Here comes one of the most crucial aspects of your business – the marketing and sales part. Marketing and sales are the lifeline of any business. Sales are obviously what you need to earn huge profits and generate income. But if you do not let the world know that your business exists through marketing it, who will come and buy from you? So this leads me to another question – how do you get the word out that you have a business? And to tackle this question, I present yet another few related and relevant meta-questions you can ask yourself:
- Who is your target audience?
- Who exactly do you want to attract and buy from you?
- What are their gender, age group, physical attributes, etc?
- Why do you need to target them?
- How can you get your target audience to find out about your business?
- What are the types of marketing channels you can use to connect with potential customers and prospects?
- What are your overall strategies for bringing in and retaining your business?
The obvious next part is not to just sit down there and leave the questions unanswered. Take out a piece of paper, notepad or turn on a word processor on your computer. Then write down the most sensible, feasible, specific and honest answers you can think of.
But if you are probably new at this business thing, let’s look at a few traditional marketing strategies you can instantly utilise to promote your business. The following is a non-exhaustive list of marketing tactics:
- Viral Marketing
- Press Releases
- Conventional or Banner Advertising
This is probably the most traditional yet effective method to market your business. This method involves telling your family members and friends about your business and then asking or getting them to tell their other family members, friends or even customers/clients about it. This method works efficiently because you already have credibility in the eyes of your family and friends through the close bond you share with them. So, they are more likely to listen and trust you and ultimately promote your business for you.
When was the last time you bought something or sign up for some service because a family member or friend told you to do so? Or when did you watch a show or program that a family member or friend recommended to you? This is the power of viral or word of mouth marketing. Its potential has no limits and what’s more, it’s free and easy to execute. So, make sure you try this method when you plan to market your business.
Please note though that a press release is not about paying the press company to run advertisements about your business (that’ll be explained in the next part). A press release simply involves the press company running an article about your business or related article promoting your business. And usually, you do not pay them huge advertising costs to do so.
But obviously, nothing is for free so exactly how do you get successful press companies or even your local press to notice you let along publish an article about your business? Well, the first step is simply to ask. Send them an email, mail or fill up a query box on their website. Of course, as you ask them for a favour, you have to be willing to provide one for them too. Sadly, we live in a world where most people live by the “What’s In For Me” (WIFM) rule.
Nevertheless, use it to your advantage. Offer the press companies good, solid or well-written articles on your business topics and offer to promote their publications/products as an affiliate.
Or think of other ways you can produce a win-win situation for yourself and them.
You’ve probably heard the phrase the “power of the press” and how true it is. The press has a powerful way of influencing the minds and actions of people. So, imagine the exposure it can provide for your business if you can tap on that power.
Conventional or Banner Advertising
You can go about this method by paying a specific sum of money to various mass media companies – newspaper, magazine, newsletters, radio, television, etc – to run advertisements promoting your business. The amount to spend and the type and length of advertisements (written, visual, audio, video, etc) vary according to your budget and the type of mass media companies you intend to go to.
Typically a small text advertisement in a newspaper or magazine can cost a few dollars while an advertisement in a commercial may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. So make sure you think hard and plan your budget well when deciding to advertise your business. We’re not going to lie to you but you’ll have to fork out a considerable sum of money if you wish to market your business widely and in a short period of time. But think of the cash spent as good investment and not wasted expenditure.
However, the most important aspect is the content of your advertisement – the attention grabbing headline, its thought- provoking and striking content, etc – and not so much how fancy or expensive it is. Your advertisement can be very simple and cheap so as long as it is able to capture the readers’ attention and invoke their curiosity to check out your business and ultimately buy from you.