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7 Top Tips For Small Business Marketing

As a small business owner, you probably find that wherever you go someone is trying to give you advice about what you should and shouldn’t do to grow your business.

The following seven tips are all ones I give to my clients and the great thing is none of them cost a lot of money.

  1. Your Website Is Your Shop Window

These days virtually every business has a website. But just having a website is not enough. If your website is not full of great information, written in the way people like to consume websites then no one is going to read it. We’ve all heard the statistic that you have about 7 seconds to hook your website visitor before they click away. If you don’t grab them immediately you will lose them.

You need to take you design and content writing on your site seriously. If this is not your skill set you should employ experts to do it for you.

The second point is that it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the best website in the world, if no one finds it , it’s not going to help you. Again you should consider using an SEO expert to ensure that your website is found by people searching against your keywords. Additionally you should also consider using Google Adwords, as this can immediately start driving traffic to your website.

2. Get More Referrals

When you ask most small business owners where they get their business from, the standard answer is “word of mouth”. What in fact they’re saying is that generating new business is left to chance, hoping that their customers will recommend them to their mates.

Referral marketing is all about taking control of your referrals and making referral marketing a proactive  channel.

The two simplest ways to generate referrals are:

a. Just ask. Simply select the right moment and ask your customers if they can think of anyone else who would benefit from your services. The worst that can happen is they can’t think of anyone.

b. Give referrals. The more referrals you give the more you will get. When you give someone a referral they are likely to feel indebted and look to give you a referral in return.

3. Email Marketing – Communicate Instantly With Thousands of People

It’s a fact – email marketing is extremely cost effective and perhaps the single most powerful marketing tool available to small businesses.

To get the best results from email marketing, it is best to build your own email database. The best way to start building your subscriber list is to ask all your existing clients and contacts if you can have their email address and check that they are happy to receive emails from you.

The best way to gather email addresses is via your website or blog.  You should offer something valuable such as an ebook in return for email address.

When sending out emails quality is key, so only send people valuable and useful information .

The regularity of your emails should be determined by their value. If your email has no value then once a year is too often. However if the emails have great value then once a week or even more often will be perfectly acceptable.

4. Social Media – Networking Without Getting Up Early

The clue to success with social media is in the title – Social. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn provide an incredible way to make contact with thousands of people without leaving your desk or your smart phone.

The golden rule is that you should treat online networking in the same way that you treat face to face networking. If you walk up to a group of people and start selling immediately, you won’t get a very good reception. It’s the same online. You have to build a relationship. It’s all about “Meet, Know, Like and Trust”.

The other key point is attitude.

Your attitude needs to be one of giving. Instead of asking what can you get from your online contacts, you need to flip it round to what can you give to your contacts.

5. Use Attraction Marketing

Traditional marketing is pursuit marketing. You identify your target market and then pursue them with your marketing messages. The fact is that lots of people don’t react to being pursued.

How much better to let the people who want and need your products to find you. The most successfully marketed businesses gain the attention and interest of potential clients by making themselves attractive. Prospects find your website, blog or articles, like what you say and contact you.

While some businesses rely on attraction marketing, I believe most companies should combine attraction marketing with pursuit marketing to get the best results.

6. Remove The Risk For Your Customers

When we buy something, we often have that little voice in our heads that says “what happens if this product isn’t as good as it says it is” or “what happens if I don’t like it”. These kind of questions are likely to stop us from buying.

Switched on businesses offer guarantees or the ability to trial something.

If I know that if I don’t like the product I can get my money back or I can trial it risk free for 30 days, then all the risk has been removed and it’s very much easier for me to decide to buy.

Realistically we all should have enough confidence in our products to be prepared to offer a guarantee.

7. Position Yourself As An Expert

Whatever your business, if you are seen as an expert in your field, then customers are much more likely to come to you.

A great way to position yourself as an expert is by having articles published in the media – whether that be in the local paper, a specialist magazine or even on line.

So how do you get yourself published?

The simple answer is firstly to think of an subject and an angle which would be of interest to the readership of the publication. Then you simply phone the editor or journalist responsible and pitch them your idea. If the subject is relevant then you have a very good chance of getting your article featured. The holy grail is when you then get the opportunity to have a regular column on your subject of expertise.

So what could you write about?