Yesterday, I recently shared four ways to market your business with content, after a reader asked for a more detailed list of specific things small businesses could do to have a continuous marketing/promotional program.
You don’t have to limit your marketing and promotional efforts to content creation, though. Here are a few other ideas to help you get the word out about your business.
1. Create and maintain a high-quality, easy-to-use, self-explanatory web site.
Your web site works for you 24/7/365, so it’s important that it does a good job. It doesn’t need to be beautiful or showy. As a web designer, I would actually recommend clean and easy-to-use over pretty, fun or cute.
When thinking about your web site’s design and functionality, focus on answering these questions for your ideal visitor:
- What is this site about?
- What does this person/company do?
- How much does the service/product cost? How does the service/product work? What else do I need to know about this service/product?
- How can I sign up or purchase this service/product? How can I contact this person/company?
- Should I keep up with this person/company (through a blog, newsletter, regular email coupons/discounts, etc.)? If so, how do I sign up or follow the person/company?
Your site should quickly and obviously answer these questions so that visitors can find their way around your site easily and so that they take action as quickly and painlessly as possible.
2. Use a short and effective email signature.
Every time you send an email, it’s a chance to remind your followers and new contacts what you do. Take advantage of the opportunity. Don’t be spammy. Don’t overdo it. Just provide a concise message to jog their memory and get them to click over to your site every once in a while.
Here’s my signature.
Amber Singleton Riviere
I also like my friend Betsy’s.
Betsy Talbot | www.marriedwithluggage.com | Twitter @marriedwluggage
3. Be a guest on other video blogs, podcasts and radio shows.
Monitor places like Twitter, Blogger Linkup, and HARO for opportunities to be interviewed for video blogs, podcasts and radio shows. It’s a great way to expand your reach and get known for your expertise.
4. Invite others to be guests on your blog, video cast or podcast.
One of my best methods for networking actually revolves around guest posts, whether I’m inviting people to contribute to my site or offering content for their sites. It’s been a very effective way to generate interest around my business. It takes a lot of effort to keep up, but it’s worth every minute of it.
I offer guest posts regularly on my site (usually ten or more per month), and what’s great about it is that you usually get the added benefit of promotion to the person’s followers and audience.
5. Participate in online networking.
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great places to meet new people and get the word out about you and your company or site. Also, be sure to follow and comment on other blogs that target your ideal customer or client. By participating in conversations surrounding your niche, you’ll become known as an expert and a valued source of information.
6. Run promotions and discounts on your services periodically.
Getting potential customers and clients to take action and actually purchase your products or services can be tricky, but if you run occasional discounts, you’ll find customers coming out of the woodwork, and it’s a good way to get new prospects to test the waters with you and your company.
I offer a discount in each of my newsletter issues, as well as occasional discounts on Facebook and Twitter. On that note, running contests can also be a good way to get attention for you and your business, especially on Twitter.
Promoting a business doesn’t always have to be difficult. The key, though, is consistency. Select the methods that work best for you and then stick with them. Do them on a regular basis, even if you’re not seeing immediate results. It takes some time to gain traction, but if you’re persistent, you’ll eventually hit the tipping point and business will start to snowball.
What other easy ways do you promote your business?
Image from Flickr by Slack pics