10 marketing tips for your small business

Who has time for marketing? You may not have time, but you certainly need to make the time. Here are ten simple tips to market your business more effectively.

Marketing your business is almost a full time job and you have enough to do just actually running your business, right? We’ve found ten ways to help you market your business, maybe there’s a few here that you haven’t even considered. Remember, though not every marketing effort works all the time for every business: for example, a postcard mailing you sent in the summer may not work – or might get lost in the deluge – around the holidays. When you’re reading these, try to think of ways you can incorporate them into your operations and shake things up a bit.

  1. Try the team approach: If you have a colleague who is considering doing a mailing, why not partner up – slip your brochure or business card into his or her mailing. This strategy helps spread your name to a new pool of potential clients.
  2. First impressions count: Why not answer your phone differently? Instead of the usual, “Thank you for calling ABC Company,” why not announce a special offer your company is running. Try this, “Hello, this is Jane Doe with ABC Company, did you know we’re offering a buy one get one free deal, this week only?” Make the offer urgent by putting a deadline that is time sensitive.
  3. Go old school: Design a great ad and send out a postcard to your targeted market area. A small postcard ad can drive traffic to your website and might generate a slew of leads. And, on hold messaging has been around since the 80’s.
  4. Make it fun: There are so many opportunities out there when it comes to letting the world know who you are and what you do so shake it up when you’re setting up your annual marketing campaign. Make certain you request feedback from customers; do they prefer email, phone calls, or snail mail?
  5. Don’t be out of sight, out of mind: If you have a customer who recently purchased your goods or utilized your service send them a follow up offer. Did they stop by your floral shop to have an arrangement sent for their mother’s birthday? Send them a post card with a money-off offer for their next purchase. Create urgency – attach a deadline to the offer. Stay top-of-mind with on hold marketing.
  6. Say it with words: When’s the last time you received a hand written letter or even a sticky note? Why not handwrite your envelopes occasionally to your customers? Why not use a sticky note if you drop information off with a client. Make it short and sweet, though – kind of like a mini-billboard. If you want to use a more lengthy conversation, do it with your on hold messaging.
  7. Come on in: Do you have an office? Why not have an open house? Ever consider hosting a mini-seminar? You have an area of expertise, right? Why not spread the word about who you are and what you do by offering a 30-minute seminar to your customers and potential customers? Host an event and it might garner media coverage for your business.
  8. Get your money’s worth: Every time you do a mailing, include a brochure or pamphlet. If you do multiple mailings to the same client list, why not try to shake it up with your inserts? If you have the funds, create brochures with different messages and offers so your customers aren’t receiving the same information every mailing.
  9. Spread the news: Why not send out an e-newsletter or a hard copy snail mail one? It takes, on average, six times more to make a sale to a new customer than to keep an existing one. Use your newsletters to focus on marketing to past customers. Consider setting up an opt-in on your website and then send out monthly newsletters to your list. Use your on hold marketing messages to keep callers informed about what’s new with your business.
  10. Barter: We love barter and know it’s a perfect tool – especially in today’s economy – to not only offer your services, but to partake of goods and services your business needs. Consider trading your product or service with a company that offers advertising or printing services. This is a great way, for a company on a budget, to exchange services and help their business thrive.
Remember, make marketing fun and also don’t forget to track which of your efforts are working best and then refine your practices.