If you have a great product or service the next step is to identify potential customers, get their business and keep them satisfied. Marketing your business means communicating the value of your product or service to potential customers and strengthening your relationship with existing customers. Many marketing techniques provide the consistent exposure, customer service and reputation-building activities required to develop a strong brand.
Distribute well-designed business cards. Use color, texture and placement to make your cards stand out. For example, a potential customer is more likely to keep a laminated card with striking graphic elements than a plain traditional card. Contact a designer to establish a color theme and logo for your business.
Develop themed collateral. For example, your brochures, business cards, stationery, sales letters and other documents should follow your color theme and include your logo. A cohesive group of materials helps you establish your brand. Include the same elements in your business website.
Attend trade shows. Trade shows allow business owners to promote their products or services at industry-related events. Typically, a business owner purchases a booth that gives him space to demonstrate his product or discuss his service. Attend a show, collect potential customer information and distribute marketing materials. The Trade Show News Network offers resources for locating venues around the country.
Network at your local chamber of commerce. Chambers of commerce give you the opportunity to network with other business owners and potential customers. You can join your local chamber for a fee. Contact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to locate one in your area.
Build a relationship with your local media outlets. Contact your local news and radio stations when you have a newsworthy story. Distribute press releases to gain attention. Contact a public relations specialist to increase your exposure.
Distribute useful, high-visibility promotional items. Contact a promotional items manufacturer to order items such as mugs, calendars, refrigerator magnets or pens. Promotional items include the name and number of your business. If they're useful objects, they tend to stay with potential customers longer than cards. High-visibility items, such as wall or refrigerator calendars, are convenient and provide a quick reference should a potential customer need your services.
- To find a free-lance writer who can help you with marketing materials, search your local newspapers and shoppers for ads or call the newspaper editor to ask for referrals. You could also ask other business owners who they have worked with on these types of projects. If you want to try using a college student, contact the English or Mass Comm. department and ask for an intern. Otherwise, you will need to contact an ad agency to meet with a local writer.
Peyton Brookes is a workforce development expert and has written professionally about technology, education and science since 2009. She spent several years developing technology and finance courses for social programs in the Washington, D.C. area. She studied computer and information science at the University of Maryland College Park.