If you are a small business owner, then you will totally relate to this sentence. “It is my Baby”.
Running a small business takes a lot of energy and endless thoughts over how one can make it better, more successful, bigger and overall what am I not doing?
There are many facets to running a small business but one of the vital components is marketing one’s business.
Below are a few ideas that may assist you with marketing your small business:
- Create a professional-looking website through a create-your-own option or via a website company. Make sure that your website is showing clearly what your company does, who is the face of the company (who is accountable and responsible for any decisions), how to contact your company via email, telephone and any other way your business is contactable. Make sure this website loads quickly, is ALWAYS kept up to date, and that all the hyperlinks work.
- Create a business Facebook page. This page must look professional and state clearly what your business does and contact details. This is a public page so keep these posts professional with eye-catching photographs (be aware of copyright rules). Avoid any posts which may offend potential clients. Make sure you post frequently on this page (you can link your FB and Instagram accounts, to save time in terms of posting). Interact with others on Facebook to form connections, share your page with others, and tag clients into their images - with their permission, of course. If your budget allows, create Facebook ads to direct more traffic to your new FB page. Ask your family and friends to like and share your page.
- Create a business Instagram account. This page must follow the same rules as above - it must look professional and state the clear purpose of the business. Be pro-active on this platform, post frequently, interact with others, be sociable and talk to others. Remember to use relevant hashtags to attract more attention from the right people.
- If you would like to, create a similar page on Twitter as another source of visibility. Marketing is all about being visible, be as visible as humanly possible. The same rules as above apply, post regularly and interact with others.
- Make sure your LinkedIn page is up to date and shows what you do and what your business is. LinkedIn is a great platform for making new connections and networking with others in your industry. Post regularly with professional posts, network and interact with others. Join a forum/s and chat with others.
- If applicable for your business, start a blog / Youtube channel or something similar. This site can share information, demos, interviews, tutorials, or behind the scenes clips.
- See if your business can apply for any online badges which can be added to your online presence. If there are no badges available for your industry, host your own and get others in the industry excited about this new award. Create some excitement.
- Investigate Google AdWords and see how it all works. I have never used this idea, but I have heard from others that it works. Do your research and see if it will work for you.
- Make sure you have an auto signature on every email which leaves your inbox. This auto signature must clearly state your name, surname, company name, email address, contact number as well as links to your website, and social media pages.
Other Marketing Methods
- One of the most amazing and simple marketing tools is professionally made and professional-looking business cards. Once you have decided on your brand, colors and font - get business cards printed as a matter of urgency. The card must contain your name, business name, email address, contact number, website and address (if you have a set location for your business). This is a simple way to pass your information onto partners and prospective clients. See if you can display a few cards at your local small businesses and display theirs in your place of business, quid pro quo.
- If you have your own vehicle/s, put branding on these vehicles. This is an easy way to advertise as you drive around your city/area. The branding can be a full wrap or something simpler like a sticker or magnet on your car doors. See what you can afford and make it happen. You can always upgrade to something bigger as the finances improve.
- Think about your dress code, can anything be embroidered with your company name, etc? See what is worn the most and would work well as advertising.
- Have you thought about wearing a name badge? It can be simply made, inexpensive with your name and company name. This is such a small idea, but very eye-catching as a person’s eyes are always drawn to a name badge. As you travel around, people will be reading your name badge. If questions are asked, you can pull out a business card to explain more.
- Think about what you are willing to give away in terms of coupons, prizes, sponsorships, etc to allow for more marketing for your business. Look at your options and decide what will work best.
- Depending on your small business, a loyalty program works well if implemented correctly. You can also think about Brand Ambassadors for your business.
- Over time once finances are more and more available, you can have some branded items made e.g. branded stickers, pens, etc which can be handed to clients. This is an easy way to become more and more visible.
- Look at your advertising options. Decide on what will work best for your small business and what you can afford.
- If you want your small business to be more visible, then you as the owner need to be more visible. Look at networking options in terms of what is available in the area. This can be in the form of business networking lunches or breakfasts, where you can connect with others. Make sure you have many business cards in your jacket.
- Another option is to hold networking meetings at your own business location, maybe cheese and wine idea or something similar. You will be amazed at how well these networking opportunities work, especially for small businesses.
- Think about collaborations and partnerships with other small businesses.
- Make sure you do not forget your existing clients - keep in contact with them and remember their important dates (birthday, anniversary, etc). Always be true to yourself and treat your clients like family. If applicable, create a newsletter that clients can join. This allows your existing clients to know your news and any specials FIRST. They will appreciate feeling special.
- Ask your existing clients for referrals that can be added to your website and social media.
Basically, marketing comes down to three simple words:
Visibility Visibility Visibility.
So get out there and be as visible as possible.
If you have any questions, drop me a note below. If I have missed anything, feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear your thoughts and what has worked for you.
Love, Jennifer of Fleetingtime Photography