We have a special place in our heart for entrepreneurs. Since Karen Tappin, founder of Karen’s Body Beautiful and one of our first featured moms, we’ve loved hearing how business-owning moms behind some of your favorite businesses (Oyin Handmade! xNasozi! Denene Millner Books!) manage their companies and family.
Now, with the help of entrepreneur and business coach DeAndrea Byrd, we’ll be answering your questions on how to start and/or scale up your business. We asked around, and for her first column, DeAndrea answered a question that all business owners have.
Q: How do you market your business more and get “seen”?
One of the top questions that I hear from coast to coast is “How do I market my business more?”
While this is an awesome question, I often wonder if people are really using the resources right at their fingertips.
Listen, I am not here to business shame anyone, only to open your eyes and mind to the limitless possibilities.
The first step to being able to market effectively is to understand what it is you offer and put it in plain terms. No, really: What do you do? What results can people get from your product or service, and how can people access it immediately?
…Open your eyes and mind to the limitless possibilities.
Many business owners get caught up in trying to craft a “cute” message or over-the-top sales copy, but the truth is people pay for results. Your customers what to know what they are getting, all facts, no fluff. Take your time and perfect your offer or sales pitch.
Once you have your offer down pat and ready to rock, I need you to focus on your ideal customer.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Where do they live and work?
- What do they do for fun?
- How much money do they make?
- What do they like to wear?
- What kind of car do they drive?
Write out a full day in the life of your ideal customer. Use your notes to research your target audience.
To research your target audience, simply use the internet to find out where they hang out on social media and local events. Pay attention to what they post. Find out what problems your product or services solves for them. You’ll need to know what problems you can solve as a business owner in order to effectively market to your customers.
While you are doing your market research, you’ll be able to narrow down your target audience. Understand that not everyone is your customer, and that’s ok. Focus on speaking to your ideal clients only, and those that see your value will seek you out.
After you narrow your target audience and perfect your pitch, you have to develop a marketing strategy and learn how to leverage your platforms.
There are six ways to market your business and leverage your platforms:
- Social Media
- Networking Events
- Email Marketing
- OPP (Other People’s Platforms)
Social media is a FREE99 tool that you can use to market your business and monetize daily. We live in a world today where you can make money and run your business from your cell phone. Leverage social media, it’s a SUPER inexpensive way to market your business and get customers. Use hashtags to get your brand seen by the right people.
You can even use OPP, or what I call “Other People’s Platforms,” by paying influencers to market your business on their website or social accounts. OPP is a great way to market your business. Make sure that you align with brands that are a match for your brand—do your research before you reach out.
Using OPP will help you get a jump start. (If you are a newbie to business and have no customers, then this marketing tip is especially for you.) Look for bloggers, vloggers, online radio shows, Instagram influencers, etc. to purchase advertising slots from. If cash flow is your issue, see if there’s a way you can barter your service or product in exchange for promo.
When you’re low on cash, be resourceful and use your time wisely. Networking events may be considered old school, but they are still relevant.
You can use Eventbrite to search networking events in your area. Every month, use Eventbrite, Facebook, or other event platforms to find at least 20 networking events in your city and go. Get out there, network your business, and pass out business cards. Get yourself seen. Get off your couch and from behind the computer and network like a boss!
We live in a world today where you can make money and run your business from your cell phone.
Email marketing is one of my favorite marketing tools. You can connect with your customers on a personal basis via their inboxes.
You can start building your email list by creating a simple lead magnet. What is a lead magnet, you might ask? A lead magnet is a free or low-cost item that you use to draw in your target customers to build their trust. For example, you can create a simple “free” checklist, downloadable worksheet, ebook, mp3, or useful digital product to attract your target customers. You require your customers to sign up for your email list to receive the free offer. Once they are on your list, you market away!
Let’s take a look into another old-school, guerilla-marketing technique: flyer promotions.
Listen, flyers still work. I repeat, flyers still work. Create some professional flyers and go out to the places your target audience frequents and pass them out. If you have a budget, look into hiring a street team to go out to large events and expos, and pass out your flyers.
Podcasting has become popular for listeners and business owners. It’s a way to increase your audience over time and expand your reach (potentially even globally) via the internet. Once you build your listenership, then you can market your products and services to your listeners. You can use apps like Podbean, Spreaker, and Simplecast to start your podcast. These apps have plans that range from free to $199 a month.
Best of luck using these marketing tips to get your business seen by the right customers. If you get started today, you will get results faster. Just get started and stay consistent.