Marketing your small business can seem overwhelming, particularly if you are squeezed for time or cash. But, by adding a few easy habits to your business day, you can reap great rewards. No matter what size your marketing budget, these are tips you can use:
1. Use your email signature.
Whether you send five emails a day or fifty, your email signature is an opportunity to court new business. Don't just show your contact details. Use the space to offer periodic deals, such as discounts on services. Change up the offers regularly to showcase your email newsletter, a spring special or another deal.
2. Create and use social media profiles.
According to Pew Internet Research, 70% of all adults use social media. By making profiles for your business on one or two platforms, you can interact and gain prospects. A Facebook page can help you keep involved with the local community. Instagram and Pinterest are great for showcasing your work. Don't feel you need to sign up for every network; this can lead to spending too much time online. Instead, sign up for one or two and post and interact daily.
3. Join online discussions.
Online forums like Quora and Reddit are great places to demonstrate your expertise. There are also many industry-specific message boards around. Search every so often and answer questions related to your business. Be sure to include your business URL in your profile wherever it is allowed.
4. Write a welcome email.
When people provide their email address on your site, don't just send a short acknowledgement email. Take the opportunity to share a bit about why they should choose you. Write a longer email and update it periodically. This one piece of effort can pay off for months at a time.
5. Create an email newsletter.
If you collect email addresses from prospects, use them to keep in touch to keep your business at the top of their minds. A short email newsletter that goes out once a week allows you to share useful information and create a relationship.
6. Start a blog.
A regularly updated blog helps draw traffic to your site. Once surfers arrive, your blog helps demonstrate your know how and your ability to help solve their problems. Aim for at least one entry a week.
7. Make and post short videos.
One-third of all time spent online is spent watching videos. Create short clips that show off good workmanship or how to spot areas that need repairs, then post on platforms like Youtube, Facebook and Vimeo.
8. Add sharing buttons to your website.
Make it easy for surfers who found your content useful to share it with family and friends. There are a number of attractive sharing widgets for WordPress. Install them so that people can easily post your marketing content to their social networks.
9. Ask clients for testimonials.
Satisfied clients can make the best advertisers. When potential customers see testimonials on your site, this social proof can help build trust and close the deal. Include a request for testimonials in emails to clients, or, in the footer of your invoices. The testimonials can be incorporated into your site, shared on Facebook and Twitter or added to your printed marketing materials.
10. Create a small giveaway item.
What is an item that is inexpensive and easy for you, but of value to your potential customers? Options can include digital or printed checklists, trouble-shooting guides, free ebooks or reports. When people are given things, it makes them more likely to reciprocate. You provide value, and they are more likely to provide you with their business.
Through a combination of small, daily activities and larger efforts that pay off over time, you can reduce the investment needed for effective marketing. These small and simple efforts, over the long term, can make your business better known, better trusted and more successful.
Sources: 28 Unbelievable Video Marketing Statistics, http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/, http://www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/24waysto.htm, http://mmba.us/10-easy-ways-promote-business-free/