Marketing is an essential activity for any business, but it’s often difficult for new companies to know where to start. Here are three tops marketing tips that wont break the bank, but will get your marketing strategy off the ground.
Become a great networker
Yep the networking game is daunting, is often filled with time wasters and can be highly repetitive. However, it can also hold the key to accessing your next biggest client.
Networking is about building relationships, and building those relationships takes time. It’s not a quick fix for finding new clients; you have to put the effort in to get the work out of it. So don’t be pushy, don’t try to sell your business to the first person you meet. You have to get to know people and, more crucially, they have to get to know you.
Because trust doesn’t happen in the first couple of meetings, you have to select your networking carefully. Do some research. Many networking groups allow people to visit before joining. Go along to as many as you can in your area and see which one suits you and your business needs.
Once you’ve established one or two groups to go to, make the effort to turn up regularly and you’ll start to make connections. Some of those may not even be people in the room. Every person in a networking group has a huge number of their own contacts, and you’ll often find that the work comes from external contacts.
Remember: when a group of people start to trust you, they’ll start to see the worth in your business and either make an appointment to find out more for themselves, or pass on you details to someone in their own network.
Being recognised with an award is a great way to market your company. An award promotes confidence in both you current customer and prospective customers.
There are lots of awards out there; it’s just a matter of finding the right ones for you. The first place to check is industry specific publications, then move onto local government awards, and then spread your net a little wider for left-field awards such as your online customer service.
Understand the criteria for applying and then put yourself forward. Winning is the aim, but if you don’t win the first year you enter, try again the following year.
And when you do win an award make a big deal of it – use it in e-shots, blog about it; add any badges to your website. It’s all about showing your customers and clients that you merit their attention.
Research your local newspaper reporters, online industry journalists and bloggers. They are the lifeblood of publicity and can be a really effective marketing tool for your business.
Your local newspapers will always be on the look out for stories about local businesses. Remember that award you won? Send a press release to the local paper– but make sure it’s a well written press release because the better it scans to the journalist the more likely they are to run the story, or even ring you up for more information.
Building up contacts in the press will help you market your business. You can reach a larger audience through news articles. When the article is written by someone trusted for their professional opinion, another layer of trust is given to your business.
Whether you are marketing a company in Dubai, Cairo or Sydney, the basics of publicity are the same. Just like networking, take your time to build up contacts. Don’t rush it, get too pushy, or become unpleasant. The least that can happen is you won’t get any press at all, but the worst… well bad publicity in the internet era is the last thing you need.