10 Marketing Tips for Growth

July 28, 2008 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

10. Be Online.

Today, you can’t afford not to be online. More and more consumers are going online to search, research and purchase items and for many of them, if you aren’t there, they won’t even know you exist. Having an online presence today is not only easier than you think, it’s less expensive than it’s ever been. And with over 2 million people in US and Canada going online regularly, can you really afford to not be there?

9. Know thyself.

Trying to be all things to all people pulls your business in too many directions. Take stock of what your business does best and play up the strengths. Your business will go much further as the place that builds great surf boards than the place that builds okay skateboards, surfboards, sand boards and kite boards.

8. Give it up.

Give up your business’s time and money for a greater cause. Volunteer in the community to shed light on causes that either you are passionate about or that fall in line with your business philosophy. The time and money that you spend giving to others will come back to you ten-fold through good press, good will and a good reputation.

7. Be professional.

If you want your business to be taken seriously, be professional in all your actions and communications. Flyers with dated clip-art that look like they were typed up in a word processor will scream amateur to potential clients and you’ll be lucky if they even read the content you spent all night writing. On the flip side, a professional flyer on high quality paper projects a higher-grade of business that has their act together and knows what they are doing.

6. Take care of your existing clients.

It takes time and money to bring in new clients. Cut the amount of both in half and use the remaining to make sure your current clients are happy with your products and services. Get their opinions on their experience with your business and then take action on the things that were reviewed as subpar. Offer incentives for frequent buyers or users. You’ll not only boost their loyalty to your business but you’ll also grow the amount of good press about it.

5. Think outside the box.

Consumers are blasted with so many messages a day, they’ve become experts at tuning them out. The trick is to catch them off guard in unexpected ways to reach them. I once saw a fish market that hired a local artist to chalk seafood on the sidewalks in a one mile radius from the store. It not only increased foot traffic but also introduced the young store to the local community in such a different way that it was written up in the community paper. We, as consumers, like clever and unique ways to get our attention. Just remember to stay within the social and legal confines of your area.

4. Network.

Not everyone inside your industry is your competition. We each have specialties that we excel in and many times, enjoy doing. Get to know others in your industry and learn their specialties. When a client is looking for something that isn’t quite your cup of tea, refer them to someone who specializes in it. This not only harbors good will within the industry and builds your reputation but it also lets your clients know that you are looking out for their best interests, a thought that will keep them coming back.

3. Know it all.

Become an industry expert within your niche. You know a lot about your business and can help show other people the way. Start by giving little presentations at your local chamber of commerce, then slowly move up into small trade shows and take off from there. Before you know it, you will become the “it” person whenever anyone has a questions about your industry. But be forewarned – it’s a good idea to make sure you know what you’re talking about. Not quite there yet? Read up and attend other experts’ lectures and speeches until you’re confident that you’re prepared for all the criticism and questions that come along with calling yourself an expert.

2. Set goals.

Without business goals you’re a dead man (or woman) walking. How do you expect to grow your business without knowing where you’re going? And while you’re at it, put numbers to it; try to make your goals as objective as possible. Otherwise they’ll end up like a new year’s resolution, thrown out with the leftover turkey.

1. Measure, measure, measure.

Our top marketing tip is to measure all of your marketing efforts. Ask customers how they heard about you, offer incentive for surveys filled out, use unique phone numbers and urls to track your direct mail campaign. There are a billion and one ways to grow your business’s visibility and now there are 2 billion ways to measure how they are working. Measure everything and then cut out the efforts that yield the lowest return on investment. You’re a small business and don’t have the budget of Pepsi-Cola to just throw marketing money down the drain.

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9 Tips for Online Success

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