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10 Easy ways to promote your business
Find new customers with these no-nonsense strategies that work
Starting a business isn’t easy and many entrepreneurs must do it on a shoestring budget. Figuring out how to promote your business with limited finances and staffing takes focused effort and consistent re-evaluation.
For a savvy entrepreneur, it is possible to advertise your business and grow it effectively and inexpensively. As business guru Jay Abraham points out, there are only three fundamental ways to grow your business: increase the number of buyers or clients, increase the frequency of purchase and increase the utility value. To achieve any of these, you need effective business promotion.
Wondering how to advertise your business on a start-up budget? By harnessing the power of technology and networking, there are ways to promote your business without breaking the bank.
How to promote your business
One of the most effective ways to promote your business is to work with a business coach or mentor who has experience with new business promotion. A business coach can give you examples of low-cost ways to promote your business and guide you through the marketing and promotion process. They’ll also help you dive deep into your target market, ensuring you’re spending money wisely by marketing to the right groups of people and determining benchmarks to evaluate if your marketing efforts are working. Here are some of the ideas they will likely suggest.
10 ways to promote your business
1. Get strong leads with targeted email marketing
Experts agree that email marketing is a must for any business promotion campaign. Research shows that email marketing is one of the most effective sources of good leads, the easiest and most effective digital marketing tactic for high ROI and one of the best ways to get new customers.
But it’s not enough to just promote your business via email. Anyone can type a message and hit send. To properly advertise your business, you need to create a designated email marketing strategy. Determine how often you want to send your newsletter – monthly versions are fast becoming the trend – and send out a high-quality newsletter packed with insight, analysis of industry trends and special deals. Keep in mind that your customers are looking for information that’s valuable to them. Otherwise, you risk alienating potential customers if they perceive your newsletter or communication to be unwanted junk mail.
A compelling newsletter gets forwarded and draws new customers. Use free email campaign services like MailChimp to send automated messages, targeted campaigns and marketing emails to customers, or use an email marketing tool like Sidekick to personalize your approach.
2. Act locally for effective business promotion
One of the best ways to promote your business is by targeting potential customers in your area. Get your brand into the local media and industry publications and try to appear on the websites of other local businesses. Each new place your business is seen gives it a fresh audience, and if that audience is local and interested in your industry, you are far likelier to gain leads and customers than you would by placing advertisements in irrelevant online markets.
Do your research before you advertise your business to the local market. If you want the local press to pick you up, get to know the reporters and publications that cover your local business community and your industry as a whole. If you’re looking for cross-promotional opportunities, target businesses in your area that are in a similar field or that offer a product supplemental to your own. Consider engaging in a free trade partnership, exchanging services for publicity or vice versa. When you build these local connections, you not only learn how to promote your business, but you also gain valuable contacts.
3. Promote your business by finding the right referrals
Still contemplating how to promote your business? Getting referrals for a service business requires finesse and careful strategy. People are more likely to buy your products or use your service if it is recommended to them by a trusted source. For businesses just starting out, building your customer base through referrals can be a challenge. You’ll reach more customers if you take the time to understand the psychology of customers willing to give you referrals. Are they at the beginning of their careers? Are they more experienced? Are they motivated by a commission off the initial sale? Develop buyer personas to hone in on your target market. Once you understand the type of person who is willing to send you a referral, leverage that knowledge to get even more quality referral business. This is one of the key strategies for business promotion.
4. Let your happy customers help you advertise your business
A loyal customer is the best salesperson your business can get. That’s why it’s so crucial to create a raving fan culture around your company when looking for ways to promote your business. Client testimonials and dialogue are free forms of marketing that pack a powerful punch. Make sure you make and keep connections with your happiest customers via email and on social media platforms. Reward your long-time customers with a solid loyalty campaign that involves discounts, free products or exclusive promotions. Put a system in place to solicit and manage online reviews from your customers so you can promote your top reviews as well as problem-solve for those customers that report a negative experience.
