Marketing is an important part of any business garnering more sales leads– perhaps the most important factor in its success. As small businesses grow, the responsibility of broadcasting the company’s existence and services falls on the shoulders of the sales team. This might consist of salespeople who go out and meet potential customers, or it might be that there are a group of people dedicated to online marketing strategies.
However, in the early days of commerce, a sales team is something that most SME owners can only aspire to, rather than have at their disposal. How can an entrepreneur most effectively market a company through their personal efforts?
Your passion is the key
Marketing needn’t be a chore. If you believe wholly in what your business has to offer, then you’ll want to shout about it. Marketing is a passion. There are ways that you can put the word out but, passion or not, it will still require hard work and man-hours. Let’s take a look at some of the simplest, but most impactful ways you can trumpet your company’s existence:
Three ways to spread the word
1- Word of mouth is still one of the most effective ways of spreading the word. If there are industry conferences in your area, be sure to go to them and make sure you’re packing something like a business card. Scour the Internet for meet-ups relating to your industry and attend, volunteer to speak at local colleges and even submit articles to your local newspaper. Essentially, you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field and the more people who can put a face to the name, the more people are likely to contact you. People prefer to deal with actual humans, rather than faceless voices or emails.
2- Social networking sites have become the stamping ground for businesses all over the world and, considering their reach – and that they’re free – they’re too important to ignore. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the big ones and your business should have an account with each. However, it’s worth remembering that the best policy is to try and establish a relationship with your followers, so make around 80% of your posts opinion and comment and devote the other 20% to advertising.
3- There are plenty of companies offering cheap websites, so get yourself online. Your website tells your customers everything they need to know about your business, gives them a first point of contact and allows them to get in touch with you. However, it doesn’t have to be all bells and whistles, but it does need to be engaging. Possibly the most impactive aspect of your site is the blog. You can use your blog to generate a buzz, offering tips, interesting articles about your product and even garner opinion. Link these posts to your social networking accounts; they will drive traffic to your site and, hopefully, bring you customers. Blogging can be quite time consuming and in the early days you should aim to fire out between two and three posts a week. They don’t have to be essays, but they do have to be informative and interesting to read.
For strategy tips in develoiping a marketing plan, download “The Infusionsoft Guide to Sales and Marketing.”
Carlo Pandian is a freelance blogger interested in marketing, finance and technology. He also writes tutorials on accounting software by Intuit and has previously spoken at the Google Campus on entrepreneurship and marketing.