The traditional word for marketing your business was called “advertising”.
Today you mostly hear the term “marketing”. It really doesn’t matter what you call it. It matters that you are using whatever tools are at your disposal to target your potential customers, clients or suppliers.
Some of the traditional methods of marketing are:
Telephone directories – these can be in the white pages but definitely your name should be situated in the yellow pages.
Newspaper: There are probably at least one local newspaper in your area and maybe more. Use their classified section or create an ad in a targeted section
Offer to write a column about your topic, become known as the expert in your field. Are you an accountant? A virtual Assistant? Propose an article giving tips or helpful information to their audience. Get your name known in the community.
Penny saver or other local classified types of papers – don’t forget these papers. They get a lot of traffic.
It really doesn’t matter is you are selling a product or providing a service, advertising on Craig’s List is viable.
Partner with another business
Realtor – create a welcome pack for new businesses, partnering with a realtor,
Welcome Wagon – advertise your service or product, giving samples or discounts to newcomers.
The local coffee shop may let you display your business card or brochure if you give your customers a gift card from their store. You are both gaining in the process.
Social Networking Forums
Create networking accounts such as twitter or Facebook. Interact with people, creating an online presence. If you are targeting local customers find out who they are and which networks they use – and join them in conversation.
Get involved in discussion groups and interact with the members. Don’t just jump in and start advertising your business. You are there to interact and find out what your target market is looking for. Can you provide it?
Chamber of Commerce
Attend their networking sessions, offer to give a presentation, be visible.
Word of Mouth – this is probably one of the most effective ways of obtaining new business. Ask for referrals from your current customers or clients. If they are happy with you, ask them to tell their friends and clients.
Although marketing online is becoming the most popular method of advertising our businesses, we still need physical marketing material.
These are your introduction cards. Make sure they have all of the necessary information telling people who you are, how they can contact you and what you do or provide. Don’t just give them one. Give them two or three, in case they would like to pass one on to their friends.
Flyers, brochures, post cards, door knockers
Hand these out to everyone you know. Post them on every bulletin board in town; go door to door leaving them at each home or business.
Create a signature for your email accounts and forums. I don’t mean just have your name listed. Have your business name and something about your business as part of your signature. List your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts so they can find you.
There are many ways to market your business and not all will work for you. However, try them all and track what works and what doesn’t. It isn’t advisable just to do one form of advertising. Try them all! What have you got to lose when you are marketing your business? Nothing. Now get started.