Are you just in business, or do you actively market your business? Be honest. If you expect customers to visit you simply because you’ve hung out a sign or posted a website, you’re in for some very quiet hours. Today, marketing is a critical part of creating loyal customers and making continued sales. Although marketing text books and college courses are everywhere, here are ten straight-forward ways to market your business and increase your sales:
1. Find an email list owner with a large database. Then join forces and cross promote each other’s goods or services. You’ll both end up winners.
Blog, Baby, Blog
2. Got something to say about your business, your products, your special offers or sales? Of course you do. Then blog away every chance you get. It’s quicker, easier and even cheaper – in fact it’s free at sites such as blogger.com – than changing up your website. Keep it fresh and you’ll keep customers, old and new, coming back for more.
3. They call it a lagniappe in Louisiana: It’s the proverbial “baker’s dozen” that comes when you buy. Go beyond what your customers expect and their praise, and sales, will go beyond your expectations.
4. Real compliments from real customers mean real credibility. When you receive a compliment, don’t be shy about sharing it online and anywhere else you promote.
5. An invoice is a little friendlier when it comes with a special offer or even an advertorial. This is another place where you can cross promote with another company to your mutual benefit.
6. Business cards should be doing-business cards. Customers are more prone to keep a business card with important phone numbers or other useful information on the back.
7. Everybody likes to get more for their money. A “buy two, get one free” or other limited time promotion can build both traffic and sales. Corporate sponsors will often support your efforts for the accompanying free promotion.
8. Give back to the community you serve with items such as team sponsorships and gifts for local charity events. It’s often called “Doing well by doing good.” It works, too.
9. No such thing as bad publicity? That’s not quite true. But if you can stir up your customers while staying on the good side of your community, go for it. Proceed cautiously here, but proceed.
10. You know your products or services like no one else. Prove it online as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on a relevant message board or forum. Don’t forget to take credit for what you know either. Your SEO rankings and web traffic will reward your efforts.