Marketing has completely changed over the past decade. With so much competition for our attention, the old rules of marketing no longer apply. Naming your business to secure the first position in the phone book or buying numerous ads is no longer a winning strategy to generate new business.
Here are six key strategies to market your business to today’s fast-paced and limited-attention-span consumers.
1. Brand your business.
One of the most neglected aspects of small business marketing is establishing a brand and maintaining consistency across all your marketing efforts (website, social media, ads, business cards, estimates, invoices, equipment and vehicles). The key is to develop a professional logo, establish a standard color scheme and develop three to five core messages you want to ingrain in the minds of your clients.
2. Establish a presence.
One of the most important steps in building your marketing presence is establishing your epicenter. The web is the first place your clients will go to research your company. Build a website that includes your own domain name, has an associated email account (no email@example.com), showcases your work in a portfolio, details your products and services, allows visitors to request a quote for services and has a blog. Blogs are the new newsletters and give you a place to talk about current trends, provide details into a unique project and establish your expertise.
3. Build a portfolio.
Pictures are worth a thousand words and appear on websites, social media and in advertisements. Build a portfolio that showcases your best work (not every project you have ever done) and use the images on social media, your website and as a basis for your ads. For face-to-face meetings, use tools such as an iPad or Windows tablet to show off your projects digitally. Take photos using a good DSLR camera and remember to review your portfolio every few months to ensure you are showing off your strongest work.
4. Be Social.
Social media is the modern network event. Building a social media presence is important to showing off your work, extending your network and getting your name in front of clients. The key to social media is to actively engage with your audience and not to overextend yourself by using too many channels. Use social media to showcase your work, educate clients about industry trends and build your brand.
5. Get listed.
The phone book is dead. Your clients are searching for products and services using search engines and smartphones. List your business for free using tools like Google My Business, Bing Places, Apple Maps and Yellowpages.com. These tools are a good start to ensuring your contact information is at your client’s fingertips.
6. Be remarkable.
Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful marketing tool in building a profitable business. Prospective, current and former clients, subcontractors and employees all have the ability to shape your reputation and impact your business. Always be responsive and deliver remarkable, personalized service. Don’t take chances with your reputation. Always remember that you never know where a business connection might show up in the future.