An entrepreneur or small business owner has a lot of different jobs to manage, but outside of offering a high-quality service or product, there’s not much that is as important as getting your prospects to notice you, and take as much interest as possible in your business.
You might recognize this process by its more common name, “marketing.”
You would think that these days, with the wonders of the Internet accessible to all of us, and a near infinite range of tools and information available, the task of successfully marketing a business would be easier and more straightforward than ever before.
There is, of course, some truth to this. But many new entrepreneurs in particular often find themselves so overwhelmed with all the different possibilities available to them, that they struggle with knowing where best to apply their efforts and resources.
As we all know, success in any domain of life – business certainly not being an exception – is largely a matter of using your time, and leveraging your energy and resources, as effectively as possible. Warren Buffett is said to have commented that the difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people “say no to almost everything.”
Here are a few basic and effective tips for getting your prospects more interested in your business, before you graduate to more complex techniques.
Utilize the power of freebies and opt-in pages
These days, no matter what kind of business you run, your website is going to be one of your primary marketing resources.
You can expect, with a high degree of certainty, that most people will discover your business through your website and related online materials. Even if your business is based in a physical location, and people come across it on the street, they will undoubtedly Google your name to find out more about you before committing to a purchase.
That being the case, your website has to make the best sales pitch possible, and ideally should “catch” your visitors, so that you can continue marketing to them “passively” even once they’ve left the site.
The number one way of doing this is by including tempting and useful freebies on your website, such as white papers, digital tools, and special reports and e-books. The real catch is that you need to include an opt-in form in order for your visitors to download those freebies.
Coming up with the perfect opt in page is an art in and of itself. But it’s an art that’s well worth your time mastering, because once people are on your mailing list, you can continually market to, and upsell to them, from their own inbox.
Just remember – you need to be useful and interesting, not spammy and irritating.
Become “present” in as many different areas as possible
Marketing is largely a matter of visibility combined with reputation and interest.
You could have the very best service or product in your niche, but if you’re not present in the various places where your prospective clients “hang out,” you should not expect to make any sales, or have your business thrive at all.
One of your top priorities should be figuring out ways to become as “present” as possible, in as many different areas and locations as possible.
This means advertising your services on leading industry websites, participating in group discussions on different forums, putting up flyers in real life, and attending trade fairs and other physical meetups where you can interact with people one-on-one.
Find ways of customizing and tailoring your service so that it has something that your competitors don’t
The term “USP” stands for Unique Selling Point, or Unique Selling Proposition. Essentially, your USPs are those things that set you apart from the competition, and make it more than just another generic and identical product or service in the pile.
To really market your business effectively, and get people interested, you need to find ways of customizing and tailoring your service so that it has something that your competitors don’t.
This is where your own creativity and insight comes into things in a big way. Ask yourself; if you were using your competitor’s services (and maybe you should try using them, as a test) what would make the experience better?
Try and fill those gaps, and try leverage your own unique skills and life experiences in doing so.
This could be as simple as offering more effective after sales service, or it could include assorted freebies, or small tweaks to essential features that make the customer or client’s life easier.