Nothing happens in business until a sale is made. Marketing is simply about getting new customers and keeping them. If you're not doing something everyday to market and promote your business, your competitors are. Here are ten easy-to-implement tips to effectively market and grow your business:
1. Partner with large email database list owners and offer to cross promote each other. The list owner will advertise your event, product, or service to their email database and you'll offer to do the same to your list.
2. Create your own blog which is an online journal with frequently updated posts to entertain and excite existing and potential customers. Itís more personal and immediate then a website and keeps people engaged and hopefully coming back for more. You can even create one for free at http://www.blogger.com.
3. If you want to increase word-of-mouth fast, do something beyond normal industry expectations. For example, Mr. Lube offers fast and affordable tune-up service to customers right on the spot, without having to leave the car, while offering coffee, cappuccino, and a fresh newspaper.
4. Always ask happy clients for endorsements or testimonials and put them on your website and other marketing collateral. Theyíre worth their weight in gold. Try to get some recognizable names in your community for additional cachet.
5. Put a special offer or product advertorial on every invoice and statement you send out. Likewise, you can also negotiate a deal with another company to advertise your product or service on all their invoices for a percentage of revenues from placed orders.
6. Make your business cards stand out and be natural keepers. Offer important information on the back such as emergency phone numbers, a map, or special dates to remember. Have a slogan that offers a powerful benefit statement to your prospective customer.
7. Offer special bonus packages with your product or service offering. Get corporate sponsors to give away products as part of the bonus package in exchange for free exposure.
8. Align your business with a cause or charity. Give back to your community. Customers appreciate doing business with companies that are bettering their communities and the environment and being good corporate citizens.
9. Find an angle that makes your work controversial. The banning of Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, reviewed as "trashy and vicious," was a blessing in disguise. Twain made a poster advertising the ban, which significantly increased sales.
10. Post frequently in online message boards/forums relevant to your business or expertise. Include your signature and offer tips and valuable advice. Eventually you will begin gaining word-of-mouth exposure as a leader in your field. Posting messages with your company information also helps to increase your search engine rankings and drive traffic to your site.
[Excerpted from Sharif Khanís new ebooklet: "101 Ways to Market Your Business," http://tinyurl.com/m2nsf ].