How to market effectively is one of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses and entrepreneurs today.
Here are some tips on how to market your small business:
Put your customers first. Understanding who your customers are, what makes them tick and what they really want and value, and of course staying in touch with them long after the sale, puts you ahead of the competition
Craft an elevator pitch. You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch. Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about 6 to 8 seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention. If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.
Know your target market. Targeting your marketing activities fairly and squarely at the people who need and want your service or product is the secret to creating quality enquiries and getting prospects to open their wallet.
Set sales goals and targets. Marketing really is a numbers game. Marketing efforts that won’t directly or indirectly bring in new business have absolutely no point. Know what your goals are in terms of revenue, expenses, profit, number of enquiries and, of course, number of new sales.
Get a handle on the four Ps of marketing. Getting your product, pricing, placement strategy (distribution) and promotional strategy humming along and working together is crucial to succeed with your marketing.
A brilliant website. Your website must attract attention and give value to those who visit. Use it as a tool to retain and keep in touch with existing customers as well as for enticing new customers.
A simple database. The backbone of all good marketing is about building a solid database of past, present and future customers (prospects) so you can keep in touch and communicate regularly via e-newsletters, emails and phone.
Be active on social media A majority of small businesses already have a profile on the main social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. But this in itself will not offer much marketing benefits for your business. To maximise the benefits of social media, you must do more. Here are some tips:
- Keep your profiles up to date and fresh with new information
- Post a few times per week
- Add value for users by sharing content that is of value to them
- Engage actively with users – follow, share, re-Tweet, like content of other users
- Don’t just share content from your website, share your knowledge and others' knowledge
Host seminars and events. Hosting your own events and inviting along your best customers and some of their friends is a great way to get to know people, connect at a personal level and build deep relationships.
Marketing doesn't have to be hard or expensive, sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective!
What is your marketing strategy for your small business? Do you have one? Do you need help generating a plan?