Free Promotion for your Business

When I started my business after I was made redundant, I was broke with very little capital to get anything done. One of the things I diligently sought after in those early days was free opportunities to promote my business. This month, I will like to share with you some of the ways I was able to promote my business without breaking the bank.

Article Writing

1156284_innovation raja4uThis was one of the first promotion techniques I learnt when I started my business. Well I cheated a bit as I started as a copywriter and article writing was one of the services I provided. You can use article writing to promote your expertise on a particular subject matter. Distribution of articles to many directories is free, so it might be worth your while to delve into the art of writing. You can write articles for newspapers, magazines and other publications related to your industry. If you can’t do it yourself, why not get someone else to write them for you. Find some tips on how to write good articles here

Blogging

blog-icon-200This is not only good for your business but also a great way to introduce your knowledge and expertise to the world. I recommend blogging to many of my clients who are not sure of where to start with their passion. Even though many profess that they can’t write, I’ve discovered that if you write about your passion it tends to flow naturally. You can always work on your writing style and everything else as you go along. Check out this free blogging course from one of the experts in that field.

Newsletters & Email Marketing

1159730_yell YodesignerI read it in someone’s newsletter recently that some potential customers need to see your message up to 27 times before they buy from you. There you have it, so don’t quit on potential customers after the first phone call or email.  It’s like starting a 5K race and quitting just before you reach the finish line. Your newsletter or email does not have to be huge but it has to be full of useful information that your target market will like to read. Business Next Step can help you with your newsletters  if you need some hand-holding. You can start with a quarterly, bi-monthly or monthly interval, just be consistent.

Collaboration

671413_handshake ngouldThey say “no man is an island.” That is also true in the business world. You need people as much as people need you, do not run your business in isolation. Collaborate with businesses that compliment what you do. If you sell flowers, why not collaborate with a venue decorator. Find a mutual way to reward each other for promoting your businesses. List other business services on your website or newsletter and let them do the same for you.

Social Media

social_media_icons_20Many people turn up their nose at social media for business. I have met some amazing clients and people through social media platforms. I have been invited to speak, run seminars and deliver workshops via social media. If you run a business and do not use social media to promote your business, then you are certainly not making use of the free resources you have at your disposal. All it will cost you is time and effort – but the rewards can be great.

There are other free and affordable ways you can promote your business. Get your thinking cap on and make a list of the techniques you are going to use in June and beyond. Start today, you can do this!!!

Connect with me via Facebook and Twitter and make sure you enjoy your business journey.

I wish you good success

Temi Koleowo

Business First Steps – tools that bring ideas to life.

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Get Your Umbrella Out!!!

I love writing about my business journey as it reminds me of where and when I started.  When I consider my start-up route, I am also reminded of the need to ensure our mindsets are in the right gear to start and run successful businesses.

I shared this quote by Dolly Parton on my status update recently – “There is no rainbow without rain”.

That has now become my favourite quote. When we write our business plans, we expect most if not all conditions to be favourable. We expect sunshine every day and exclude ‘the element of risk’ which is an important factor in business engagement.  Well, you can’t be more risk-adverse than I used to be.  I carry an umbrella in my handbag 365 days a year just in case it might rain even when the temperature hits late 20s.

Well the truth is,  the road to business success is never a straightforward one – like the British weather actually. As I write this blog, I reflect on how the weather has been quite unpredictable over the past few weeks. I went into a shop recently when it was sunny and came out in need of cover from the rain. Can’t seem to know how to dress the kids for school, should we have jumpers, coats or just t-shirts? A business works the same way, you might not get sunshine every day, but when you do it is so beautiful and rewarding.

My advice to anyone starting or running a business is ‘be prepared for all kinds of weather.’  To avoid frustration and despair, know that business does not flow in a straight line. There will be dips and curves, ups and downs, summer and winter. Just be sure you have got a good and viable business idea in your hands.  The good news is, the more you put in, the more you’ll get out of it.   Be conversant with your business seasons, maximise the summer months and store away for winter. It’ll make it much easier to deal with successes and failures and get through every time.

So get your umbrella and wellies out and be ready to dance in the rain.  Don’t let adverse conditions deter you from enjoying your business journey.

I wish you good success.

Temi Koleowo

Business First Steps – tools that bring ideas to life.

Business And Your Beliefs

Do You Believe In What You  Have To Offer?

There are some things you need to believe in if you want to succeed in life and in business. The list is quite simple really as these are some of the things we take for granted all the time.

Believe in Yourself

“No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

1158792_big_step_to_success_3 svilen001For a very long time I had very little belief in my abilities. I was always looking for someone else to validate whatever I do and when the validation didn’t come, despondence sets in. Somewhere along my journey I woke up to the reality of this Nigerian proverb “people will call whatever you display what you choose to call it”.

In the context of this blog it means people will call you/believe in whatever you choose to call yourself. That proverb struck a chord in me and I decided to step out of that limitation. Starting a business made me realise that I have to believe in myself before people believe in my abilities and my business.  I realised that as I aspire for more, something or someone will always try and point out my inadequacies. Believe that you have the ability to fight and win each and every one of those mind battles. Believe in your strengths, your experiences, your skills, your talent, your knowledge and your passion and take action without looking back.

Believe in Your Offerings

1133804_sign_success_and_failure cobrasoftWhether you offer a helping hand, beauty products, computer components, personalised clothing, friendship, counselling, other products or services – you must believe in what you have to offer. If a customer senses your unbelief – it will be very difficult to make a sale. Your branding, sales pitch, website, flyers, marketing channels must tell everyone that your product or service is worth their money.

Do not be apologetic about what you have to offer. If you feel your product or service is not up to the right standard – then make it attain the required standard. Do not offer it at bargain bottom prices or sell yourself cheap because you feel inadequate.  Fight the inadequacies by investing time and effort into perfecting your product or services. Charge what your time, products and services are worth. If they are good enough, your customers will buy them.

If you don’t believe in your product or service, is there any point in offering them? Its okay to charge a small fee if you are testing the market but do not let that be an excuse to sell sub-standard products or services perpetually. Raise your game so you can raise your prices and reputation as your business grows.

Believe in Your Success

1185569_collection_business_3 arte ramDo you believe you are entitled to success? Do you think your hard work should be rewarded? Success is a reward for hard work and it is what you should aim for and nothing less.  If you believe in the success of your concept, then you should put all your effort into making sure it excels.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” Peter Drucker

If you start a business, a hobby or even a career with a defeatist mentality, you should expect nothing to come out of it.  Without you believing in the success of your venture, failure is inevitable.  Success can be quite evasive and that is why a lot of people give up too soon. All you can do is put your hand to work and don’t look back – it will come to you if you do not give up. Keep pushing personal barriers and surpass your own goals until you reach that finish line.

Take Action: Grab a sheet of paper and write down your own personal belief system for success. First one on my list will be God as without Him I just can’t do this on my own, followed by the list above. Once you come up with your list, stick it on your wall so you are reminded of it every day.  Don’t falter and don’t let personal inadequacies rob you of your chance to succeed. Persevere until you successfully achieve your goals.

I wish you good success.

Temi Koleowo

Business First Steps – Tools and Support to help you set up and start a business

Photos courtesy of Arteran, Svilen001 and Cobras sxc.hu.