Entrepreneur: why you MUST effectively market your business, and how

Dear Entrepreneurs, if you’re only marketing your products/services to your family and friends/personal Facebook page, you’re doing yourself and businesses growth a MAJOR disservice.  If you build it, they will NOT just come.  You have to actually work for it and then they will come.

In part two of this Entrepreneurs Series, I will explore some highly effective marketing tools I have used within my business.  In case you missed part one which explored how to successfully land event sponsorship, click here.

Marketing is roughly 80% of the 100% it takes to run a sustainable business. If you don’t market to customers who will ACTUALLY buy from you (i.e. target market), in most cases you will struggle to recruit new customers/stay in business.  I started this blog/network in 2013, using some amazing tools.  Here are a few resources that I have used within former (fashion design) and current business (event planning and blogging) that can help you too:

First and foremost: streamline your processes. It is the step by step process that presents your brand offering to a customer and the cycle in which their customer service experience is measured literally from start to end. This is from an operational funnel standpoint AND customer funnel process.

Website- this is a no brainer… but I’m shocked to still find business owners who do not own a website.  This as a service you pay someone for can be pricey.  Especially if your website needs to be updated often.  I built my websites myself so that I could save literally thousands, and because I like to update my website often.  Over the years I’ve have literally tried every platform out there.  Wordpress (the self-hosted version)  being my favorite.  Reading and trial and error will take you a long way.  It’s what helped me become good at building my own.

Email signature- it reinforces your brand/offering/ask. Have a closing with your name, company name, website, phone number as the basics. If you own a business location, it doesn’t hurt to add the mailing address. You can also advertise events beneath your signature, social media handles too.  Which brings me to another  awesome resource for businesses with physical locations…

Google business listing- I added my Events + Beauty Showroom to it for FREE.   Which is essentially a modern day version of yellow pages.  Google sends me results on how many times people checked out my business and especially those who called and or used the map to find my location via their platform.  Did I mention this is free?

Blogging- sharing useful and relevant content related to your brand and consumer lifestyles. Through my blog, I share all things lifestyle and professional.

Social media: sharing what you do, showing your new and old customer base you’re a real person offering real things that they want and need. It is also amazing to remind your audience of content you’ve added to your website/blog.  There are resources out there that can help streamline the amount of time and level of commitment (hootsuite is one of them).  My social medial outlets of choice are Instagram and Facebook Page.  Which brings me to a separate yet related resource…

Facebook Advertisements- are EVERYTHING.  YES, they do require you spend money because not all marketing is free marketing.  And not all free things are the most effective.  I have played around with Facebook ads for over a year now.  I’ve allocated a small budget, never exceeding $100.  You can control the budget.  I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert in training (is that even a thing!?) with Facebook ads.  The results of doing so are addicting.  And I’m not talking about the “boost post” button either.  I’m referring to actually using the ad manager, conversion system, targeted markets, impressions tracking, etc.  look into this, apply it and thank me later.

Newsletter- this has been the most effective outlet for me.  It reinforces what I share on my blog, website, professional services and so much more.  Consistency here is key.  I send 1-2 emails per week, sometimes more when something huge is being announced or a new month is rolling out.  Which brings me to my next resources…

Advertising via other brands.  This can be via event sponsorship (smaller brands tend to have smaller monetary sponsorship packages) or by paying to advertise via an outlet that aligns with your own.  Take for instance my advertising channels via this blog (click here).  Attach your brand to one that aligns with your target market, and make sure what they offer you in exchange flows with your business goal.

Networking- if you don’t talk about it outside of your normal familiar environment, how else will you expand?  Attend networking events or other occasions that’ll put you in the same room as individuals you’d like to meet and work with.  If this means buying a ticket to do so, do so.

Marketing is a constant necessity that must be prioritized to help your business sustain.  Doing so effectively is key.  If you half-ass the work you put in (crappy graphics, content, etc.) you will get half-ass (or no) results.  I create all of my graphics from scratch and truly enjoy doing so.  Studying color some years ago (for a career in interior decorating) taught me a lot about aesthetics, flow and coordination.

There are so many amazing free resources available at our finger tips.  All you have to do is apply yourself.

As a final note, the channel or resource you choose to market through must offer mutually beneficial results.  This especially includes marketing through/with people.  Which is an area I’ll explore in a later Entrepreneurs Series.

Have any additional resources or tips you’ve used and love?  I’d love to learn more about them, simply comment below.

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