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Wouldn’t it be great if you were Fortune 500? Deep pockets, the latest tech, a department to keep track of all the departments. And the marketing! Glitzy, multi-channeled multi-media all the way.
The problem is you live in the hard-knock world of small business. You have more hats than three baseball teams, and you’re pretty sure one says marketing on it. Your pockets aren’t deep, time is limited, and if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re a Marketing Department of one. But fear not! These tips will get you noticed and grow your top line without busting the budget.
It’s who you know
Get to know your customers, and collect their contact info. Nobody’s more likely to buy than a satisfied current customer, so stay in touch regularly. Send a thank you card when they become your customer. Call on their birthday. Send an email announcing a sale, new product or newsworthy note. And don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and make it worth their while with a freebie or discount for every sale they bring you. If your customer base is small, you can hand write and address cards.
You’ll be on a roll
Can you design a bumper sticker, window decal or magnetic sign? Can you ask your devoted fans to proudly display these on their cars, trucks and minivans? Can you enjoy the benefits of this ever-growing fleet of rolling billboards promoting your business? Yes, yes, and yes! Self promotion is a great thing, especially if you are running a strictly local business. You can wear t-shirts with your company logo and hope to be stuck in a waiting room or grocery store line next to a potential customer.
Tag, you’re it
Hashtag, that is! Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to reach a large audience quickly. Users have hundreds of followers so a well placed post can connect with a huge network. Conduct online polls, post coupons exclusively for online customers or run a contest. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. And remember, social media is all about community, so follow and support other businesses to build a broad network.
You’re an expert in your field, so write what you know and offer this content free of charge to newspapers, websites, and blogs. You’ll be surprised how hungry these outlets are for content, and amazed at how much more valuable an expert appearance is than paid advertising. Not a writer? There are a number of low-cost services online that turn your expert ideas into compelling text.
Let these ideas be the tip of the do-it-yourself marketing iceberg. Be creative and positive. Starting a company takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Marketing your company takes work, but it doesn’t have to be expensive. With these ideas, you’ll spend a little and gain a lot!
Image cover source: Childers Group
Guest post written by Kandace Heller
Kandace Heller is a freelance writer in Orlando, Florida. Shes loves to read, write and learn about new techniques in business. Kandace got her information about using social media and specialized address printers to increase productivity from Neopost