Why is it that marketing budgets are the first thing to get slashed when things get tight? It’s a common malady and insanely wrong. Sure, most advertising in the traditional sense is far too expensive for many small businesses, and even though there are a million digital tools available to market yourself, how do you know which one is best?
- Tell your story in 30 seconds
Marketing is ongoing. You should be pitching your business to everyone you meet. They call it an elevator pitch for that reason. After all, you’ve got a captive audience in an elevator, right? Grabbing someone’s attention in six or eight minutes takes practice. That’s about how long you have before you lose someone’s attention. You then have, maybe 25-30 seconds more to nail the pitch. While it’s no easy feat, it’s effective and you get better with practice.
- Identify your sphere of influence
Your marketing efforts don’t require a major effort. Instead of trying to conquer the world, think about your neighborhood, the people you know, your friends and family. Get involved in community activities or volunteer where your efforts will count most. It may surprise you to find how this can lead to getting in front of new customers.
- Be a Subject Matter Expert (SME)
If you know the inside out of your business and like to talk about, volunteer as a speaker. There are any number of organization looking for guest speakers at various luncheons and events. It may seem scary if you’re prone to stage fright, but being an SME is a great way to market yourself.
- Think and act cooperatively
You can expand your customer base by connecting with other businesses in your area on a non-compete basis, agreeing to cross-promote. This is a way of reaching people you might not otherwise have access to. We’ve developed countless client opportunities through our vendor partnerships.
- Get endorsements
Most people are happy to provide an endorsement or referral. All you need to do is ask. Take the initiative and you may find yourself with new opportunities to help grow your business.
- Maintain customer loyalty
Great customer service pays in so many ways. Giving your customers the very best care and attention will build a lasting loyalty you cannot buy. These are the people who put you on the map, so you must keep them engaged and always have a solution for any problem.
- Free trials sell
Who doesn’t like free? Giving people a chance to experience your product or service before they buy is a win-win. Nowadays people are more comfortable buying something they have experienced or know about.
Sometimes your time and the effort you put into marketing yourself are what matters most. Spending is not necessarily the answer. Get out and engage with potential customers to keep your brand fresh and alive. The rewards are there if you go for it.