Guide Marketing Your Business

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Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter Enter your primary email address. Be sure your business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don't spam them with constant promos for what you sell. If you're just starting out and don't have a business card and business stationery, have them made up -- immediately.

Your business card , letterhead and envelope tell prospective customers you are a professional who takes your business seriously. Be sure to list your website address on your business card, letterhead and any handouts you create. Include your main social media profile link, too, if possible.

Be sure you ask for permission to send email before putting any person's email name on your list. One good way to build a permission-based email list of people who want your mailings is to give something away. It could be a free ebook, or even a free tip-sheet on how to do something related to your business.

If you're a health coach, for instance, you might offer people who sign up for your free newsletter a tip sheet with "10 Easy Ways To Lose Weight Without Going on a Diet. Get your business cards into the hand of anyone who can help you in your search for new clients. Call your friends and relatives and tell them you have started a business. Visit them and leave a small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.

Give several business cards to your customers if you are a service provider. That way, when their friends and neighbors ask them for a recommendation, they have an easy way to pass on your business name and contact information. Talk to all the vendors from whom you buy products or services. Give them your business card, and ask if they can use your products or service, or if they know anyone who can.

If they have bulletin boards where business cards are displayed printers often do, and so do some supermarkets, hairdressers, etc. Have business cards in a pocket where they are easily reachable. Don't forget to ask what the people you speak with do, and to really listen to them. They'll be flattered by your interest, and better remember you because of it. Pay for membership in those groups that attract your target customers. If the group has a website and publishes a list members on the site, make sure your name and website link get added.

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Once it is added double check to be sure your contact information is correct and your website link isn't broken. Become actively involved in 2 or 3 of these groups.

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  7. That will give you more opportunity to meet possible prospects. While you won't want to become involved in many organizations that require a lot of your time in, you can --and should-- make real contributions to all of them by offering useful ideas and helping with projects when possible. Post Interesting information and pictures regularly to your social media accounts.

    FREE Market Research Worksheet from Business Know-How

    The information or photos should be interesting to your audience. Tips on how they can improve their life or business or special offers are likely to get the most likes and shares. Pay to boost your most popular posts on social media sites. Target the boosted posts at groups of people who are most like your customers. Look for something unusual about what you do, and publicize it. Send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, cable TV stations, and magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell. Post the press releases on one or more online press release services, too, being sure to include links to your website.

    To increase your chance of having the material published, send along a photo but not to radio stations with your press release. Editors of printed publications are often in need of "art" drawings or photos to fill space and break up the gray look of a page of text. Write an article that demonstrates your expertise in your field. Send it to noncompeting newspapers, magazines, and websites in your field that accept submissions from experts. Be sure your name, business name, phone number, and a reference to your product or service is included at the end of the article.

    If the editor can use the article you get your name in print, and possibly get your contact information printed for free, too. Whenever you do get publicity, get permission from the publisher to reprint the article containing the publicity. Make photocopies and mail the copies out with sales letters or any other literature you use to market your product or service. The publicity clips lend credibility to the claims you make for your products or services. Ask for work or leads. Contact nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges, and even other businesses that have customers who may need your services.

    Network with others who are doing the same type of work you are. If your business is new you may need to allocate more funds initially to build your business profile. Learn more about developing a marketing plan. Your customers are the key to your success so it is important to look after them and encourage loyalty. Providing exceptional customer service can keep people coming back and set you apart from your competitors.

    It is important to regularly monitor and review your marketing activities to determine whether they are achieving the desired outcome, such as increased sales. Initially you should review your marketing plan every three months to ensure your activities are supporting your strategy.

    Once your business becomes more established review your plan when you introduce a new product or service, if a new competitor enters the market or if an issue arises that affects your industry. Monitoring activities may include reviewing your sales figures on a regular basis monthly or monitoring customer activity during an advertising campaign. You can also access and review free analytic tools to determine the effectiveness of your social media or website campaigns.

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    Conduct market research Profile your target markets Identify your unique selling proposition Develop your business brand Choose your marketing avenues Set your goals and budget Nurture your loyal customers Monitor and review Conduct market research Market research is a key part of developing your market strategy. Profile your target markets Trying to promote your product or service to everyone can be costly and ineffective.

    Generally segmentation is based on factors such as: Start developing your USP by answering the following questions: What do you love most about your products and services? What special skills or knowledge do you have? What makes your customers come to you instead of your competitors? How do your customers benefit by purchasing your products or services? Which aspects do you generally highlight when you describe your business to strangers?

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    Choose your marketing avenues While there are many available, consider your target audience when you are determining which to use. Set your goals and budget Marketing goals will help you to define what you want to achieve through your marketing activities. Your marketing budget will need to include elements such as: Nurture your loyal customers Your customers are the key to your success so it is important to look after them and encourage loyalty.

    Strategies to build loyalty in customers include: