We all know that starting your own business is hard. And it doesn’t get any easier once you are actually RUNNING that small business and trying to juggle all of the hats you will wear as owner (accountant, marketer, manager, and more!).
Marketing is especially scary for a lot of reasons: the price tag, the options (do I pick radio? Newspaper ads? What is a targeted Facebook ad anyway?), and the pressure that your success is riding on doing it well.
Good news, small biz owner, you absolutely can market your business with whatever you have. Here are 6 ideas on how to effectively do just that.
1. Create your elevator pitch
Y-O-U are the best person to market your business, and you need to be ready to do so at the drop of a hat. Creating a compelling elevator pitch (a pitch for your business that can be said in under 30 seconds) is one way to prepare yourself for doing so. Here is a great resource for getting started with yours!
2. Fight for your voice
If you want people to talk about your business and share your story, you will have to fight for it. Tell your local newspapers and bloggers why they should care about you, your story, and your business. Be confident that you have something to share with the world and then do it. This is a great reason to start your own blog too, it’s even easier to share content that already exists!
3. Build a customer list
There is no marketing tool more powerful than names, addresses, and e-mails for your actual customers. You can use this list to build an audience for e-mail and print marketing that you know already shops with you. And there are numerous free e-mail marketing campaign tools out there for you to use! Additionally, you can use customer details to conduct market research, which is a no-cost service we actually offer to small Wyoming businesses. If you’re interested in talking about what we can do, e-mail your current business advisor or register as a new client with us to get started.
4. Make social media work for you
Often, small business owners are frustrated by the time they spend on social media only to feel like they are not getting any real results. To make social media work for you, you have to be intentional. Using targeted ads only works if you have done your research (as mentioned above, we can help you with that!) on who to target. And posting frequently only works if your posts are right for your business and your customers. Content should be unique, valuable, and relevant.
5. Use your customers to get more customers
Reviews, testimonials, and referrals are one of the best free marketing tools you can get. You are going to have to get brave and actually ask your happiest customers for this content so you can spread the word.
6. Have a presence in your community
You won’t make friends or professional connections in your community by hiding in your office all day. Get out there and network, sponsor community events (this doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, you can get your name on a intramural sports team shirt for a relatively low cost), and collaborate with other businesses. It can be intimidating, but you’ll get more comfortable as you build relationships and connections.
Interested in learning more about marketing your business? Check out other blog posts we’ve written on that topic here.
Audrey Jansen is a market researcher with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and a minor in Marketing Communications from the University of Wyoming. She has experience in social media, digital marketing, print ad design, and general marketing and small business topics. As the daughter of a serial entrepreneur, Audrey loves being a part of helping small businesses around the state succeed.
When she’s not in the office:
Audrey can’t get enough of the snowy range, homemade food, and yoga!