services, how can anyone else? Whether you’re aiming to spread good word of mouth among friends and family, or across local businesses, you need to get your marketing hat on and sell yourself whenever the opportunity arises.
In today’s modern world, having a website is crucial. Even if you don’t plan to sell anything online, having an online presence can still win you business. If you have enough information about your store, or details of how to order over the telephone, you can still make sales without having to have ecommerce functionalities. But, if it’s important to make sure that your website is in keeping with your brand, that way, people will know it’s yours.
Not everyone likes social media, but it’s hard not to agree with its impact on business. If you want your business to do well, access more people, and reach it’s potential, you should be marketing it via social media. You don’t have to choose all avenues, but selecting a few key channels, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, could open you up to a huge customer database like no other marketing channel can.
And while we’re on the topic of social media, let’s look at LinkedIn. Despite being a type of online CV, LinkedIn can actually be hugely beneficial to your business. Not only do you have access to millions of potential customers, just like you do across all other social media platforms, but you can also stay on customers radars when they’ve got the business brains in gear. It’s particularly helpful if you have a business related product or service.
Although advertising can take big bucks, it’s online equivalent can actually be quite affordable. When it comes to advertising online, not only do you have the option to do it through social media, you can work on advertising on search engines to drive more traffic to your site, or through media buying. When you buy media, you can gain banner adverts on different websites that can not only bring you more custom but increase your brand awareness.
This one is quite similar to using yourself as a marketing tool. But, sometimes, you will find that you and others can network on behalf of your business. As daunting as networking events can be, they can also create incredible relationships and open up business opportunities that would never exist otherwise. Before you scare yourself off, book onto a networking event that’s either in your area or your industry. That way, you’re firmly within your comfort zone.
And then we have affiliate marketing. It’s a relatively new concept, but if you’re planning on doing anything online, it can be a handy channel to work with. A lot of the time, you might struggle to bring in your own traffic. Sometimes, all it takes is for another website to recommend you and boom, you’ve tapped into a new audience that is destined to love you. But, for that other site to do that, they’re going to want compensation. That’s where affiliate marketing comes in. Others can promote you for a small commission, giving you extra visibility and them incentive to do it.
When you’re looking at your marketing options, you should really be placing a lot of emphasis on your branding. It’s second nature to some, but others won’t realize how important a strong brand really is. If you want all of your efforts to work and have a big impact, you’re going to need a brand. When you utilize branding, all of your work, across each different marketing channel, will start to connect. Customers will notice you more, and they’ll start to realize that you’re the same place they just saw on Twitter or spotted in a banner ad. Without branding and a consistent image, they might never get to know your name.
Just like you can be a walking advertisement for your business, you car (or other mode of transport) can be too. If you have a physical store, or a business that can be of use to people, it’s always a good idea to throw it at them when they’re driving around. You never know, it might just be the time that they were looking for a new cleaner, parts supplier, or butcher.
Regardless of the way you decide to market your business, you need to be able to consider all of your options and make an informed decision on what will work best for you. Some of them will be a success, and others not so much, but without knowing what they can really do, without contemplating how you can get your business out there, shouting about it and starting to create good word out mouth, you’ll never really know.