Why do we need to market our business? Essentially it is to let others know what we do, how we do it and why we are better at doing it than anyone else. The next step is how do we actually market our business without having to borrow at third world nation debt levels?
Have a Strategy
To achieve a quality business image, you don’t need to spend a fortune, but you do need to be consistent and have a strategy. The image you present needs to let your prospects know what to expect. They will form an opinion of your business and product long before you have the opportunity to try to sell to them. The only way you can influence this perception is to set up your image for them in the way you want to be seen.
Some of the best low cost marketing ideas I’ve found include:
1. Basic marketing material needs to look professional, designed to match the image of your business. Good quality business cards and signage all go to creating that great first impression and helping your market ‘see’ you as being the right fit for them. Pick a nice logo with a lettering font which matches the image of your business.
2. Have your own website and buy a domain name which suits your business in your locale (eg .com.au). Even if you only start with one wonderful page it will send the message that you are here to stay and the brand look and feel can be reinforced on the site.
3. Have an email address which is connected to that domain name. There is nothing less professional than a generic email for business, e.g. MySite@gmail.com. You need to be name@MySite.com, the instant credibility this almost cost free exercise gives is invaluable.
4. Get yourself online with social media. Another brilliant free medium now is YouTube. You can create and upload videos giving tips, advice or ‘how-to’ sessions. These can show you as an ‘expert’ in your field, and if they are really useful, they will be shared and revisited many times over. A good investment of your time.
5. No matter where you are, you are the image of your business, so you need to dress the part. To be paid well for your services, you need to look as though you are always paid well for your services. Dress as though you are about to meet your dream client every day. Who knows, you just might. Look out for department store and fashion outlet sales, you only need a couple of good outfits that work.
6. As a last free concept- don’t make your customers have to work hard to find you. On every piece of marketing material or other printed matter, clearly have your phone number, address (if appropriate), website, email address, and mobile number. These days it is essential to have a mobile phone and you can treat all the calls on this as business so to give a professional impression. If you run your business from home, ask your telecommunications provider if they offer a ‘multiple number’ which is basically as second phone number run off your existing phone line.
This will ring with a different tone to your home number allowing you to answer these calls in a business manner. For just a few dollars a month this is a very economical way to always give a professional impression.
The image you portray is the one that will guide how your potential clients respond to your business. Focus on your image from day one and follow these price conscious guides to help create the perfect image within your budget. A favourable impression will guarantee more clients with expectations to match your product or service.