As you are well aware, there are many challenges of growing a business—but marketing it has got to be one of the most intimidating things you will do.
It’s a mixture of excitement and nervousness to put yourself out there and see if other people will like your work, especially if you’re a small business.
Often, you hear large companies say that marketing has to have ample budget. It’s easy for them to say when they’ve grown that size and have the revenue to allocate for advertising, both online and offline.
However, learning the fundamentals of marketing is free—and so is implementing the secrets of operating on a tight budget.
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. If you start off on the right foot, you can maximize all your low-cost efforts and still emerge triumphantly. Here are some marketing tips you can do right now to boost your brand’s presence.
9 Steps To Market Your Small Business
1. Try producing meaningful content via a blog
There’s a reason why content marketing is all the rage in the online marketing world—it works! If people can see that you’re putting your brand out there to help them by giving valuable tips, then they’ll be more likely to develop trust in you. They will inquire about your services and even transact with you.
If you need ideas on what to write, start with the FAQs and pain points of your consumers. Talk about issues they encounter and position your brand or product as something that can help in fixing or solving it.
2. Claim your Google My Business account
If you’re operating locally or have a physical store, it will be great if you can claim your Google My Business account. This will help you show up in local search results, such as “[insert service here] near me” or “[service] in [city].”
People trust search engines now more than ever, so make sure you’re there when people start searching. That’s free advertising on search engines right there!
3. Create your social media profiles
To create an online presence means to be where your consumers are. If that means setting up a Facebook page, Instagram, YouTube channel, or all three, then that’s what you should set out to do.
To drive interest further, make sure that you plan out your content and re-angle them to fit the platform you’re posting to.
For instance, creating long videos would be better suited on Facebook and YouTube, while posting a lot of graphics is Instagram’s turf. You can even try new things such as SMS marketing if that’s something that will be highly relevant to your business.
Make sure branding is uniform across all platforms, and get ready to spread the word!
4. Ask the help of your friends
After you’ve set up your social media accounts wherever relevant, don’t be afraid to ask your friends to like, share, and follow your pages.
These numbers matter to other people because they act as social proof that your brand is reputable and backed by others.
If you’re afraid that they’ll turn you down, that’s okay. The important thing is you tried. Asking also happens to be free, and if they say yes, then that’s awesome!
5. Be open to collaborations
Collaborations with other local brands are a great way to get exposure from their followers while splitting the costs and organizational work with someone else.
For scenarios like this, you may also opt to have an exchange deal in the works, where you offer your service for free or a trial period in exchange for cross-promoting the product or service of your partner brand.
However, be sure to evaluate what brand you want to work with and avoid just saying yes to any offer you receive. It can be tempting while you’re starting out, but choosing your projects wisely can help establish your credibility and reputation.
If you partner with a brand that has pending issues or is controversial, there’s a risk of getting dragged or involved with that, too.
6. Reach out to brands
If you’re offering your services in tandem with other products, and you’ve written positive stories about them on your blog, then don’t be afraid to let them know! Write them an email or drop them a message on their social accounts, whichever it is most accessible for you.
While not all of them will reply (especially the larger ones), there’s a possibility that one or two may still do. And if they post about you, it could put your business on the map for both consumers and other brands in the same industry as you.
There’s nothing wrong with sending an email—give it a shot!
7. Promote studiously in different channels
Once you’ve put your content out there, they won’t magically appear in front of potential customers. As a small business, competition is even much more cutthroat, and there will be several like you out there trying to make a name for themselves in the sea of the internet.
Try to continuously promote on different channels by posting regularly, tagging relevant people or brands, and using relevant hashtags that will allow other people to discover you. Always include branding in your posts so that other people will easily recognize you.
If people are intrigued, they’ll click on it. And if they like it a lot, they’ll share it with other people they care about. Don’t be disheartened by small numbers of likes or low engagement—it’s always like this in the beginning!
8. Practice your networking skills
If there’s a chance for you to grow your business’s mileage by attending virtual or in-person marketing events, then, by all means, do so. It may not be your most favorite thing to do, but it’s essential if you want to launch your business and get it noticed by other people.
Just present your brand in an authentic way that reflects you. Be honest and try to put yourself out there as much as you can. You’ll surely be recognized and noticed by other brands out there, as well!
9. Offer something for free
People want to get free trials or a small taste of what they would be getting into if they avail of your product or service.
You can drum up interest by offering a free webinar or demo of your service, an exclusive trial period or freebie to those who will sign-up for your newsletter, and more. If people get impressed, they will avail of the whole thing—and even better, spread the word.
Don’t think of this as selling yourself short. Freebies are an essential part of structuring your business, so don’t be afraid to bank on them for publicity.
Time to Get the Ball Rolling
Finding ways to attract customers is always going to be difficult, but as long as you present yourself with an authentic voice helping people with the solutions and services you provide, you’ll get there.
Following these simple steps can help you dip your toes into the intimidating yet very doable world of marketing. And once your business takes off, you’ll have more of that budget you’re eyeing to take your marketing efforts to new heights!
- The Marketing Conundrum For Startups & Small Businesses
- The Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing In 2020 for review
- 5 Top Strategies for Small Businesses to Market Their Products
Author Bio: Lou Zandrian Lobrin is Marketing & Sustainability Manager of Esquire Financing, a lending firm offering non-collateral business loans to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He enjoys travelling, cultural immersion and meeting new people outside work.