Have you ever woken up and thought you needed a change. Change is scary, and that’s why we often just decide to stay in our comfort zone.
Well, if you are an entrepreneur, then you decided to make that change and do something that challenges you. Business in itself is very challenging and that’s why we are always looking for ways to market ourselves.
Just over 10 years ago, I was a regional VP for an international franchise company manufacturing signage and print into the industry. It was an industry I had been in for 10 years already. I started selling materials and training signage companies on what material to use in the manufacture process. I was head hunted through the years until I ended up selling, setting up franchises in the industry and advising them on how to be more visible and grow their business.
In January 2007 I decided to quit, and start my own manufacturing business. It was time to practice what I preached. These are 6 ways I marketed my business.
- Creating a brand / logo
Brand recognition is the goal for any business. It gives you credibility and inspires people to buy from you. So ensure you have a logo designed that embraces your businesses values. Grow your brand by placing your logo on your business cards, email signatures, brochures, signs, vehicles, website, corporate clothing and corporate gifts.
Network as much as you can. Join BNI or your local chamber of commerce. Remember, do not network to sell products, but focus on building relationships. Building relationships is key to getting referrals from your networks. Don’t forget to take professional looking business cards along.
Consider a variety of advertising streams. Firstly consider your location and the traffic that passes your business on a daily bases. Do you have a sign? Is it visible? Are you delivering goods or seeing clients? Are your vehicles branded? Are your staff branded or your products labelled? Make sure you are visible!
Its also vital to be visible in the digital space as well. Invest in Google Pay Per click and a well designed website.
- Collaborate with other businesses
What industries or professions out there compliment your business? We are a signage and printing company and designers would require our services and compliment our business.
You can also establish business partnerships. Take McDonalds for example. They dont just sell a McFlurry, they sell Oreo McFlurry. A good example of a successful partnership combining two brands.
- Get Social
Social Media is a great way to build brand awareness. Different platforms cater for different client needs and requirements. Get a reputable agency to handle your social media. The downfall of most businesses is not being consistent.
- Build Customer Relationships
Create a memorable customer experience that will keep them talking about you and your brand. This is key to repeat and referral business. Customers value good service far better then fast service. They love personalisation and will gladly pay for it. We all get caught up in our day to day operations and often neglect calling and seeing our clients. Set up a schedule to ensure you are chatting to your client on a regular bases. In an age where everything is digital, the key is all about human interaction on a regular bases.
There are plenty other ways to market your business, but get going with the basics and build your marketing strategy from there.
What will you be doing to market your business this year?
Post your ideas on our Facebook page or Twitter and stand a chance of winning a branding voucher. #MarketingMyBusiness
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