Let’s get rid of the head –trash first. Marketing is not difficult. Stop thinking of it as “Marketing”, start thinking “Getting to know the people you’d like as customers”.
Here are just 7 ideas – there are a million more, I’m sure.
The trick is to IMPLEMENT a strategy or two, don’t just passively read this then let yourself off the hook. Marketing only works if you work it.
Gone are the days of thinking you have to do everything yourself. There are plenty of ways to collaborate with friends and colleagues in business.
Organise a brainstorming session to work out what you could offer each other’s customers. Share your databases ethically – no spamming. How about putting together an irresistible offer as a package of products or services.
2. Work your network
Join a Meetup group, a business networking group or your local Chamber of Commerce. Immerse yourself in a group of proactive business owners to swap stories, strategies and ideas and give each other encouragement.
Get to know your peers and GIVE referrals before you expect them back.
3. Offer a freebie
You have information or product and services that other people want, otherwise you wouldn’t be in business. While you’re out networking and brainstorming come up with ideas for “freebies” you could give to potential customers.
Can you give the equivalent of samples, taste tests, try-before-you-buy offers? Can you give simple yet desirable information in the form of checklists, guides, reports, whitepapers, PDF downloads, videos. The list is endless and it won’t cost you a fortune.
It could be a 1 page document printed from your office printer and posted or emailed out. Develop a library of useful freebies and every time you’re talking to someone listen carefully and offer to send them something irresistibly good that will help them solve a problem.
4. Co work
If you work in a home office on your own, find out what co-working spaces are available in your local area. Hire some desk space for a day or two a week and get to know the other business owners. You’ll soon build up your network of friends and colleagues.
Apply the Collaboration strategy with your new network.
5. Get your work out there
If you never had a stand at an expo, now is the time to give it a go.
Google what’s coming up, there are often national, international and local expos you can participate in. The big expos can cost several thousand dollars to participate but if you sell a high end product it can be very lucrative.
If at the lower end, often business networking groups and chambers of commerce will run business expos .
The secret with expos is not to stay behind a barrier in your stand. Go out and meet people, have a chat. If you’re on the shy side, get a friend to help you, someone who loves talking to people.
It’s also a great way to do a survey. Make sure you have a way to capture prospective customer’s details – make an offer and put them in a draw for a prize or two.
6. Get some publicity
Make your business newsworthy. Find a way to link your products or services to something topical and send a press release to your local journalists in the press, radio and TV.
The media are always hungry for stories. Get to know journalists who are looking for stories like yours and consistently send them good newsworthy material. Always be ready to comment on an issue to be seen as an expert in that area.
7. Speak wherever you can
One of the best ways to get noticed and therefore get customers is to develop your speaking skills.
When you join a networking group you will be expected to speak at every meeting to introduce yourself and your business. You’ll get better with practice.
If you know how to do something others don’t then offer to teach them – preferably in a group setting. Use your networks, co-working space, chambers of commerce, meetup groups – anywhere you can think of to get more experience.
If you’re already an experienced speaker, try getting a little publicity and connect with people who need speakers. If you think about the thousands of conferences, industry expos, networking events and boardroom “lunch and learn” meetings you’re sure to find something that fits well with you.
Good luck, let us know how you go and feel free to share your own ideas on ways to get customers.