Finding your new business’ first customers is one of the hardest parts of getting a business off the ground.
Unfortunately, it is the most necessary step toward getting your business going. Below are twelve ideas to start marketing your new business.
Don’t Get Ahead Of Yourself
Marketing your new business can be an exciting step – it’s a chance to grow your business by growing your audience.
Take the time to make sure your business is really ready to grow before you start pushing your marketing. Do you have the time and resources to serve new customers? Are your operations running smoothly? Have you perfected your product or service?
These answers should all be confident yeses before you start marketing your new business.
Every company has a website, and your new business should too, or else you won’t show up in internet search results. A good website lends your new business credibility and visibility.
Social media is important, too. Social media is an easy way for people to organically find your new business and share it with others. It also gives you a chance to establish relationships with people who aren’t your customers yet but could be in the future.
There are also local business listing sites or industry-specific websites that you can research. Listing on sites like these can narrow down your market to people within your service area who want your product or service.
Do Your Research
Do you know who your target market is? Do you know who your competitors are, and what they’re doing to attract customers?
These are two of the many questions you need to answer before you can start effectively marketing your new business. You need to know who your potential customers are and what they want from a company like yours. You need to know how your competitors are offering their customers and how your company compares to that. Armed with this information, you can start thinking about marketing your new business.
Any marketing you do should be thoughtfully planned, not spur-of-the-moment. Take the time to sketch out your broad marketing plans for the year – sales, events, and campaigns. Then, one month at a time, plan out your marketing content.
What will you post on social media? Is anything new going on your website? How far in advance should you pitch that press release? How are you advertising that sale? What will you do to build up to the launch of your new thing?
Having these things planned out and ready to go can streamline your day-to-day marketing work and keep your marketing efforts consistent.
Become An Expert
Establishing yourself or your brand as an expert in your field is a great way to build people’s trust in your business.
Writing helpful blog posts, posting tips or DIYs on social media, and answering people’s questions on forums or social media are all great ways to build your reputation as an expert.
People will come to your business for information and, hopefully, for the product or service you provide.
Just because you have your marketing plotted out ahead of time doesn’t mean you can continue on, blind to the world around you. Stay on top of current trends and popular conversations. Take the time to jump in where your business has relevant information or help to share.
Make sure your marketing isn’t tone deaf, too. Large, established corporations can survive backlash from an insensitive ad or social media post, but your new business might not.
Collecting customer information is an important part of marketing your new business. This can take many forms, from tracking web visitor behavior tolooking at social media analytics to collecting contact information.
Social media analytics is a great way to start, since sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter automatically collect information for business accounts. You can see data about the age, gender, and location of people who interact with your posts.
Collecting contact information is the next step up, but it’s still fairly easy. If you have a newsletter or if your website has a contact form you’re already collecting email addresses and probably names. If you think it would help you can add phone numbers or city and state information to those forms. Just make sure you’re keeping track of the information that comes through these forms.
Tracking people’s behavior on your website is harder, but there are plenty of tools and tutorials to help you. Google Analytics gives you a code to embed in your website and it does the rest, collecting user behavior, location, and more. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have “Pixels” which you can add to your site to connect web traffic with a person’s social media account.
Doing all of your marketing work by hand can be a serious time sucker. Thankfully, there are many ways you can automate these tasks to reclaim some of that time.
Social media scheduling is a good place to start. There are many tools that allow you to pre-schedule posts, which means you don’t have to post separately to several different accounts each day. You can sit down once or twice a month and schedule your posts for a few weeks all in one day.
Email marketing is another thing you can automate. You can set up your email marketing tool to automatically send out a series of welcome emails to someone when they first subscribe and set up an automatic email to request a review a few days after someone receives their purchase.
Personalize Customer Service
While good customer service should always be a priority for your new business, it’s especially important when you first start out. Take the time, when you can, to give your first customers an outstanding, personalized experience. They could become lifelong customers and they can tell other people about their experience, which boosts your reputation.
Ask For Reviews
Reviews can make or break someone’s decision about your product or service. Thankfully, it’s easy to ask for reviews.
You can reach out to past customers and ask them to review your company on a 3rd party listing site like Google or Bing, or review your products on your own website. You can also encourage people to share their experiences with your products or services on social media, which you can then share to your own account.
Responding to reviews can improve people’s opinion of your company, too. Customers will feel appreciated when you respond to their positive reviews, just make sure your responses are personalized and not copy-pasted scripts.
Responses to negative reviews are even more important. Take the time to acknowledge why they are upset and explain that this is abnormal for your company. Then, if you have a way to contact them, promise to follow up with them and make sure you do. If you don’t have a way to contact them, ask them to contact you to talk things over and attempt to resolve the issue.
Networking is the beginning and end of all business advice, and for good reason. Maybe you connect with someone who can help your business somehow. Maybe you’ll connect with someone who doesn’t need your product or service yet, but will recommend you to someone who does. It really does come down to who you know.
Your network can include more than just business people and others in your industry. Your network can and should include family and friends who are interested in your new business. After all, they’re just as likely to spread the word about your new business as anyone else.
You don’t have to do everything to market your business, but it is imperative that you do some kind of marketing. Marketing your new business is what will draw in new customers and keep your business growing.