As a business owner, one of your primary jobs should be marketing. Marketing is the driving force behind acquiring the new customers and revenues that fuels your business. The more you effectively use marketing, the more customers you will inevitably draw to your business. Like fishing, the more lines you put in the water, the better your chances of getting a bite. To help, here are five easy and low-cost marketing strategies that can help you widen your marketing net.
1. Formalize and optimize your referral systems. Who were your best and most active referral sources over the last year? Identify these people and try to replicate them as much as possible. For example, if your best referral sources right now are HR professionals reach out to other HR professionals. If something is working, don’t change it, duplicate it. Cultivating your referral sources is low-cost but can yield huge results.
2. Leverage your past customer relationships. Identify some of the important customers you have worked with in the past. Reach out to them and express an interest in growing your professional relationship. If they did business with you once they may be likely to do it with you again. If there were any past problems, be sure to address them. Consider adding a bonus incentive to patronize your business again, such as a discount or an additional service.
3. Influence many people at once with special events/seminars. Educational events and seminars are a great way to involve both old and new customers, referral sources and prospects. Consider inviting other companies you work with to put on the event with you. This allows you access to their customer base and vice versa. This helps split the cost of the event itself and increases the range and scope of attendees.
4. Make doing business easy, convenient, and risk free. Never ask the person you’re doing business with to assume risks. Instead, reassure them with a money-back guarantee or some other specific and credible promise that lets them know your business is trustworthy. For example, at The Growth Coach, “We guarantee the value of all our business coaching services. If you are not fully satisfied with our initial coaching session, for whatever reason, we will promptly and respectfully give you a full refund.” Clients who do business with any of our business coaches know that there is no financial risk to them.
5. Get active and stay active on social media. While many business owners usually already have a Facebook or Twitter page for their business, the work doesn’t end with their mere existence. Post frequently with relevant information and questions for your fans and followers. While you should promote yourself, remember that social media is about connection not just self-advertising. Include links to other blogs and videos that are related to your business, even if you didn’t create them. Develop a relationship with businesses, customers or referral sources you work with to help promote their material so they will promote yours in turn.
These five strategies may not all be applicable to your individual business. Pick and chose the ones you like and fit your business the best and implement them as soon as possible to help cast your marketing net. Due to the low-cost of all of these strategies, the only thing holding you back from implementing them and gaining greater marketing reach if your own inhibitions. Don’t waste time. Put these in place today and reap the rewards tomorrow.