How to promote your business
If you want your business to thrive, you have to promote it properlyWhen figuring out how to promote your business, one of the most important factors to consider is exactly who you need to promote your business to.
Here are some suggestions on how to promote your business locally, nationally, and over the internet.
If your entire market is local, then there are some specific ways to promote your business that won't apply to national or international markets.
You should have custom business cards, letterhead, envelopes and brochures made up. Owning your own printer, even a color laser printer, is so inexpensive these days, that you can actually do this yourself. You should use a high-quality letterhead paper with an attractive design to do this, especially if you have a black and white printer.
Once you have the business cards, put them everywhere. There are plenty of restaurants and other places that have a bulletin board where you can pin your business cards. Some also allow fliers with tear-off phone numbers or websites at the bottom. You can ask local retailers if you can leave some fliers or brochures by their register.
Be sure to get into Google Local and other local search engines and directories. Consider having an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) professional help you select the best catagories and keywords for these listings.
Hand out your business card at every opportunity and always send any correspondence related to the business out on your custom letterhead and in your custom envelopes.
It's possible to get into more than local search. That can be a great way to advertise certain types of services offered nationally.
Advertising nationally used to be very expensive, whether you were talking TV or radio, but now with Internet marketing, there are ways around that which can be very effective. A
But for some businesses, that traditional media path is still the best route. If there is a specific target market you want to go after, you can advertise on just one channel during a specific show that targets that market as well. Rather than trying to advertise nationally, pick several very large markets and advertise locally. It's far, far less expensive, but is an easy way to begin getting the word out, location by location.
You can do the same thing with radio, either picking and choosing specific markets, or by advertising on satellite radio.
If you want to do a national mailing by market, again, be sure to use quality materials for your marketing effort.
Unless you're a massively huge corporation (and let's face it, if you were, you wouldn't be seeking advice here), there's really only one way to market effectively on a modest or low budget. That's the Internet.
Marketing on the Internet has many different meanings. First, you need your own web presence; a website. You should always have a professionally designed website. A site that looks completely professional will give the impression of being "big time" even if you operate out of your garage.
In addition to having your own website, you should have a presence on networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, G+ and YouTube. There are quite a few others to choose from as well, but those are the major players. The real beauty of these is that you can reach a huge audience without even paying for it.
Next, you should consider advertising on other websites. Prices range wildly here depending on the audience size that the site can offer you. Be very careful to only advertise on sites that cater to the demographic you're trying to reach. For instance, if you're trying to reach new mothers, a sports site is not the place to go.
Think about starting a news letter relevant to whatever you do or sell. You can educate customers, gain new customers, and promote your products all at once.
The very last thing that you should ever, ever do is to purchase an email list and do a bulk mailing. Not only is this a complete waste of your money, but it's entirely taboo among the internet community and will make you a pariah who no one will want to deal with. The impression on the net is that only dishonest companies do this sort of marketing. It doesn't really matter whether it's true or not. The impression will be there.
Whether trying to attract a local, a national or an international audience, if you know how to promote your business properly and how to target the correct audience, you're on your way to succeeding.