You’ve succeeded in starting up a business, well done! Now your #1 priority is to get your name out there, both online and offline. Luckily, these days this can be done relatively inexpensively! You will, however, need a little creativity and some social media savvy. To help you out, I’ve scanned the Internet and found five of the most popular tried-and-tested ideas for promoting yourself and coming out ahead of your competitors:
Use social media (but sensibly)
It’s vitally important these days to maintain some sort of social media presence. For many companies that just means Facebook, but some choose to use all the major ones – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Tumblr, for example. But if you’re going to have a very large social media presence, you need to do it properly. Are all your social media pages branded with the same logos so potential customers instantly know it’s you? If not, you need to get on that. Have you considered the demographics of the social media sites you’re using? Tumblr, for example, has a userbase of largely teenagers and young adults, so it may not be the best one to use if you’re aiming your product at older people.
Start a blog
And not a blog that just talks about new products and nothing else. Think about what your company does and consider what aspects of it would be most of interest to your userbase. For example, if you run a t-shirt printing business, why not use your blog to talk about fashion and graphic design? Or if you have a party planning business, why not fill your blog with tips on how to have a great party? Don’t begin a blog post with the assumption that the reader will buy something from you at the end – you’ve got to get them truly interested in what you have to offer them first. I find that short, simple ‘listicles’ – 10 Spooky Must-Haves For A Great Halloween Party, for example – are great when it comes to content people want to read and share.
Network with other bloggers
Never forget how important it can be to simply ask people what they think of your product. One of the best ways of doing this is to send free samples out to popular bloggers! If your company sells make-up products, for example, get to work contacting the most popular make-up bloggers out there and offering them free samples in exchange for a review of your product. Of course, you’ll have no control over what they choose to say, but if you think your product is good enough this is very much worth doing.
Get your logo out there
Never underestimate the importance of branding. You need to get your logo out there as much as possible – ideally, it should be in so many places that your company name sinks into people’s subconscious whether they want it to or not!
It would be sensible to use branding services to get logos on absolutely everything that a person might use during the day – pens, umbrellas, notebooks, the lot. If you decide to do this, don’t forget to hand out as many of these as possible as free gifts when you attend events! This will instantly build up a feeling of goodwill towards your company and of course, it’s free advertising.
Always, always have a business card on you
Business cards can be printed very cheaply these days, so there’s no excuse not to have a handful of them on you at all times. I designed mine myself, but if you’re not artistically inclined there are a vast amount of programmes and apps which can design them for you. Make sure to hand them out at networking events and have a pile of them on your table at fairs all the time. Carry them about even when you’re not working – you never know when you might run into someone important in a lift or at the shops!
Obviously, those aren’t the only ways of getting your business out there. I haven’t even mentioned guerrilla marketing, for example (although you really need to know what you’re doing with that one.) But these tips should have you off to a very good start!