Your business has started. The doors are open. The website is up. But where are the customers?
Starting a new business can be overwhelming. There are so many things to do and so much to remember that frequently marketing that business gets shoved to the bottom of the priority list.
Unlike that Field of Dreams, just building it is not enough. Build it and fail to market and you’ll be sitting there in your business or reading your website — all alone.
Each day that you fail to market your business is one more day of lost opportunity.
We’ll be talking a lot about marketing but here are some basic tips to get you started.
Content is one of the best marketing tools available to a business owner. You can write and publish articles on your website or in article directories. Optimize each article for the appropriate keywords as you write them. When people search for those topics, the search engines may lead them to your site. It’s a little more complicated than this but we’ll talk more about specifics in a later post.
Connecting with other business owners, as well as customers and prospects, is a great way to market a new business. Social networking, meeting with others on forums, membership sites, chat rooms, social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even in blogs, is a great way to build relationships and credibility in your industry. Social networking is a great marketing tool because it isn’t about “Selling” but rather it’s about relationship building. For those who are uncomfortable cold calling (and who isn’t) social networking is a valuable marketing tool.
Once you develop relationships, joint venture partnerships often develop which lead to more marketing opportunities and more customers.
Local networking is a great idea too. Local small business associations, chamber of commerce and community education offer excellent opportunities to market a new business. Additionally, business owners can post brochures and flyers with some local brick and mortar establishments to connect with local prospects.
Lead generation campaigns, building your subscriber list or opt in list, is the number one best way to get the word out about your business. The approach is a little different because you’re not promoting your business when you implement a lead generation campaign, but rather you’re promoting what ever it is you’re giving away to encourage subscribers to sign up.
There are many things that will be valuable to someone that you can give away in exchange for their contact information. A free report or e-book are the most common premiums but there can be other incentives as well, such as access to some valuable information stored in a member’s only area of your website.
Once you have a list of people who are interested in what you have to offer, don’t let the list stagnate. Follow up regularly.
One of the ideal ways to follow up is with a regular newsletter. I’ve written a book on “Effective Email Newsletter Marketing” that is for sale on Amazon Kindle. It is targeted to the gift business market but the information applies to any industry whether you are selling products or services.
Marketing a new business is an ongoing process and the sooner you get started the better your results. As your business grows your marketing strategy will evolve. But don’t waste another day. Begin your marketing today!