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How to market a small business – top ten tips

How to market a small business – top ten tips

By Nicholas Jervis, founder of @thelegaloracle

Social media sites such as Twitter can be key to marketing your business but, unfortunately, they are often overlooked. Below are my top ten tips on how to bring your business into the 21st century, using modern and effective marketing tools.

1. This one is crucial
The number one tip is that you absolutely MUST gather your prospects name and email addresses (as a bare minimum) from day one, and then communicate with them regularly until they either buy from you or leave your email list.

Whatever business you are in, having a list of people interested in your products or services is vital to your future success, so put in place a mechanism to allow you to do this easily. There are so many excellent (and cheap) resources that allow you to do this.

2. Social media
Social media is here to stay; it is not a passing fad. Ultimately social media is nothing new – it is just a new way to connect with your potential customers and suppliers! You must be using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Follow people in your business sector and see how they use these sites to win new business.

3. Let Google help you
I could eulogise about Pay Per Click advertising forever. Think about it: your business in front of your potential clients at the time they are ready to buy your product or service.

I do not believe that there is a more powerful form of advertising.

4. Content, content and more content
Google loves content and adding more content regularly is a key component of ranking higher in its search engine. Your clients or customers also love new content as it proves your expertise and, if they are able to find the information or resources they need on your website, they are more likely to love you too.

5. Google bought YouTube
Google had its own video search engine, yet it bought YouTube. This alone should tell you how important video could/should be to your business.

If people can see you talking to and engaging with them on your website, then you are immediately viewed as more approachable and increase your chances of being contacted.

6. The new seminars
Webinars are a great way to generate leads, whatever sector you are in. Proving you know your subject by offering webinars and your email list sets you apart from your competitors. By using these methods you are much more likely to tap in to a larger audience, particularly if your webinar is available for people to watch/re-watch at their convenience for months and years to come.

While using modern technology is a great way to help market your business, the ‘old fashioned’ tried and tested methods should not be overlooked...

7. Someone already has your next customer…
Other businesses out there will already have access to a great number of your potential clients/customers. Offering a free webinar to their customer base is one way of helping a complimentary business to add value to their clients, while you capture their email addresses
And instantly double or quadruple the size of your prospect list.

8. Don’t underestimate the power of the press
If you can get relevant publications to talk about your business, prospective clients reading about you will be much more inclined to trust you. Such coverage is fantastic for the endorsement of your business. Most people send one press release and give up. If you keep going you will be rewarded with coverage.

9. Invest in local advertising
Placing adverts in local business sections can be a great way to drive custom. Don’t fall into the trap, however, of just placing your company name at the top of the ad. Give yourself a catchy headline that will intrigue the reader and make them want to read on. Offer a free report/guide/menu to capture their email address.

10. Less post?
The recession has been great for your business. There is considerably less post for all of us, business owners and home owners alike. Now is the right time to sneak in and use direct mail to generate some highly targeted leads. You can choose the list by business type or income type, so what is stopping you from running a small test?

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