If you have a particularly loyal and articulate customer, share their story with a reporter covering local businesses (with their permission and involvement, of course). The story will be compelling and include a great human-interest element that makes for excellent copy. Make sure to share this story on your social media for maximum exposure.
5. Hold a free training or seminar to increase visibility
Depending on your business, it’s worthwhile to hold a free training or seminar for your customers. Based on the type of business you have and who you’re trying to reach, offer the seminar in-person or online. Host the seminar for customers who come to you through an existing happy customer or a referral. If this potential customer is on the fence about engaging with your business and you can see a clear fit between their needs and what your business can offer, then that extra step of investing in them further could be a very wise one. As Jay Abraham notes, you know the value of your time, your knowledge and what your ideas can do, whereas they do not know that yet. Taking that extra step of offering potential customers something of real value can result in a big payoff for your business, especially when it comes to how to advertise your business.
6. Be social media savvy to connect with fans
Social media is free and almost everyone uses it, which is why it’s a great medium to grow your business – as long as you use the right strategies to advertise your business.
For effective business promotion via social media, you must choose the right platforms for your company. Facebook and Twitter are the two biggest platforms for most businesses, and almost any business can benefit from being on LinkedIn and YouTube (free commercials, anyone?). Choose platforms based on your products or services – Instagram is ideal if you have a very visual business – as well as your target market.
Whichever platform you choose, focus on quality and do your research. Don’t post anything that isn’t your absolute best. This means proofreading your text, selecting clear, well-lit images and making sure your links go to functioning pages. Your social media presence often doubles as the actual face of your company, so uphold your brand’s core values and personality when you’re engaging with the public.
Social media is meant to be social, so don’t focus only on promotional posts to advertise your business. Start conversations and engage your followers to learn more about your customers’ lives and better understand how to serve them. If you focus solely on business promotion, you’re not using the platforms correctly. Follow Entrepreneur Magazine’s 80/20 rule and focus at least 80% of your social media activity on engagement and connection, not promotion.
7. Join networking groups to promote your business
You can connect with others who will help promote your brand and bring you referrals by joining local networking groups. Whether it’s an industry group such as chiropractic practitioners, a Chamber of Commerce or a referral group with a sole purpose of generating leads for members, a networking group is an affordable way to get your name out there and make valuable connections. If you’re wondering how to promote your business in a networking group, always focus on giving value to others. Ask them questions about their products or services and how you can help them with their business promotion – and listen deeply to the answers. Once you start bringing value to others, they will in turn give value to you.
8. Get involved in a trade show to reach large numbers of potential customers
Wondering how to advertise your business to a large number of people in a single day? Get a booth at a trade show. You’ll make instant connections in person with hundreds or even thousands of potential customers in the span of a few hours and answer their questions or give them product samples. You’ll also network with other business owners who would make good referral partners and promote your business through contests or giveaways. Research potential trade shows before you sign up to ensure they are attracting your target market.
9. Start a blog to engage your target market
Sometimes the best way to advertise your business is by not advertising at all. If you start a blog full of engaging topics and thought-provoking commentary about your industry, you can gain notoriety as a thought leader and attract the right type of customers. A blog gets people talking and educates them about issues that are important to them. As soon as you become known as the go-to authority in your industry, new business will come your way.
10. Advertise your business online
There are dozens of ways you can use online advertising to strengthen your brand, reach new clients and stand out in a crowded market. Facebook ads can be very targeted to a certain group of people while Google Ads can utilize keywords that your target audience is searching for. There’s also advertising on LinkedIn and Instagram with banner or retargeting ads to keep your business in front of your customers, as well as chatbots that you can implement on your website to grab your audience’s attention and keep it by answering questions in real time or providing discounts when they visit your site or social media page.
Now that you know 10 ways to promote your business, you’re ready to get started. A brand new business is usually in desperate need of stellar marketing and lacks a large marketing budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable and successful ways to advertise your business. Smart, organized business owners have a variety of ways to interact with potential customers and earn their loyalty.