5 Ways to Market Better in 2010

As 2009 closes it is time to look forward and plan for 2010 - what will you do differently to help grow your business? Below are 5 resolutions we think every business owner should make.

by Maureen O'Grady Condon & Susan LaPlante-Dube, Precision Marketing Group

As 2009 closes it is time to look forward and plan for 2010 - what will you do differently to help grow your business? Below are 5 resolutions we think every business owner should make.

In 2010 I resolve to:

1. Participate in Social Media

A little or a lot - it doesn't matter. But if you don't get involved in social media in some way, you will be left behind. Conversations are already occurring that you need to be part of. So for 2010 plan to do at least one of the following:

  • Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
  • Participate in LinkedIn Groups
  • Seek out blogs that are talking to your customers and about your expertise - participate in those conversations
  • Start a Facebook Fan page and give people a reason to become fans
  • Create a Social Media Plan (or let us do it for you!) so you know exactly where you should focus your efforts

2. Develop a Linking Strategy

One of the most important aspects of increasing your website rankings is quality inbound links. Resolve to spend time each month finding sites that would list your company and services or that could provide links to your site. Note: Social Media can be a big part of this activity!

Consider/seek out the following:

  • Doing Business In (your city) - type that phrase into Google and you are sure to find directories (many are free) that provide links to your website.
  • Your local business paper. Chances are that it has a directory of businesses that you can participate in.
  • Professional Organizations. If you belong to a professional organization be sure to update your listing in its directory. Use keywords and provide a link - remember it does not need to be to your home page.
  • Publications that cover your industry. What magazines or directories cover your industry specifically? Chances are you can buy a link to your site.

3. Be a Thought Leader

You're the expert in your field right? Well, let people know. Write thought papers and articles, participate in online conversations. You need to package and share your expertise and be visible so that people see you as a thought leader. It's a great way to stand out from the competition.

4. Create Offers

What can you offer someone, on your website, that encourages them to fill out a form and 'give up" their contact information so you can continue marketing to them? Here are some offers our clients have made that have led to new business:

  • Thought Papers/White Papers - educational, not sales oriented.
  • Best Practices Presentations
  • Podcasts
  • Newsletters
  • Assessments/Audits that are priced as a loss leader

5. Nurture My Leads

When someone contacts you, do you do all you can to help move them along in the sales process? If they sign up for your newsletter do you send them a Welcome Letter with links to other valuable resource they might like? Do you reach out to each lead on a regular and recurring basis with specific offers that help them take the next step in the sales process?

Every one of these 5 resolutions should be part of your 2010 marketing plan. How deep you go into any one of them depends on your time, your business and your audience.