The success of your business is dependent on marketing. Let’s face the truth, if you are not marketing it, then it will eventually meet its demise! And stop complaining that you can’t afford to market. The truth is, you cannot afford not to market! The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to market your small business. Here are 6 powerful, FREE or inexpensive tips to boost sales and build credibility.
Pssssssssst, come closer! Now let me be frank; if you are not creating relevant and informative content that matters to your ideal customers, then you are NOT serving their needs. Worse, not only is your credibility the size of a ‘gnat;’ but you are handing potential revenue over to your competitors.
It is important to determine the needs of your audience and create content that’s going to be meaningful to them. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to market it. Here are 10 easy to implement resources:
- E-mail campaigns
- Guest Blog Sites
If you think email marketing is ‘old school,’ think again! For an easy and inexpensive way to connect with new customers, build a loyal following and increase sales, email marketing can do all of that and more! If you still think email marketing is a thing of the past, here are 4 recent statics conducted by leading experts:
- 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
- 33% of email recipients open email based on subject line alone.
- 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.
- 7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week.
6 Leading Email Marketing Services:
- Constant Contact
- Get Response
- Mail Chimp
- Vertical Response
Build a Network
One of the most successful ways to promote your business is by networking. You can be the best cook or accountant but if no one knows you, then don’t expect them to buy or refer business to you. The ole’ saying “People buy from those they know, like and trust… is very true! So, it’s imperative that people know who you are and the more face to face recognition at local networking events, the better!
Networking is a lifestyle in which you need to incorporate onto your “To Do” list. It is all about developing and building relationships.
2 Ways to Network:
- Get involved with local and online organizations. Take advantage of membership opportunities. Volunteer for special committees or share expert advice.
- Hit the speaking circuit. Offer to give a presentation at local groups. Most civic, service and professional groups are in need of speakers for their monthly meetings. Contact your local library, chamber or find online groups to offer a FREE seminar or webinar on a topic relating to your industry.
An extremely effective strategy for expanding your business is by forming a joint venture or strategic alliance with non-competitive companies. This gives you an instant marketing presence in front of potential clients. Do you know other companies to whom you share mutual customers with? You should be running, not walking to find who they are and how you can team up and benefit from each other.
For instance, say you are a broker… idea partnerships would include Realtors, mortgage lenders, title companies, appraisers, insurance agents and home builders. The key to this is to learn as much as you can about each partner’s business so that you can promote it as you would your own. This new strategic alliance will enable each of you to grow more rapidly as you have a sales team working on your behalf. It makes so much sense to work smarter and not harder!
To find businesses that complement yours, jot down every linked product or service that you don’t offer but that is related to what you do.
Here are 3 D’s for a Sound Collaboration:
- Draft an agreement outlining expectations of the partnership
- Develop a bond with your new alliance partners
- Decide how marketing activities will be initiated between partners such as handing out marketing material at various networking functions, exchanging banners and links on websites or share a big marketing project.
Since majority of the earth’s population make use of the internet, a website is the best way to tell the world about you and your company. This is also an opportunity to explain why you deserve their confidence and trust. In fact, internet users today expect serious business owners to have an online presence. They use the internet to research before buying products and services. Therefore, a website is a great tool to provide useful information about your business and convince your audience that you offer the best product or service. Here are 4 ways to increase credibility to your website:
- Update your website with pertinent and relevant information on a regular basis
- Offer visitors with quick and flexible answers to their needs
- Post testimonials from satisfied customers
- Provide visitors with a comment section and make sure you respond in a timely manner
A well designed, informative and updated website will add credibility to your business and strengthen your brand.
More and more businesses are blogging as they realize the benefits. It is a great opportunity to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. If executed effectively, this can be a smart online marketing strategy and an affordable way to grow your business.
As you regularly post relevant content, you build a loyal group of followers. Be patient as it takes time. As your followers get to know you, they will feel comfortable in passing on leads and referring you to potential clients. In addition:
- Invite guest bloggers to contribute fresh content and reciprocate.
- Interview subject matter experts. For example, I publish written interviews featuring established Women in Business and Women Authors. My subscribers receive informative and empowering content and the interviewees link the article from my blog to theirs, thus, driving new traffic to it.
- Set up affiliate marketing to earn revenue for promoting products relevant to your business. For example, I earn revenue from Aweber and Blue Host when visitors click on or purchase products.
The key is to be persistent and consistent with your efforts.
In conclusion, there is enormous power in creating a strong marketing presence. It is not about getting sales, but developing strong relationships with people.