If you're looking to expand your business, it's a good idea to really get into the marketing subject of all of this. Marketing or promoting yourself or your business, is the main means to being successful. If you do not promote, you will not get your business out there, and if you do not get your business out there, how can you expect to ever make money? Look at some of the big name brands out there such as Dell, Panasonic, Creative Labs, Logitech, we all know these brands because they are all market their companies. Now, these companies make billions of dollars a year, and I do not expect you to spend that much, in fact there is no real need for it right now, maybe some time in the future when you're making more money with profits , than with spending habits. But for now, let's stick with a few simply, inexpensive ways to market yourself, your service or your business on and offline.
Communicate with your clients –
I'm a big believer that business should not be a "wham bam thank you ma'am" type of deal. Do not just send auto-emails, auto-scripts, or anything else auto to your potential clients. And always be sure to do a follow-up email, if they do or if they do not become customers. You never know when Mister X just dropped Business ABC because they were doing something he did not care for. You shoot Mister X an email and poof, you got his interest. You guys talk, converse, and he says "hey I like you ABC, let's do some work!"
Another big thing, some people are COMPLETE professionals. Other put a sense of their real personality into their business. I like doing a little bit of both. First off when you show your real side (nothing crude, crass or nasty) such as making a joke, or being "real" with said potential customer, but you also talk to them in a professional knowledgeable manner, they think okay now this guy / girl really knows what they are talking about but, I can also tell that they are a good (or bad) person. Believe it or not, people like knowing you are an honest hard-working individual.
Unique Marketing –
So pens and letterheads are a great way to promote your business to potential clients, but what about some other unique imaginative ways? Try thinking outside the box, without going overboard. The prospect will enjoy your uniqueness and it will also stand out from all the other marketing packages he or she receives.
Market It Publicly –
You do not need a high priced firm to do PR for you. There are actually several different ways you can do this on your own or do it inexpensively. Firstly, there is a media resource from Shock PR; This product is a "PR in a box" type of transaction, which includes tips, instructions, templates, and more which will help you on how to prepare and deliver your press releases. Also, another popular way is to hire on an article writer.
These guys do not just write articles, they will pretty much write anything you want. I have done a few press releases in my time, some were submitted, some were given back to the company and they did whatever they wanted with them. Also, when creating ANY sort of PR be sure to add a news page to your website, and publish the content there as well. You can also add the PR to your marketing kit and include a little note that says something like "Recently Seen In .." This promises major attention to you!
Spend Time Developing Close Business Relationships –
Repeat customers are great. They know you're business deal, you know there's, you both know what the other wants, and you know you can count on them and they know they can count on you. Long-term business relationships, mean long-term repeat work. With some of my customers, I know not only their name, but their kids names, their spouses, what they do for a living, I even know some stuff which can be perceived as "overshare" but I guess that's what happens when your polite , trusting, loyal, and open.
Remember you may receive 200 NEW customers a month, but you will always have those 400 close business relationships that will always be there, will always be sending you work, and that are stable, well I do not want to say profits because that sounds wrong, but ya profits.
Email Marketing –
Very important! If you have a website, get a mailing list and auto responder from a place like Aweber. This will allow people to have the option to opt-in your mailing list. Once you have them on your list, you can use that list to send specials, sales, and even new product announcements. Its like a virtual billboard of sorts that only your potential (and real time) customers can see. Do not abuse this though. If you have a food website, try not to send them emails about snow tired for automobiles. Or do, but do not just send that, also send something relevant.
If you follow a few of the simple suggestions listed above, you will seriously start to see a difference in not only your business, but your profits, your customers you are reaching, and your over all well-being. For example, for the email marketing suggestion, if you do it legit rather than spam, people will appreciate it. Or for the close business relationships suggestion, people will take notice that you want to get to know them, and they will appreciate and respect you for not just seeing them as a dollar sign. Use these suggestions to your advantage, they will benefit you immensely!