WAYS TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS
Create a brand image, or logo. Widespread brand recognition is your goal, as it will give your business credibility and inspire others to spread the word about your business. Grow your brand by placing your logo in your business stationary, business cards, email signatures, brochures, signs, website and merchandising materials.
Network. Meeting professionals from other, related businesses is an effective form of business promotion, as it provides you with opportunities to learn about your competitors, ask for referrals, form mutually beneficial partnerships in complementary industries and spread awareness about your business throughout a group of like-minded people. Network with other professionals in the following ways:
- Attend networking group meetings. You can find networking groups and clubs on the Internet, in newspapers and in trade publications.
- Introduce yourself to people at the meetings. Explain what it is your business does, what you offer that makes you stand out from your competition and what you are looking for in business relationships.
- Ask relevant questions during group discussions. In addition to promoting your business, you can learn a lot at networking meetings. Additionally, asking open-ended questions encourages others to participate in the conversation, and sets you up for more introductions.
- Hand out your business cards. Set up private meetings with those who express an interest in getting to know more about your business.
- Signs. You may opt for storefront signs, billboards, marquee boards or street-side yard signs.
- Print. Place print ads in magazines, newspapers, coupon books, trade journals and industry magazines. Choose print mediums that are suited to your business. For example, if you run a technology parts recycling warehouse, then you may consider placing ads in computer classifieds and technology magazines.
- Commercials. Television and radio commercials are effective ways to promote your business to a broad audience, but they are relatively costly forms of advertising.
- Advertisements. You may opt to pass out promotional materials at trade shows, at store fronts, in parking lots or in any other highly-populated areas. Some businesses, like nightclubs and entertainment venues, hire street crews to hand out advertisements and attract new customers.
- Direct mail. You may purchase mailing lists targeted to your segment of the consumer market, then mail out letters, brochures, catalogs or postcards. This method is effective when you want to provide potential customers with paper coupons, vouchers, business cards or promotional merchandising.
- Public relations (PR) firms. You may hire a PR firm to create publicity for you in the form of news write-ups and press releases.
- Internet. Promoting a business online involves setting up a business website, participating in industry/trade forum discussions, running a blog , setting up accounts on social networking sites, using pay-per-click and banner ads, listing your business information in business directories and employing search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Every business, regardless of its size or scope, could benefit from Internet marketing, and many Internet marketing mediums are free to use.
If you're just starting out and don't have a business card and business stationery, have them made up -- immediately. Your business card, letterhead and envelope tell prospective customers you are a professional who takes your business seriously. Be sure to list your website address on your business card and, letterhead and any handouts you create.
Get your business cards into the hand of anyone who can help you in your search for new clients. Call your friends and relatives and tell them you have started a business. Visit them and leave a small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.
Talk to all the vendors from whom you buy products or services. Give them your business card, and ask if they can use your products or service, or if they know anyone who can. If they have bulletin boards where business cards are displayed (printers often do, and so do some supermarkets, hairdressers, etc.), ask if yours can be added to the board.
Rely on the power of social networks. Social networks have become the new darling of advertising because much of the legwork is being done by dedicated fans, for free. You could pay someone to advertise for you, or you could establish a social community of fans who advertise by word of mouth, at little or no cost.
Use other people to sell your product or service.Instead of (or in addition to) selling your products yourself, look for affiliates, resellers, bloggers or people who will generate leads for you in return for a commission on sales.
( Source: internet, Pinterest )
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