I know that as a small business owner, or someone just starting out, that ‘marketing’ seems like this huge, ambiguous thing that you know you probably should be doing, but don’t know where to start.
The tips I’m about to list all revolve around making your business easier to find, because really, what’s a better lead generator than your audience actually being able to find you AND make contact?!
So I’m going to list out the most important marketing basics to get right:
1. Buy your business domain.
I don’t care what anyone tells you – you need a website. The easiest way to do this is to go to a domain purchasing site (just Google “purchase domain) & buy your domain.
You don’t have to know anything about computers to buy your domain. Just purchase it, & pay someone else to build your website if you don’t want the hassle.
While I know this isn’t “free” it is so important that it supersedes everything else.
2. Decide on your message.
Who are you as a brand? What do you offer? Who do you want to attract? What value do you offer?
If you’re clear on your message and your brand, that will carry through to your marketing, and people are less likely to get confused about who you are and what you’re doing.
While we’re at it, create your logo & pick a couple colours to easily identify your brand.
3. Set up your website.
I have written briefly about setting up websites before, & if there’s enough interest, I may write a more in-depth post about it, but essentially you have 2 options:
- Free website (using a template & limited hosting),
- Managed hosting (pay someone else to handle everything)
- Host the website yourself (do it all yourself0
Each have their benefits & drawbacks, but it’s really down to personal choice. If your brand is well-established, don’t use a free site.
4. Create a Google Business Page
This is free and sooo important! Think about it: when you want to find the phone number or address of a business, what do you do? You search it online!
Do everyone a favour & create the page, & update it with your phone number, address, website & some relevant, good quality photos. You can even add your trading hours so people know when to expect a reply.
5. Create channels on relevant social media platforms.
Two major pieces of advice for this one:
- Not all social media platforms are relevant for all businesses. Choose carefully – you can always create more.
- Having 1 active, popular & engaging social channel is a billion times better than having 6 boring ones that barely get any traffic. Don’t bite off more than you can chew – build on momentum.
6. Create a library of quality images.
As the cliche goes: a picture is worth 1,000 words.
Those pictures are actually worth a lot more than that if they’re captivating, engaging & nice to look at!
Get rid of photos that are crappy quality, invest in some professional shoots, or even start a free collection of stock photos.
7. Print some business cards.
My recommendation is to print a double-sided card, dedicating one side to display your logo & brand colours creatively, and leave the other side as plain as possible to easily read contact details.
Business cards don’t have to be expensive either. You can design something yourself using a template & print a pile at a local printer for less than $50.
8. Never underestimate the power of positive word-of-mouth.
This is probably the best form of advertising you can get for your business, so always keep it in the back of your mind!
The best ways to generate it are:
- Excellent customer service
- Quick response times to all enquiries – regardless of how profitable
- A friendly, respectful demeanour from everyone associated with your brand at ALL times
- Asking for feedback from clients (good or bad) & actioning items for improvement
- Motivating your team/employees by being supportive & encouraging
- Being genuine & honest (i.e. don’t lie, cheat or be deceitful)
- Creating case studies & collecting testimonials, & use them to help close business
- Always remaining calm & friendly, even when a potential client backs out of a deal last-minute
- Create a working environment that you want to be a part of, and the rest will follow
Focus on these before overwhelming yourself with other avenues of advertising, or paying big dollars to someone else.
You can do a lot more than you know to get your business recognised!