Marketing is an absolute necessity for any business that is going to succeed. The problem is that you aren’t opening up your mind and thinking about where your customers are. Just because you own a website and do business online, doesn’t mean that your customers have to live 1000 miles away from you.
Face to Face Networking
Where are local business people in your area spending their time? This is a question you must ask yourself. Networking with other business owners can not only bring you new business, but help them to give you theirs! Develop relationships with other people that own businesses and you’ll literally be amazed with the results you find.
You can network with these business people at your local Chamber of Commerce. Becoming a member of the Chamber is normally inexpensive and provides you with a way to meet reputable people that work in your area. These people already have some success, or they would not be there. Learn from them and teach them and you will both gain from your relationship. This develops a desire for them to help you. Now, watch as the referrals start rolling in.
Organize gatherings through Meetup. There are tons of like minded people in your area that have no idea you have the same interest with them. Meetup is a site that is dedicated to bringing you and them together. Being the originator of a group gives you instant expert recognition from other members. Create a simple flyer for your meetings and post them at local grocery stores to get new members and grow your group.
Seminars are a great place to meet people with common interests and are the premier place to build business relationships. Be yourself and you’ll develop a following in no time. When attending a seminar, don’t be a wallflower. Stand up and make yourself stand out. There are experts in attendance at any seminar. Reach out to them and offer to help them. Build a friendship and you’ll be amazed with the results. I put on seminars twice per year.
Flyers & Business Cards
Your business card shows your professionalism and gives future clients a way of getting in touch with you for any need you may be able to fill for them. Always keep a stack of a dozen business cards in your pocket, as you never know when a networking opportunity will arise.
Format your card with your picture to guarantee that you are remembered. Also, remember that there are 2 sides to every card. Put a form on the back to allow them to put where they met you and when they want to contact you.
Flyers done on simple colored paper can direct attention to your website. Every grocery store has a bulletin board that people post products for sale and services they offer to. Post one for your business! People do honestly read those flyers. Use flyers with tearaway phone numbers so someone that is interested in what you do can simply pull it off and call at their convenience.
The next step is to include business cards, flyers, & coupons with any correspondence you have with a customer. You can also add special items:
Branded Pens – Magnetic Business Cards – Key Chains – T-Shirts with your logo
Don’t forget the power of a coupon – it gives customers a reason to come back!
The Simple Things
Don’t forget the simple things! At the end of your message on your answering machine, mention your business and thank your prospect for calling. Tell them directly to leave a message. It is very common to see magnetic signs on the sides of cars. You can get them very cheap on Ebay.
Open up your mind and think of ways you can interact with local customers. If you do it right, you will have more sales.
Word of mouth is the single best form of advertising. A good testimonial makes people feel comfortable with you and are makes them more likely to pull out their credit card. Specifically ask your customers to refer their friends to you if they need any service or product you offer. If you can, offer them a special discount or small affiliate payment if they refer someone to your site. This gives them motivation to tell their friends and family about how wonderful you are! The best part is that they don’t even have to hide an affiliate link – family doesn’t care!
The best way to obtain referrals is to make it easy for your customers to get them for you. Utilize tools like Viral Friend Generator to allow your visitors to refer their friends. Provide affiliate programs as a way for them to get paid for sending people to you.