How to Market Your Small Business
As a small business owner, odds are your budget is tight and your time is limited. This doesn’t change the fact that you have to build brand visibility for potential clients and customers to see. Good news is, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on fancy ads or hire an outside firm to effectively market your product or service. Read on for ideas on how to market your small business and for suggested tools to help you do so.
Utilize the Local Market
Become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce or other neighborhood or city organizations for small businesses. Local governments have an interest in the success of businesses within their borders, and they likely offer great networking resources and other marketing opportunities. Another way to utilize the local market it to take out ads in the local paper or to partner with other local establishments to place an ad at their business. Chances are, people who frequent other small businesses live in the area and may be looking for the product or service you offer.
Websites: Take the time to do it right!
Luckily, we’ve written a whole other article on how to put together a stellar website. Take a look at that article, and keep in mind that your website and online branding is one of the most important marketing tools you have. Don’t rush through the website-building process, and utilize tools such as Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly to design a website on a budget.
Mass emailing can be an effective, low-cost way of reaching your customers and increasing their access to what you offer. People are more likely to purchase your products or services if they’re reminded of them (but not too frequently) and presented with an easy way to buy. Online businesses will find this especially effective. Find ways to encourage customers to sign up to your email list. After they have signed up, utilize services like Constant Contact and MailChimp. Both allow you to create customized emails with your company’s branding. You can send personalized welcome and birthday emails, let your customers know about upcoming events or sales, and even send newsletters to keep customers in the know about the business.
Social Media- it works!
Social media marketing can turn expensive quick, but there are many ways to get your name out on social media platforms that are free. If you’re in the service industry, encourage your clients to leave a review on consumer review sites (i.e. yelp, Google, etc.) If potential customers see positive reviews, they will be more likely to engage in your services. Also, if customers can reach you through social media sites, it’s important to reply in a timely manner. Whether the communication is a complaint, a question, or a compliment, a quick response shows that you care and are attentive to your audience.