by Nic Jones
Hear Ye! Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
You’ve decided on your new business venture, registered your unique name and secured a domain address. Now how do you tell the world about your product or service. Marketing is huge business these days and with the world wide web at your disposal, there are a myriad of options available. But marketing can also be time consuming and not always effective so take a step back and consider a few things before you spend time and money that will not achieve your desired results.
Firstly, who will be your consumer? What type of person, age group or purchaser do you need to target? If your market group will be children, then your marketing needs to be designed and promoted to reflect that. If your market is cafes and restaurant, then you need to determine the best way to make contact with them. Determining who your consumer is will help you decide on color schemes, logo and brochure design, website inclusions, etc.
Secondly, where is your market. Geographic location is very important. Are you offering your goods and services to your local community, your town, Australia or the world? The answer to this will greatly affect how you advertise. If you are a hairdresser, a simple advertisement in the local paper and a sign out the front might be all that is needed to get you started. Not every business needs a website. A photographers website may not be an advertising tool so much as a display of their portfolio and expertise that they can refer prospective customers to, so developing a website may not be a top priority at the beginning. If you really do want one, you could possibly make use of one of the free options available rather than spend $5,000 on getting a website professionally developed. This will give you the opportunity to test the waters and see if a website will generate any business. However, if you are selling a product that is easily shipped around the world, a website is most likely a sound investment.
Thirdly, don’t forget the simple things. A business card is one of the best ways to advertise your business or service. Keep them on you at all times and give them to absolutely everyone you talk to. That person who just sold you your car part might not need your tutoring services but they might know someone who does and at the very least they will tell someone else about you. Leave some cards everywhere you can from the local café to the ladies dress store. A word of warning though, don’t leave them on car windscreens or anywhere they can blow away. The last thing you want is a negative or disapproving response or at worst, a littering fine.
Fourthly, make use of any free advertising networks. Gumtree, Dinkos and local tourism sites all have sections for businesses to advertise free of charge. Make sure you keep refreshing your advertisement and keep details up to date. Facebook is an excellent tool for small home businesses to obtain free advertising exposure. Take time to create a profession looking landing page and include as much information as possible including pictures if you are offering a product. There are a number of businesses like Market Me Marketing on facebook that assist other users to develop landing pages and promote their businesses.
Whatever options you decide on to promote your business you will most likely use a combination of advertising methods. To find out what advertising is working for you, canvas everyone who contacts you about how they heard about your business. Over time you will get to know what works and what doesn’t. That way you can fine tune your advertising and make your marketing dollar go further and be more productive.
What advertising do you think you pay the most attention to?
If you have a business, which format has provided the best returns?
Nic Jones is the Director of Market Me, a business which started just over 2 years ago on Facebook and has grown to produce a fulltime income. She is a mum of twin boys (3yrs old), and a 6yr old daughter. She juggles 2 businesses and her family responsibilities and loves being able to set her own schedules and be able to create an income around her family. She loves helping businesses grow ‘the smart way’, and Market Me’s services are based on this concept. To see all Nic’s articles, click here.