Marketing Your Business

Congratulations, you have a business idea and want to roll with it! Now what? One of the first things we want to do starting a new business is running out and telling the world, naturally. However, are you prepared to share with the world, when they want it, and are your services or products ready to be unleashed? The first mistake new start ups run into is premature marketing. Your idea seems fantastic, but don't downplay it in the beginning by not having resources for those interested to resort back to on their own. Here is a small list of little cost to you marketing essentials for starting up:

1. Website

The first and most important thing you need to consider before doing any marketing... creating an eye catching website. This is "home base" for your business. This is where all of your information, from contact to product sales pages will be. One central location to where your viewers can find anything they want to know about your business and reach you at any point in time. The worst is seeing a business and being left to wonder, what it is they are actually offering? They seem cool, the owner is a great person, and her marketing skills are off the hook... but what did she just say? This is where your site will back you up, and allow your audience to find this info at their own pace.

2. Business Cards - Carry them everywhere! Remember whenever you hand out a card, ask the person if they have a business card as well! This is important for follow ups and future advertising. The conversation alone means they are curious, follow up emails or sending promotions to these folks will remind them of their initial interest.

3. Sharing with your friends and family - ask them to help spread the word, these are the people you want to give samples to if you have them! They will be your biggest supporters.

4. Set up and dominate social media across all platforms! You want to be present in all forms so that your audience can find you anywhere!

5. Facebook is a great place for promotional videos to be shared!

6. Network with local businesses that complement your own.

7. Ask those businesses if you can leave a few business cards, with flyers or sales promotions where their customers will see them. (make sure this isn't something that would take any business from your business buddy, this is why it is important to be sure it is complimentary.)

8. Host a give away! People love free things, and what better way to get shares/likes all while promoting your product/services?

9. Run a Facebook ad, this is tricky and you have to be sure you really capture the target audience with something brief and worth their click. Also targeting the audience is a bit tricky and may take some research before clicking away on making an ad. Start small and run a $5 ad, for 1 day this way you can see how it works, and adjust from there. You can always re run the same ad if it did well for you!

10. Collaborate with local businesses on social media! Tag your business friends, give them shout outs, and when there are events, work together in building your customer base! This is an excellent way to help promote other locals, and really give those buying a sense of community.

11. Host a giveaway with a more popular site/blog. This is a fun way to introduce yourself to others especially online! The backing from another well known blogger will definitely boost your credibility and increase your following online!

12. Samples! Find a busy spot in town and hand out your free samples! This will allow people to really see for themselves, as well as making that connection with you, the hardworking, and enthusiastic business person! This surely will help you shine! The key here is not to sell, but to share.

13. Engage with your customers on social media. I say this, I mean from your personal account if possible... You don't necessarily have to friend anyone, however make appearances on local sites, not selling, but interacting and having your information on your own page visible so they can see and access your business information.

14. Add your business to online directories, and local directories!

15. Guest post on a popular page/blog! Giving information about your products/services while introducing yourself and making the post useful.

16. Join other small business owners' Facebook groups!

17. Join online networking groups, such as your local chamber of commerce.

18. Offer incentives for those who share and suggest your business!

19. Build and use your email list! This way you can email them promotions and sales! Always remember to leave them an "opt out" option link at the bottom of your emails!

20. Use affiliates to promote your products!

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