How to Start a Small Business 6 (Marketing Your Business)
Marketing Your Business
1. Get a website. If you're selling online, get your ecommerce in gear and either build a website, or have one built for you. It's your storefront, so anything and everything you can do to make people want to visit, and want to stay, do it.
2. Hire professional designers. They may cost more initially, but a well presented and trustworthy site is essential. It needs to look professional and work with ease. If you are including money transactions, invest in security encryption and check that your money transfer companies are sound and reliable.
3. Discover your inner publicist. You might truly believe in your product or service but it won't fly unless everyone else believes in it too. If you're new to advertising and marketing or you dislike doing the sales pitch, now is the time to overcome such feelings and put on the publicist persona. You need to develop an excellent short pitch to convince people they need your product or service, one that reflects the value, purpose and potential of what your business is offering. Write down this pitch in many ways until you find one that you feel satisfied says it all and is something you can say readily. Then practice it like crazy!
4. Spend time developing an excellent social media presence. This can be done well before the business is ready, increasing anticipation. Use Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, and any other social media you participate in to build excitement and spread the word. You want to build a buzz so that people will begin following your progress. (Be sure to choose business accounts for your business and keep your personal accounts separate. The messages you send should be tailored differently, depending on which account you're sending from.)
5. Implement your marketing and distribution plans. With your product being built or services developed, and a reasonable expectation on when either is ready for selling, begin marketing. If you will be advertising in periodicals, they will need copy or images at least two months in advance of publication. If you will be selling in stores, get pre-orders sold, and shelf space allocated. If you will be selling online, get that e-commerce site ready to sell. If you're offering a service, advertise in appropriate trade and professional journals, newspapers and online