8 Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners
Great words help you sell, that’s for sure, but they don’t work alone. If you write the world’s most enticing sales page and the only thing you do is stick it online, it’s unlikely people will see it.
What you need to do is tell people about it and drive traffic to you.
Firstly, I’m going to assume you’ve done your market research and have created an amazing product or service your clients actually want. If you haven’t, go away and do that, then come back – otherwise read on for some marketing savvy that will help you sell more.
Telling people about your stuff
Not all networking events are created equal. You need to find one that aligns with your business and client group, then get mingling. The key is to build relationships rather than sell wares. If people like you they will think of you when they need your services, or refer you to someone who does.
Bonus tip: There's been a bit of a backlash against the trusty business card which I think is rather premature. I personally need your business card or I'll forget your name and business, and I think many people feel the same way.
2. Email marketing
If you have a mailing list* it's prudent to communicate with the people on it regularly and provide useful content. Firstly, it helps to build a relationship with them. Secondly, it keeps you and your biz more fresh in their minds.
Bonus tip: I recommend you email at least four times with useful content before you do a sales pitch. A ratio of 4 or 5:1 is fair. Your list dwellers are aware you need to sell, but they didn’t sign up to be sold to relentlessly.
Whether it’s in your local paper, on a billboard, TV or Facebook (to name but a few), a well-placed and enticing advert can do wonders for your business. An ad needs to be laser-focused on the solution(s) you provide for your clients.
Examples: relieving stress or stiff shoulders (a masseuse), easy, low-cost childcare (a local nursery).
4. Word of mouth
Giving your clients a 5-star service is the first step to getting them to spread the love. But, I’m sorry to say, they don’t think of you that much when they return to their busy lives. I know, heart-breaker. So, to remind them what a lovely time you all had, why not give them an incentive?
Examples: 10% off their next spa treatment if they recommend a friend, or a commission if they invite a pal to your conference.
Bonus tip: you should also grab a testimonial from them and stick it on your website before their enthusiasm (and memory) fades.
Driving people to your stuff
5. Plan a pathway
Understanding your client's typical journey to buying will ensure you strategically direct them where you want them to go. Consider where your clients will first make contact with you, then plot a path.
A simplified client pathway: 1. attend networking event 2. receive contact details/business card 3. visit website or social media profile 4. sign-up to list 5. get emails and start to like and trust 6. see offer and buy.
Bonus tip: If you have a freebie to entice people to sign up to your mailing list, make it really useful to them. And, if you’re clever, make it linked to one of your key services/products so they get a taste of what you have to offer.
6. Narrow down the options
You may feel having an array of services means lots of lovely choice for your clients, but it can also be confusing - and a bit stressful. Narrowing down the options can help drive prospects to the ones you want the most, and it saves them a headache. You can do this by blending separate services together into more powerful packages. Or by showcasing only one main service until you get the numbers you need. This works really well for businesses such as coaching, photography and website design.
7. Limited offers
Time-sensitive offers and discounts are very effective at driving traffic to your sales page or website. Just bear in mind that people need reminders, so don’t be shy! Remind them there’s only 48 hours, then 24, then the last 12, then the last 1. As long as you’re not selling ALL the time (see point 2 about the ratio) then your clients will understand.
How many times have you forgotten about that fabulous offer and were grateful for the reminder? How many times have you signed up in the last hour? Yep.
8. Push your links
Add the link to your mailing list sign-up (or key sales page) to your email signature, social media profile, at the end of your blog or wherever people will see it.
So there you have it. Some marketing tips to increase your visibility and help shepherd the good buying folk where you want them to go.
If you have any golden marketing tips that have worked for you, please share them in the comments below!
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*list refers to your mailing or email list. This is a database-style list of names consisting of prospects, clients, warm leads and so on.