“i have a business selling xyz and i am stuck with how to promote it. what sort of marketing should i do?”
i get asked this question every single day.
my answer is always the same:
this isn't really a question i can fully answer in a comment on facebook, a quick email reply, or even a blog post. marketing your business is a huge topic, there are entire books and blogs and businesses built on providing the answers!
and also... it depends!
the answer to that question totally depends on your business. consider:
you - what do you love doing? what gets you too excited to sleep at night? how much time and money do you have to invest?
your product - what are you selling? what are you really selling? how does it solve people's problems?
your target - who is your ideal client or perfect customer? where are they hanging out? what do they need to hear from you?
the marketplace - what are your competitors doing? how about complementary businesses? what do you need to do to stand out?
your brand message - what is it you want people to know, loud and clear, about what you are selling? how does your business stand out?
your purpose- what are you trying to accomplish with your marketing strategy? what is your goal here? What is your call to action?
your sales methods - how and where do people buy your thing? What tactics do you use? which marketing strategies are a good fit for that?
your plans for growth- where do you want to take your biz into the future? what can you be doing now to set yourself up to reach this goals?
all of these things make up the framework of your little biz. you need to have a solid framework, and you need all of these components to work togehter, if you want your efforts at promoting your biz to be succesful.
there are so many options available to you to market your business. some are free but will cost you a lot of time to get them right. some will be an investment of money. some you can hire people to help you with. some are better suited to certain types of businesses. some are better suited to certain types of people.
i have divided up marketing efforts into the following categories...
- customer love (word of mouth, referalsm customer service)
- social media (facebook, twitter, google+, youtube, pinterest etc.)
- visibility (advertising, PR, flyers, goody bags, signs)
- blogging (including guest posts & article submissions)
- list building (email subscription, newsletters, magazines, catalogues)
- biz relationships (collaboration, referrals, co-creation, partnerships)
- searches (directories, SEO, search engine places)
- generosity (giveaways, freebies, trials, demos)
look around at what other businesses are doing, not just those in your niche. brainstorm all the ways you can get word out about what you sell. do a search on google to find resources in the marketing areas you want to focus on. read blogs, newsletters and books about these marketing strategies.
or, if you would like to find tonnes of ideas for promoting your biz in one handy spot, along with links to further information, have a look at the brainstorm 181 awesome ideas to promote your biz & build some buzz. it is a great resource that will save you time searching, and give you fresh ideas for your biz.
and if you know you need some help with your framework have a look at the blueprints to build a framework. this will make implementing those marketing ideas way easier.
you don't have to DIY all by yourself. but if you do be prepared to invest a lot of time figuring it all out. and keep all of those things i mentioned above in mind... because what you choose to do totally depends on your business.