These days more and more people are moving into self employment. Facing an extremely tight job market, lots of us are deciding that our best option is to go into business for ourselves. Of course, perhaps the toughest thing about setting up your own business is that you need customers. To get customers you’re going to need marketing.
Unless you’re starting up your own marketing firm, this will be a bit of a challenge. But it’s not quite as daunting as it seems like at first. There are a few simple, straight forward measures that will help you get started.
1. Figure Out Who Your Customers Are
Before you start the hard sell, you need to figure out who you’re making the hard sell to. Create a picture of who your customer is like to be. What do they want? Where are they? Why are they going to buy from you rather than anyone else?
Build up a clear idea of exactly who it is you want to target your marketing at. Work out what you’re unique selling point is- what can people get from you that they can’t get anywhere else?
The biggest mistake a lot of businesses make is that they try to please everyone, having only the vaguest idea of who their customers might be. Don’t make this mistake.
2. Get the Word Out
So, you know who you’re selling to. The next of the marketing jobs you need to complete is to work out how to reach them.
There are various channels you can use to get the word out, some of which cost money, some of which just take a bit of time and work. If you’re willing to invest a bit of money then you can spend some money on advertising. Local papers are a good place to start, as are radio slots, or mailing shots.
These days the Internet is supposedly the cornerstone of any marketing campaign. This means creating Facebook and Twitter accounts, and also building a website. These days anyone can get a website let up by just signing up to WordPress, but it is worth getting a web developer in to get everything looking clean and accessible
3. Know Your Own Worth
A big mistake a lot of people make when they start out as a business is to try and compete on price. Big businesses do this a lot, companies like Tesco have a big enough profit margin, and enough brand awareness that competing on price actually works for them. For a small business this isn’t the case. If people come across a new business that’s ridiculously cheap, they’re going to wonder what corners you’re cutting to be able to afford those prices.
Work out how much your resources, and more importantly, your time are worth and charge people accordingly. When you’re starting out, the place to compete is on quality, not price. Remember, if your business is going to succeed, the first thing you need to be able to do is pay yourself.
4. Look After the Customers You Have
Obviously when you start every customer is going to be a new customer, but as your business is built up you’re going to need to start keeping the customers you have. For most businesses, 80% of their custom is repeat custom, so make sure you put effort into that side of your business.
Put offers in place that reward repeat business, keep in touch with regular clients. If you can, build relationships with returning customers, people like doing business with people they know. This can lead to the most valuable kind of marketing there is: Word of mouth marketing.
No amount of social media marketing or paid advertising slots can be as convincing as someone getting a recommendation from a trusted friend. If you can start getting that kind of advertising, you’ll be well on your way.
Chris Farnell is a freelance writer working with Blink SEO. In his spare time, he writes about numerous subjects, including jobs in media.