When it comes running a business both big or small, there’s one thing that reigns supreme in importance, lead generation. If you don’t have leads, you don’t get sales, in return you run out of money and subsequently, you close down. Yet it is impossible to underline enough how necessary it is to save as much money as possible in the beginning stages of opening your first small business.
So for a small business, the age-old question stands: How do I get leads without spending a huge amount of money that I don’t have?
Here are three things you must be doing to marketing your small business:
1. Get Social
Now, this is the current go-to method for most marketing. It’s important to ensure you stay creative when utilizing these tools or you risk drowning your message out by millions of other products being marketed. When stepping into the social media space, it’s important to remember:
- Spend just enough. The point of social media is the free marketing aspect, but now with the inclusion of paid sponsorship for your posts, there’s no telling how far allocating just $5-10 a day to boosting your product’s reach can take you. Warning! Simply hitting the “boost” button will be akin to putting up a billboard that everybody will see but few may relate to. When boosting your posts, make sure you’re also utilizing the ability use detailed targeting and demographics so that the right people at the right age with the right interests are seeing your product.
- Customise your content. With so many different social media platforms available today, every one of them has a different preferred audience and demographic. When creating content to post on your social media, think about who the audience for that platform is and what type of content they would respond to best. Instagram posts need to be visually appealing, Facebook gives your content the chance to spread like wildfire and LinkedIn is the perfect place for you to connect with and educate professionals. Make sure you pay attention to what you’re posting where, reused content has its place, but doing this too often can be boring and stale.
- Don’t fake it. Average social media users are aware when they’re being sold to in the same way phone users know a telemarketing call from the first few words. It’s not enough to just focus on your product anymore. Try to keep an 80-20 split. That’s 80% for value-adding content and 20% paid sponsored product posts. If you’re selling activewear, make sure you post pictures of people enjoying themselves being active in your clothing. Maybe a celebrity sporting your logo on a hat or t-shirt. Inspirational quotes to accompany titles in your e-book service, maybe. Allow your audience to find the value in your product through how others use it instead of only forcing the sale in general.
2. Get Networking
This applies to geographical and online depending on how or where your product is sold. Now that everything can be done online, small business owners forget to connect with their local communities. Consider things like:
- Contact the local newspaper and relevant magazines asking if they’d be keen to run a story about your business.
- Get in touch with local bloggers and people who have an online presence in your industry. They might be interested in striking a deal with you for their followers in exchange for some exposure on their channels. You don’t know if you don’t ask.
- Get into spaces where you can spread your message. If you’re looking for an office or desk space, opt for a co-working space with an office space or hot desk. It’s miles cheaper, fully serviced, open when you want, and it’s full of like-minded business owners who may need you as you need them. Utilizing these networks is incredibly important.
3. Get Blogging
Those who are passionate about what they do should be able to talk about it for hours. Convert those hours of talking into regular blog posts addressing objections, questions and concerns while highlighting benefits of what you provide creatively. It’s easy and free marketing.
- Stay strong. A lot of the time, bloggers get discouraged when their posts aren’t getting the hits they were hoping for. The best advice is to persevere. Blogging is like opening a savings account. The benefits are reaped gradually as you deposit more into it. The more posts you upload, the more keywords you’ve tapped into for people to come across when they run a Google search.
- Three letters: S-E-O. Get educated on how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) works. If your small business deals in fountain pens, make sure your blog posts include relevant keywords that will ensure people searching for fountain pens will likely be keying in. Once you’ve accumulated a healthy blog bank over time, it will make sense for people to come across your page because keywords have been mentioned several times throughout. So don’t be discouraged! Keep making those deposits.
- Call to action. While it is essential to provide some highly valuable content. Ensure that you give yourself the opportunity to build your list of followers. An example of an effective CTA is to invite readers to potentially subscribe to your communications/blog.
If you’re not already doing all 3 of these things, then you’d better get started! It’s difficult standing out in today’s day and age but you won’t get very far if you’re not at least doing the basics. A small business owner’s readiness to seize opportunities is what makes for the most money saved. Look into these options and see what you can come up with to market your small business on your own!