Last week, we spoke about 3 facets that new business owners often ignore when promoting their start-up: the customer, strategy and measurement.
To get the most value from this blog, please read that one first, before looking at the 5 activities for marketing your new business below:
In 2015, a business website is a non-negotiable. If you don’t have one and potential customers are looking for you, it sends out the wrong signals: are you actually a legitimate business?
Additionally, if your new business doesn’t have a website, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity to attract customers. Your website is the hub of your marketing efforts – everything else should lead your audience back here.
We know that websites can be costly and when you’re first starting out money is tight. However, your website is your shop window which reflects your new business. Therefore, if you go for an amateur website, this may not show off your business in the best possible way.
A great tool for building your first website is Strikingly. It’s super easy to use, it looks slick and is very affordable for start-ups. We’ve used it for some of our websites in the past and recommend it.
Some argue that email marketing is not as powerful as it once was, due to an increase in spam and inbox overload, this may be true to an extent but we feel email newsletters still have a place in the marketing strategy for start-ups.
For those that really care about you, “your community”, it’s a great way to educate, engage, and remind them that you still exist, and what problems you can solve for them.
On top of this, you own this information. A lot of new business owners use facebook to promote their new business and it definitely has its merits, however, what would happen if it disappeared tomorrow? You may have 500 likes but how many of these fans could you engage with without Facebook – do you have their contact details?
Therefore, a balanced approach is key to marketing, not being overly-reliant on one particular channel to promote your new business.
For our newsletter marketing, we use MailChimp, another usefulness resource that we highly recommend to start-up businesses for their marketing.
Last year, when we first starting blogging, it was not very consistent and we didn’t have a clear strategy. However, now, I block off dedicated time in my diary every week to blog and have a clear strategy of what we will write about and what we won’t.
Our aim is to educate start-up businesses and have some fun along the way – but not too much fun!
Therefore, every week we will share resources, events and ideas with you to accelerate your new business. It helps us and this helps you.
4. Social Media
Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and hundreds of other platforms, make up “social media”. This may at first seem intimidating but needn’t be. Focus on where your customers are and on marketing channels that will make money for your new business.
It’s better to focus on 2 or 3 of these channels max and do them really well as opposed to trying to have a presence on all of them and do it badly. There are certain “rules” for each platform, as they differ slightly, and the way you use them is also different.
For example, on Twitter, each post (“tweet”) is limited to only 140 characters; Instagram is largely used for posting pictures; and LinkedIn is a fairly professional network.
Like all marketing activities for your start-up, you need to know your customers, where they hang out and measure your efforts. Additionally, you also have to have a plan or strategy – why are you using social media? What are your objectives?
We’re also a social bunch and would love to chat to you on Twitter @acornenterprise and on facebook.com/acornenterprise
The previous 4 points have all focused on online marketing, however, don’t overlook offline or “traditional” marketing activities, like face-to-face networking. One of the keys to building a successful business is relationships. Relationships with customers, suppliers, even competitors.
In a world becoming more centred around online marketing, you still need to make time to get away from the computer, leave the office and meet other people face-to-face.
There are plenty of networking events and you really can attend morning, afternoon and evening, if you like! Our suggestion is to try a few local groups to find the one that suits you. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’ll make a sale straight away at a business networking event – this may happen but your real reason for attending should be to build meaningfull relationships.
On this point, don’t make the mistake of dismissing people on the basis that, “you won’t be able to do business with them” – you never know who they know! It could just be that their next door neighbour, or someone else in their network, is someone you’d love to speak to, even if you don’t feel you can do business with that particular person. And that’s ok – you may never do business with some people you meet at networking but don’t write them off!
“Pursue relationships; not sales” – Colin McKeand – the Business Connector
What Do You Think?
So there you have it, the three facets new business owners often overlook when marketing their new business (the customer, strategy and measurement) and 5 activities to accelerate your marketing efforts.
Was this blog useful? Do you have any marketing tips you’d like to share that have helped your new business?