Marketing Yourself from A-Z
Addresses 25 ways to market your small business inexpensively.
A. Ad. Develop a thirty-second ad for what you do. "I'm John James from Schenck & Associates and I help auto dealerships make money," or "I help companies sell their business."
Arrive early at functions such as volunteer board meetings etc. A great opportunity to network.
Ask for the business. After every client meeting, ask if he or she knows of anyone else you can help.
B. Business cards. Always have cards with you. When you meet someone, ask for his or her card. Most likely the person will ask for yours. Distribute your cards as much as possible.
C. Communicate. Let people know what you do. Don't just assume they know. Meet with your priority customers on a regular basis. They may need additional services or know someone who does.
D. Detail. Pay attention to detail. What is important to your client? Does your car look like a garbage truck? Is your shirt not pressed? Will you handle my financials in the same manner?
E. Energy. Always be "up" around clients, potential clients and your staff. If you are crabby, don't meet with people. No one wants to do business with someone who is moody.
F. Frequency. Frequent marketing is a must, it cannot be occasional. Continuously think of opportunities where you can market yourself.
G. Goals. Set specific marketing goals for three months, six months and a year. You need a measuring tool to determine how you are doing.
H. Hold on to it. Save all business colds and leads. Periodically touch base with the people who can possibly help your business in the future. Send them updates and your accomplishments. They may not need your services now, but that may change tomorrow.
I. Intelligence. Know your business. Read, read and read. Be around those whom you will gain knowledge from. Image is important. How you act in professional and social situations matter. All present an image.
J. Join. Join your trade associations, local Chamber of Commerce. Accept invitations for social outings-you never know who you will meet or be exposed to.
K. Kindle. Kindle your current business relationships. Don't lose touch. Go to lunch. It is easier and less costly to expand the services of a current client than to spend money trying to find a new one (average investment for gaining a new client is $75.00).
L. Leads. Ask the people you know for leads. 'This is a shot in the dark, but do you know someone who is thinking about setting his business?
M. Meet many-At meetings and gatherings, meet as many people in attendance as possible. If you feel uncomfortable, team up with a buddy. Make it fun.
N. Name. Always us your name and company when filling out a nametag (Diane Roundy. Schenck & Associates) or when being introduced. Help people connect with what you do for a living. Wear clothing with the company name on it. People will ask about your business. Soccer/baseball coaches-wear your Schenck shirts. Some parents may have no idea what you do.
O. Orientate. Make sure your clients know all of your capabilities. They may be using your services personally but don't realize what you can do to service their company.
P. Publicity. It's free. Work with marketing to write articles for newspapers, trade associations, service clubs.
Q. Quarterly updates. Review your client's needs at least quarterly. Don't wait until November comes around to talk to her or him.
R. Recognition. Everyone likes to be recognized. Recognize your client's or future client's accomplishments verbally or in writing. Clip an article pertaining to their business and send it. Submit their name for an award. Reward your client for giving you leads.
Registrations. Working on a committee that people must RSVP back? Volunteer to have the registrations come to you.. .your name, your company and its address. Great opportunity for hundreds or thousands of people to see your name.
S. Speaking engagements-present to groups about a topic you know. Always include your business name, what you specialize in and how you can be reached for more information.
Social opportunities-the more you get to know the potential client, the easier it is to get his or her business. Soccer coaches-have the end of year party at your home (parents socialize). Volunteer board meeting-offer to hold the meeting at your office. Get the potential client to see and feel "Schenck & Associates."
T. Testimonials. Ask 3 of your best clients for letters stating their satisfaction of your services. Use this valuable information in proposals, when presenting to clients.
Target market. Who else (in another profession) has the same target market as you? Team up and market together.
U. Utilize the people you buy from-they may have great leads. Also use your client's services and products.... A great way to solidify the relationship.
V. Visibility. Pick the volunteer roles that are most visible when you are dealing with a crowd of current or potential contacts. Take tickets, work at the registration table, hold items up at an auction. Make sure your name and company name are visible.
W. Write. Write articles for the local newspapers, trade journal, newsletters etc.
X. X-ray. Review your community involvement and time commitments. What things have given you the most marketing potential? Prioritize the successful strategies.
Y. Your Photo. You' photograph is important when articles are submitted and promotions are made. Accompany your press releases, newsletter articles, and sales brochure with a photo of yourself. Remember you are selling yourself and the relationship.
Z. Zee End...Good luck!