Marketing your business
Some traditional, social and new media, and content marketing tools we have today to market and promote, that are either free or won’t bust your budget are astounding. Aren’t they?
The best marketing toolbox is always a combination of the tried and true and new best practices including:
- A clearly defined brand that makes you visually stand out, tells people what you do and what you stand for.
- Branded business materials that deliver your promise.
- An engaging website, blog, or branded LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter page that showcases your mission, vision, value, products, services and spirit.
- An integrated marketing and social media formula that you use to educate, engage, interact and serve.
Ways to Market Yourself NOW
Free Ways to Market Yourself
1) In Person Networking
I begin here because ultimately nothing beats or is more important than meeting people in person. Email and online communication is not a substitute for meeting in person. It’s a bridge. Use the email and online tools to make connections and grow connections but take the initiative to pick up the phone or get together. Nothing accelerates a relationship more.
If you haven’t already signed on to or gotten serious about a social platform, Facebook may be one of the best places to start. Facebook is the benign monster of our social media world and has developed amazing tools for small businesses. Make a commitment to grow your activity on Facebook and check out and use their Notes longer form post feature.
This micro-blogging platform has proven to be a real time, immediate, powerful, go to and fun news and information source in short form messages. Study and follow people in your industry or expertise, know some dos and don’ts and see how to best use Twitter. Once again, we were reminded that…news no longer breaks, it Tweets.
By far this is the fastest growing most influential professional platform and now content hub to meet, engage and connect to other professionals about work, jobs, careers, branding. A branded LinkedIn professional profile is a must have hub online for any professional in business today.
Video is still the king when it comes to media and self-marketing. It is the preferred way to get more personal, tell a story and showcase your personality and style. You can be as casual or formal as you need to be, but prepare yourself to be on camera for a “good” memorable video.
6) Press Releases
Don’t underestimate what makes something newsworthy. Grand openings, new certifications, community events, new clients, awards, new hires and new services all count. Get a local media list together and start sending them out monthly. News sources are always looking for potential news content and information.
Human capital especially now is precious and valuable. Non-profits, schools, community organizations, chambers and professional organizations need friendly, capable people to help. This is a great way to step up your leadership and get noticed. Most organizations have prominent board members that can be invaluable contacts.
8) Phone Calls or Skype Sessions
So you’ve met some interesting people both in person and online. A great next step would be to set up a phone or a Skype call to take it to the next level. Prepare a short specific agenda about what you want to talk about and where you think the synergy is and be upbeat, friendly and focused on what you want the conversation to be about and accomplish.
9) Open House
Finding reasons to bring people together in person can have immediate and unexpected benefits and outcomes. If you want to get to know certain people better, hosting them at your place of business is a great way to explore commonality in business and personal things.
Internet radio networks are quickly becoming one of the most effective ways for sharing content and honing your interviewing skills. Internet radio and podcasting has grown dramatically to give people who have a flair for interviewing or radio hosting a chance to have their own radio show, feature others or share their expertise and personality.
11) Guest Blog Post
If you don’t have your own blog, you can identify leading industry blogs you enjoy following and submit yourself as a guest contributor. If you have your own blog, identify some bloggers you admire and suggest guest blogging on each other’s blogs. It’s a smart way to build credibility and key relationships. Start by following certain bloggers, commenting and getting into their conversations on social media.
12) Research, Trends, and Reports
People are hungry for great content and information, so key in on the industries, trends, research, best practices and top influencers that represent the best of the best and share their content and include it in yours.
Anyone can be an author and publish content, be it business, gardening, woodworking, cooking, travel, wine or just about anything else you can imagine. You can create a short or long from eBook simply and for free. Create a book outline with chapters in a word document, add some images and links, make it into a PDF, edit, review and spell check and you have an eBook. Post it on your website, blog and offer it free in exchange for growing your email list.
14) Prior Years’ Correspondence
Not so long ago we actually sent letters, now we send emails. Regardless, if you keep a file for your snail mail, email marketing or emails you can go back to them and make a list of people you might want to recontact.
15) Google for Business
This is probably the best kept secret and the most accessible business solutions out there for business today! Whether you want to reach new customers, enhance your website, or increase your productivity, Google Business Solutions has amazing, mostly free tools for you. Simply go to Google Business Solutions.
PRLog is a free press release site that has a worldwide reach. They offer an easy template format to write your releases and click. No limit to how many and they give you three link backs in the body of the release.
17) Your Neighborhood
Do you know who your neighbors are? You should. Community and being neighborly can have very unexpected results. This is an underused way to make friends, connections and get referrals. Ultimately, we will be asked: “what do you do?” so bring business cards anywhere you go. You never know when someone will ask you for a card in the pool, parking lot or grocery store.
18) Free Workshop or Webinar
This is not only the fast track for showing people who you are and what you do but also giving them a taste of how you can help them be more successful. Create a short, informational session focused on one or two things. Find a free local or online space and promote it through all your social and email marketing channels.
The Flipgam app is one the coolest ways to turn your business and personal photos into pure amazing, beautifully orchestrated, completely unique video pieces with music for free. And it’s shockingly easy. It’s a great way to showcase vacations, events, networking, workshop or conference experience.
Low Cost Ways to Market Yourself
20) Branded Name Tag
Investing in a professional name tag is a detail that says a lot about you! It helps people brand your name and company as soon as they meet you and they probably will remember you because of it.
21) Permission Based Email Marketing
Email marketing through professional services such as Constant Contact, IConnect and Aweber are very low cost high return marketing tools. Get your existing database organized, clean and current and use email marketing to communicate with contacts directly and more regularly. All of these services have white papers, tutorials and learning centers for maximizing your results. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to build trust.
22) Magnetic Signs
These are relatively low cost ‘moving billboards’ that can be removed or left on your car. Although mostly used by realtors and service businesses, they can be used for just about any business to keep your name, product or service visible.
23) Fee Workshops, Webinars and Seminars
You go small or big on this. Find a space at a church, chamber, community center, the social room where you live, or partner up with another business to use their facilities. Make the workshop affordable or low cost, use your database, social media and local press releases to attract attention.
Make it business casual and invite a qualified list of people who really matter to you and could matter to each other, that don’t know each other but have you in common. They may come from different areas of your life, but having you in common makes them have potential for connections and referrals.
The world’s largest network of local groups, Meetup.com makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. With 7.2 million members, 250,000 monthly groups, 46,000 topics and 79,000 cities, it’s a turn key networking powerhouse.
Smart, purposeful ways to market yourself authentically build awareness and credibility first. Everything starts here and can lead to endless relationships and sales possibilities.