By Tara Jacobsen, marketing guru and owner of Marketing Artfully
When you are all excited launching a new business, it is sometime hard to know how to get started with your marketing efforts. This is especially true if you have been in a job or the corporate world for a while. Over there it was common to have a “marketing department” or person responsible for getting new business. Now that you are in business for yourself, that is a hat that you will have to put on, AND which can be a fun hat to wear if you have a plan.
Three Different Marketing Plans For A New Business
Regardless of what you have heard, there is not one “right” way to market your business. There are actually thousands of ways that you can help to generate leads and make connections that will lead to closed sales. Here are three very different ways to look at marketing, depending on what your skill sets are!
The Social Butterfly
If you are a social creature who loves to get together with people and make new friends, marketing can seem more like a party and less like a grind. Here are three ways to use your social skills to get more leads:
1. Networking. Getting out there belly-to-belly and making new connections is the straightest line to making more money. If you are spending 4-5 hours a week attending different networking events, you can start to see how your product or service is being received in the marketplace and figuring out how to position it so that people are interested. Make sure you have a flyer or handout that you can give to people you meet, explaining your product or service, or even advertising a “new customer” sale.
2. Say yes to everything. When you are “out there” you will start to get invited to things. Say yes to every invitation knowing that as an “invited guest” you will be warmly welcomed. You will meet new people who you would never have access to without being in these situations.
3. Make a point of following up! Don’t just collect business cards or name and call it a day. Write down something about each person that you meet and ask them specifically how they like to be contacted. Some might like to meet face-to-face, some may be on social media or some may like to text. Make sure to contact them and thank them for connecting and see if there is anything that you can help them with.
The Technology Whiz
Saying that you are a tech whiz doesn’t mean that you know how to do everything online today, it just means that you are willing to learn new things and open to figuring out how to use technology for your marketing.
1. Have a newsletter. Start a newsletter using a service like MailChimp.com or ConstantContact.com that keeps you and your brand top of mind. SmarterWomenColorado.com’s Pat Frederiksen does this beautifully with her “free events in Denver” newsletter. Providing great value allows her to communicate with her readers on a monthly basis and she can include advertisements for her financial services in each message.
2. Social media. It can be scary and intimidating to jump into the Facebook or Twitter pool. What if no one reads what you wrote or what if everyone hates your posting marketing messages? Social media marketing (or social networking as we like to call it) is just like real networking. You would not walk up to a new person in real life and start jabbering about your really great product so don’t do that on Social Media. Instead look at the social sites as a way to start connecting with new prospects and building relationships that could lead to increased sales.
3. Video. There is nothing more impactful than to have a video that helps people available for people to watch. Doing “how to’s” and introductions to your product or service can be one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your business. Simply use your cell phone to make 1-2 minute videos of yourself talking about something related to your industry and share them on YouTube. You can also post them on Facebook, Twitter and all the other social sites, increasing your reach and connecting with new customers and prospects.
The Event Planner
If you love holding or attending events like teaching seminars, networking or other places where people get together, you are in luck! Having these types of events is a sure way to attract people who are interested in your product or service.
1. Teaching seminar. Getting people in a room and showing them something helpful related to your industry is a great way to grow your following and pipeline of prospects. Being an “expert” in your field and sharing that knowledge can help immediately overcome any objections they might have to purchasing your products or services.
2. Speaking locally. There are many opportunities to get out “in the field” and give presentations. Most Chambers, Business Clubs and Networking events need a steady stream of speakers to talk in front of the group. The key to success here is to remember that they are not there to be sold but to learn something interesting that will help them in their business or life.
3. Hold your own networking events. This one is a little tricky and can cause you to take your eye off of the selling prize, but done correctly is a powerful tool for growing your influence and meeting new people. It is easy to find free venues to hold your events, send out invitations to your email list, post them on Facebook and talk about it when you are networking at other places (people who like to network will love your event too!) Make sure to keep a list of the people who attended and invite them back for each event.
Hopefully these suggestions have given you at least a spark of an idea about how to get started marketing your business. None are set in stone and you can mix and match them to fit your personality and talents.
Tara Jacobsen is a sales and marketing speaker, author and consultant that you will not forget. She brings with her a true, hands on marketing, goal setting and time management focus, and yet energizes her audience with full on content and interactive participation. Find out more about her products and services at http://marketingartfully.com.