If you are just starting out with a new small business, you are probably mostly concerned about structuring your company, hiring employees, doing paperwork, renting or purchasing a location, filing for permits, etc. As tempting as it might be to put off marketing until you’re all settled in, don’t do it.
Marketing should be one of the top things on your to-do list—after all, if you don’t market your business right from the start, your potential customers will never even know your company exists, and you won’t be able to make enough money to stay afloat. Of course, you’re not likely to start off marketing your small business on TV or huge billboards by the highway . . . but there are several things you can do right off the bat to get your marketing strategy off the ground.
Here are the WordJack team’s ideas of the first 10 things a small business owner should do to market their company:
1) Determine Who Your Customers Are – Before you begin marketing, you need to know your audience. Are you primarily trying to sell to teenagers? College students? Stay-at-home moms? CEO-level executives? Every marketing strategy you employ should focus on appealing to your audience.
2) Create a Logo – Your logo will be the first impression people receive of your business, so it should be unique and memorable. Creating a logo should be one of the very first things you do when you start a new business, as it will be used throughout all your future marketing campaigns. As soon as it’s done, add the logo to your email signature along with your contact information, and voila—instant branding!
3) Print Business Cards – Put your logo and contact info on some business cards, and start handing them out to friends, family, and people you meet on the street. You never know when you might run into a potential future customer, and handing them a card is a great way to make sure they remember you.
4) Claim/Create & Optimize Your Local Business Listing on Google+ – This is actually your best chance to appear early in search engine results without spending months or even years on SEO. Don’t forget to fill up your profile with business details, including your contact information, hours, logo, pictures, etc. Start the process at google.com/local/add/.
5) Build a Website – Yep, this is a daunting one, but it’s super important. If you can’t be found online, you probably won’t get found offline, either. Don’t get overwhelmed—it’s ok to just start a free WordPress site and create a few pages (home, about us, services, contact us, etc.) and build from there. And don’t forget to use some high-quality photos—they instantly make your site more impressive.
6) Start Blogging – Unfortunately, you can’t just build a website and then let it sit while the leads roll in. You need to update it consistently, and one of the best ways to do that (and to build SEO) is to start a blog. Start by trying to add something to your blog once a week. It could be the story of how your business started, a feature about one of your products or services, or something interesting you observed about your industry. Don’t be too “salesy” on your blog—instead, aim to be informative and interesting—that will get you a lot more readers and customers in the long run.
7) Jump on Social Media – Create a Facebook profile, Twitter account, and YouTube account, and start posting! Whether you’re going for humorous or informative, it’s important to post regularly to your accounts (at least once or twice a week), even if you don’t have many followers or “likes” yet. If you saw a great article online about your industry, share it! If you took some photos of setting up the new office, post them! If you’re having a sale or special event, advertise it!
8) Improve Your Website – After you’ve got the basic structure down, it’s time to start making your website better. It should be user-friendly (don’t forget tablets & cell phones!) and use SEO best practices. It should be found on a domain that will be easy for your customers to remember (you can purchase one through WordPress or GoDaddy). Your website will never reach perfection, but it can always be improved.
9) Start an Email Newsletter – Often the best way to get business is to convince previous happy customers to come back again. Put a form on your website to collect email addresses for a newsletter, or put a sign-up sheet next to the register or at the front desk. Once you have about 20 email addresses collected, start a free MailChimp account & send out email blasts. Don’t be overwhelming, though—start out with a max of one email per week, and be sure to include coupons and specials to keep people coming back.
10) Don’t Be Scared to Ask for Help – As you can tell from this list, marketing a new business is not an easy task, and you may simply not have the time to build a website, write blogs, post on social media, send emails, and run your business all at the same time. One solution is to hire a full-time marketing employee, but if you are unable to afford that, a marketing agency like WordJack can take a huge load off your back. For more information about our online marketing services, call us today at 855-967-3522.
WordJack Media provides a wide range of website design and online marketing solutions to clients throughout Canada and the US, including Collingwood ON, Ottawa ON, Barrie ON, Miami FL, Lakeland FL, Orlando FL, Charlotte NC, Hickory NC, Asheville NC and more. Contact WordJack Media today for more information about how we can help your business win on the web!