In a previous post, I told you what marketing was, but didn’t really touch on why you need it. Marketing increases customer awareness of your business. Effective marketing reaches all the right people, your target market. It creates awareness of your business and your brand. it also is repetitive. Did you know a potential customer must be exposed to your company name and messaging 7 to 10 times before it sinks in and they decide whether to purchase from you. How do you get your business in front of potential customers 7-10 times?
Let’s start with developing your marketing plan. A marketing plan is a document you put together that spells out your target market & the tactics you’ll use to reach them. Since we covered target audience in the Blast Off to Success post, we’ll cover marketing tactics here.
There are a ton of ways to market in the real world (offline in this case). Too many to cover, so I’ll pick a few of the simple ones.
Every business owner needs business cards. They should have your business name, your name & contact info. For safety reasons, do not put your address on your business cards and ppleaseuse a parents cell or your home phone. Business cards are great to hand out to potential customers. There are lots of ways to create business cards. Your local office supply store sells business card paper stock so you can print your own business cards at home. If you are looking for something a little more professional, there are plenty of online printers that you can use to create your own cards and they print them and ship them to you. These will cost you money, but you can find discount codes online to reduce your costs. Vistaprint is a great place to order cards. Everywhere you go, if you talk to people about your business, hand them a business card. Start getting your business out there! Read to the end of this post to get a free business card template you can use for your business!
Flyers are great because they can hold a lot of information. Flyers can list your products or services, contact information and even coupons. Flyers are easy to make because they can be created in Word or Publisher and printed right at home fairly cheaply. But they can also take time to get out into the public. You have to get out and hang them at community locations such as grocery stores and library bulletin boards.
If you sell a product, community events are a perfect place to make money & get your business name out to potential customers. Even if you provide a service, a vendor fair is the perfect chance to offer special coupons or discounts for people in attendance. If you decide to have a table at local events, flyers can be handed out to people that stop by your table and show an interest. Like business cards, flyers should also contain your contact information.
When your customers are happy, they will tell other people. This is called referral marketing or word of mouth marketing. You want your best customers to tell other people about you. So just ask them to. And when they send a new customer your way, you reward them. How? The easiest way is to offer a discount on future purchases from your business.
We have covered a few offline tactics. Pick one and try it out for a month. If it doesn’t work, change it up. Try something new.
Our next post will cover ONLINE marketing tactics. Things like having a website for your business and using social media to market yourself.