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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Market Your Business With Knowledge

I was quite disturbed to read about a well-known supposedly Marketing Guru whose company was fleecing people for money. It reminded me of when I started out in business and was so eager for information. I was buying into so many empty promises of what will catapult my business to the next level. Little did I know that there is hardly a miracle marketing technique anywhere?

1159730_yell YodesignerI learnt after a few hard knocks that if you do not work on your business putting the right foundation in place, no matter the marketing strategy you engage in, you will fall flat on your face. I strongly believe that businesses that succeed work through a step by step marketing strategy. This is not to say marketing strategies do not work, but you need to know your business and how people respond to what you offer. I dare say that not all businesses will grow via social media. For some it’s the interaction with their customers face to face that will grow their businesses.

The following tips are some of the things you should be aware of to help you choose the right marketing strategy for your business:

Core Values – Understand your core values and how it translates into your business. What is important to you? Is it financial gain, longevity in business, popularity, your integrity or customer satisfaction? When you understand what your core values are, it will be easy for you to project it through your business marketing materials and strategies.

What Do You Sell? – Strange as it might sound, there are many businesses that are not clear about their aim and objectives and what they offer. That was me in times past; I was trying to do so much without defined products or services. It is confusing to say the least to those you are targeting if you don’t have well defined products or services. Are you a party planner/caterer or are you a graphic designer/copywriter. Whether you offer two, three or five services, make it clear through your website, marketing materials and even your elevator pitch.

Who Are Your Customers? – Who are the people that will buy your products? Who are you targeting? Young, Old, Rich, Middle Class, Students, Women, Mothers, Men etc? When you started out, who were you going to sell to? Keep that in mind when you develop your marketing plan. Where can you find them, what do they read, what else do they buy that can compliment your products? Some businesses can only serve a local area except they expand their service offerings. Let’s say you run a salon, except people come to your store, you can’t get much patronage. But if you now offer hair products online, use YouTube tutorials etc, then you can increase your target market by a wide margin.

What Is Your Budget? I feel on my face with this one over and over again until I made some realisticand hard decisions. So many people will offer you services that promise to grow your business miraculously. You need to align every proposal with your business aims, objectives and budget. How much have you put aside for marketing this year? Having this information to hand will prevent you from being swayed by marketing gimmicks.

21411_cash_notes_3 andyculpinLook Beyond the Money – I have had some simple engagements that have opened so many doors to great relationships and business opportunities. Whilst some have not gone beyond the single task, event/meeting. You will know a good opportunity when you see one. Do not be guided by money alone but let the prospects of what is to come help you make informed decisions. Attend networking events to build relationships and not just to sell your products or services. Offer your target market free offers so they can learn to trust you and you can build relationships with them too.

The Time Factor – How much time can you dedicate to your marketing strategies?  Can you afford to spend two hours a week listening to an audio training on marketing strategies?  If you can’t, then it is futile to purchase a plan you can’t commit to.  I love what someone suggested on Facebook – find 30 minutes a day/week and dedicate that time to building your business through one marketing effort at a time.  The thought of a huge marketing plan can be overwhelming. If you can update your social media status once a week start with that and don’t beat yourself down if you falter. Just try a bit more next time and before you know it, it becomes second nature. Remember Consistency is the key to organic business growth.

I could go about my marketing mistakes and what I have learnt that actually works. Believe me when I say I have tried quite a few, and quite ashamed of my gullibility in some cases.  But hey you learn in business and grow.  Now it is not so easy to get my hard-earned cash through hocus-pocus marketing strategies.

Buyers Beware!  Before you commit to another fomular, make sure you maximise the opportunities that present themselves to you at no cost.

I’ll love to hear from you – If you have got some marketing stories or tips you will like to share, please comment below.

I wish you good success

Temi Koleowo

If you need help in developing your products or services or even develop a Sales Funnel, there is nothing a Brainstorming session can’t cure. Get in touch and let’s give your business a boost.