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So, what's the best way for you to use in spreading the word and promoting your small business? What methods work best?
The first question you need to answer is about the marketplace. Who are the people you're trying to reach? Trying to reach baby boomers is one thing. Trying to reach millennials is quite another thing.
Many avenues are available to you. These include social media, websites, direct mail, print, radio, television and Internet advertising.
Social media is a new kid on the block. Think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and more. Many more. Facebook is perhaps the best vehicle for small businesses. But the others can reel in results as well. If you are trying to reach millennials, you must use social media.
Websites provide a small business with an anchor. Keep your website simple, easy to navigate, and include information so viewers can read more about what you do. By all means, keep it up-to-date.
Direct mail can be a post card resembling Facebook. Among all the forms of print advertising, the simple post card is arguably the most effective--especially when you put a memorable picture on one side.
Baby boomers react positively to post cards mailed to them.
Radio and television as well as Internet ads can work for certain small businesses--but these can be expensive. The new Internet radio sites can be extremely effective and relatively inexpensive ways to reach out.
Sorting through all these possibilities can be daunting to the owner of a small business. To figure it all out, keep you eye firmly on the marketplace you want to serve.
Example: Jen counsels clients on nutrition and lifestyle, helping people with eating habits, weight problems, overall healthiness and lifestyle. To get her business off the ground, Jen struggled and tried many things. She had a website, she placed ads in local media, and she sent news releases to local papers. The results were poor. When she took a hard look at her potential market, one thing popped out--weight. Weight was a problem on several levels for many people. She began posting before and after photos on Facebook and she had post cards printed showing similar results. This double-pronged approach worked well and was inexpensive. The Facebook photos were passed around among friends--as did the post cards. More people began to call her for an appointment.
You have lots of options. Whatever methods you use, keep your eye on that marketplace.
In business, the marketplace rules. Studying the market will give you clues as to how best to get your word out there--and working.