A marketing pie, like the image below, is a visual representation of all your marketing activities. How many segments do you have in yours?
“I have one or two trusted sources for leads”
Being dependent on a small number of activities may leave you in a vulnerable position – your income can be affected by variables beyond your control. Let’s say all your income now comes from one networking group. What if that group shuts down? Perhaps all of your new clients come from a repeated ad in a local newspaper. What if they decide to double their prices or, heaven forbid, go out of business themselves?
“Tried and tested methods”
You have a couple of ways that you get customers into your business – you’ve been using them a while and know they “work”. Here’s a thought – how do you know that the methods you are using are the most effective? Could other marketing activities give you more Return On Investment? What if something happens meaning you are unable to do that one activity anymore?
Relying on only one or two marketing activities can wreak havoc with your business doesn’t give you any indication of what works and what doesn’t, and what could work even better. Say you’re currently earning £50,000 per year from one activity. Could you be earning twice or even ten times as much with a different marketing strategy?
Obviously do not abandon what works! Perhaps add to your current activities. Do it one step at a time. Add one new activity per month for instance, to give you enough time to learn about it and implement it. Don’t try and do too many things at once. You’ll get overwhelmed and abandon the whole thing.
Here are 16 strategies you can choose from.
Posting regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – whichever platform works well for your business. As a rule of thumb, I suggest LinkedIn, if you are selling B2B (business to business) and Facebook and/or Instagram if your customers are the general public (B2C – business to consumer). Twitter can work for both.
Writing regular articles on your website on a dedicated blog page, just like the one you’re reading now. Great for establishing yourself as an expert and for search engine optimisation. It should be part of the marketing pie for any business.
Guest blogging is another good way to increase your visibility online, as it gives you the opportunity to be seen by a wider audience.
Have a website and make sure it is well optimised. Even if you’re a local business, having a website gives people a chance to check you out before hiring you.
You could attend networking events, exhibitions or trade shows as a visitor, or perhaps even have a stand there yourself! Some larger networking organisations often provide opportunities to their membership to exhibit at their events. Exhibiting can give you great visibility in your industry.
Advertising & PPC
This could be advertising in printed publications or online. You can take out banner ads or go for pay-per-click advertising on social media platforms or in Google.
Great PR (Public relations) can help to put your business on the map! Write press releases and submit them to local and national newspapers, also industry blogs and other forums that publish content in that format.
There are a wide variety of different types of networking groups up and down the country. They range from structured, formal (BNI style) groups to those with a more informal format where you simply grab a coffee and chat. Eventbrite is usually a good place to search for local events, closely followed by Facebook and Linked In.
Pick a group that meets regularly and get to know people. Don’t ever sell to the room. It’s about building rapport, the “know-like-trust” factor – people like to do business with people they know, like and trust.
List Building/Email Marketing
There are a wide variety of list building tools that still work well, and within the remit of GDPR. It is important to use list building if one of your main marketing tools is social media. By inviting your followers to sign up to your email list, you can then provide them with regular valuable content. If done well, this will lead to them turning into raving fans and paying customers.
Are there other businesses who share the same client base but offer a different, maybe complementary product? You could refer clients to each other.
In marketing terms, your “funnel” is the way you get your website visitors to eventually buy from you. It usually starts with a lead magnet (usually a free download). Then you offer a tripwire (a very low prices product that gets people used to spending money with you). This then leads to your main product where you can offer another up-sell to your premium product. This technique is often used for online information products, like online courses.
Do you have a message to share? Then public speaking could be a great way to promote your expertise and with it your business. It can be a little daunting at first but being on stage can also get quite addictive.
We keep hearing about people’s attention spans getting shorter. Videos are a great way to get your message across quickly and easily and can be created using just your smartphone. Share them on social media, add them to your website, maybe to your blog posts. In today’s world, I recommend video as a staple segment of your marketing pie.
Only use relevant and reputable online directories. Gone are the days when these counted towards your search engine optimisation, no matter which directory you choose. Many of them are free, don’t waste your money on premium listings, unless you know they work.
Money off coupons/gift vouchers
These could be introductory offers for new products, a loyalty bonus to existing clients or seasonal offers. Have a think about how your products/services could be gifted in the form of a voucher?
Introductory free offer
If your product or service is a repeat purchase, you could offer the first one for free – as a try before you buy.
These are, of course, the classic marketing materials such as brochures, leaflets, catalogues, business cards, etc. that only have been replaced in part with your website. Business cards are particularly useful, especially if you do a lot of networking or exhibiting at events.
Over to your marketing pie
As you can see, there are many different ways to market your business. There are probably even more that I haven’t mentioned. Make use of at least half the ones above and you will be in a much better place as a business than if you only use one or two.
If you decide you would like to add blogging to your marketing pie but don’t know where to start, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a chat to find out how I can help you to achieve your business goals.