The ONE MAIN THING that a degree in marketing taught me:
ANYONE CAN DO IT.
Seriously. You can be pretty darn AWESOME at marketing with just one simple thing: common sense. Add some creative thinking and focus, and you’ll surprise yourself with what you come up with!
Below are three basic marketing means that you should ABSOLUTELY use when starting any new business.
1. Word of Mouth
Share your business/blog with family and friends. They can be great advocates. Ask them to pass along your website or contact info to anyone who may benefit from what you’re offering.
Put yourself out there. Seek out feedback on your business or blog from friends, family, new people you meet. People love to be helpful. You can get many great ideas for improving your business just by being open to hearing another person’s perspective, plus (if you accept their feedback graciously) you’ll have another person cheering you on!
BOOST YOURSELF NOW: Make a list of people you haven’t yet told about your blog/biz. Reach out to them, ask for feedback, and ask them to help you spread the word.
NEXT STEPS: Get some affordable business cards printed. Many online printers run periodic specials or promos for signing up to receive their newsletter. Need help with a design? Complete our Custom Boost form and have me create something for you.
2. Social Media
If you’re new to the social media scene, keep it simple and choose one or two platforms to start with. Even as a blogger with YEARS of marketing experience, the maximum number of platforms I use for any one business is 4. (And it’s usually fewer — 2 or 3.) One of the BIGGEST mistakes I see tons of bloggers and new businesses making is spreading themselves too thin on social media. They have ALL the social icons on their website — many they’re not even active on!
It’s much better to have a REALLY awesome presence on one or two platforms than a mediocre one on six or eight or ten (yikes!)
The specific social media platforms you choose should account for two things: (1) which social media platforms your target market uses, and (2) which social media platforms YOU like to use.
You can only reach your potential customers if you’re hanging out where they do, and you’ll only be good (at least to start) at the social media platforms that you actually use and hang out on yourself.
BOOST YOURSELF NOW: Kick it old school and make a Vinn diagram. Find the intersection and choose one to start focusing on. If you haven’t created your account/profile/page yet, do it now, and start asking friends to follow it.
NEXT STEPS: Write great social content to engage your audience and gain more followers (i.e. more exposure for your business!) Need help with writing content? Setting up a social profile? A training session on a new platform? Get a Custom Boost Consultation to find a social media solution that works for you.
Ok, so I hate that word: networking. And I used to avoid networking like the plague. (No corporate conferences for me, thank you!)
But now that I’m out of the traditional working world and working for myself, I’ve discovered there’s an alternative to what used to come to mind when I heard the word “networking.” It’s a “new” way to network that’s less formal, more affordable, and (I think) more beneficial: the meet-up.
Specifically, an entrepreneur’s meet-up, of the intimate (less than 10 people) variety. With a smaller group in a laid back setting (Ian and I have been meeting a small group for Sunday evening coffee), you can really get to know each person and what they’re working toward, and everyone can be supportive of each other’s goals. It’s also helpful to see how other like-minded individuals may be coping with the same entrepreneurial roadblocks that you may have.
From attending The BellaVie’s entrepreneur meet-up during my short time in Chicago, I now know of 2 graphic designers I can reach out to if my design load gets too heavy. Plus, I’ve added a web developer and business coach to my list of contacts. Cool, right?