When you make the choice to run your own business over paid employment, work doesn’t come in nice 9 to 5 chunks. There are days when you might be run off your feet and you have plenty to do. There are also days when you seem to be twiddling your thumbs and you wonder if the phone will ring, bringing you new business. These quiet moments are the perfect opportunity to work on your business. One job on the list is to review your marketing plan and consider what you can do to get that phone ringing more. If you are a bit stuck, here is a list of ideas for how you could be marketing yourself:
1. Build a strong brand
Do you need to rethink your branding? Have you got a clearly defined look? Does it convey the right marketing message? If not, this should be at the top of your to-do list.
2. Sell yourself
You are the ambassador of your business so make sure you can clearly define what you do and why you do it. Prepare your elevator speech so you can confidently introduce yourself and your business at the drop of a hat.
3. Pick up the phone
Make some cold calls or follow up a recent enquiry or new leads.
4. Carry business cards
Don’t go anywhere without some business card so people can contact you easily.
5. Review your web presence
Perhaps you don’t have a website or your site need a complete overhaul. Your website acts as a hub for your business online and needs to be kept up to date.
6. Link into social media
Create links from your website to all your social media accounts as well as vise versa.
7. Use Twitter
Twitter is a useful social messaging platform for creating, discovering and sharing ideas with other. This includes reaching out to other businesses as well as connecting with customers. As with all social media, it is a way to direct people back to your website.
8. Create a Facebook page
If it aligns with your business marketing, create a business Facebook page where you can post interesting updates and links as well as interact with your consumer.
9. Create a LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn is all about establishing connections. It is a go-to source of business news, a content publishing platform and a contact relationship manager. Keep your profile and business page up-to-date.
10. Create a mailing list
Have you got a method for people to sign up for monthly updates and special offers from you? The list can include existing and past clients. Just make sure subscribers have a way of opting out to comply with anti spam laws
11. Write comments on blogs
Spread your brand name and knowledge further by adding comments/feedback on other blogs.
12. Create a survey
An opportunity for customer feedback is invaluable. It is crucial to listen to your customers even if your don’t like what they say. Customers give important insight into how you can improve your business.
13. Sponsor an event
This can be an expensive option but if well chosen, your business name will be included on event marketing material that will be seen by your selected target market. Find out if there is a mailing list for the event so you can contact them before, during and/or after the event.
14. Donate a prize
Radio or newspapers are always running competitions and might include editorial space in exchange for a prize. Alternatively, run your own competition – a give away to one lucky winner! Carefully consider how best to spread the news of the offer as far as possible.
15. Give away a freebie
A freebie might something to include with a delivery to an existing client. Getting something for nothing can go a long way and be something that helps people remember you and your business.
16. Create a newsletter
Regular newsletters create credibility and help maintain interest in your products and services.
17. Send an email blast
An email blast to your mailing list notifying them of some important news in your industry that will effect them is a way to stay in touch with people interested in your business
18. Advertise while you drive
Your car can be mobile advertisement while you are on the move with large door magnets, window signage or even a full car wrap. Just make sure you include a way for people to easily contact you.
19. Update your bio
Have a good photo taken of yourself. Review your resume including your accomplishments and experience. Write a short paragraph about yourself that can be used on social media, author information for bog posts, printed promotional material and your website.
20. Collect testimonials
Update your testimonials from happy clients. These can be added to your website and marketing material (check with the client first).
21. Create an email signature
Your email signature is another opportunity to promote your brand as well as enable people to keep in touch via various methods including phone, website and social media.
22. Keep networking
Create networking opportunities. Meet up with other professionals so you can be their go-to guy for what you do best. Network with people who cross paths with your target market.
23. Write a press release
The media are always on the lookout for a great story, so write one for them.
24. Offer discounts
People love to think they are getting a bargain so running a special offer for a limited time might help entice customers that may need a bit of prompting.
25. Write a blog
A blog compels you to share more of your knowledge and expertise more often with a larger audience. This is a low cost method for building web presence and extending your digital marketing strategy by incorporating a whole range of keywords.
26. Write a guest blog
An opportunity to reach a wider audience can be gained by writing blog posts on sites that have a large readership.
27. Look after your current clients
Mail birthday/Christmas cards to existing clients.
28. Hold a workshop
Run an educational workshop yourself or invite a guest speaker.
29. Review your presentation
First impressions are crucial. Work on the presentation material used when you first meet with clients.
30. Write email templates
Create a template series for cold call and new enquiry emails.
31. Create a video
Create an entertaining, informative video to market your products or service, meet your team or instruct how to do something. Videos help build trust.
32. Consider your customer service
Referrals from happy clients can provide some people with most of their business. Look after your current clients with excellent service and you will be rewarded.
The opportunities to market yourself are endless. It important to dedicate some time to the process. However, use your time well. You must establish who your target market is prior to any marketing efforts. Also it is important to also put yourself in your target markets shoes and see what is in it for them. Review your marketing constantly. What is working? What isn’t?