Congratulations on starting a new business and being aware that you need to look at marketing your business. Marketing can be challenging and time consuming but worth it for your business. So where do you start?
Identify your brand and create a logo:
A business without a brand is like being lost in the woods without a compass. It is the guide you, your customers, competitors and the media use to make up their mind about you. When developing your brand ask yourself these questions:
What is in a name?
Think of a catchy, easy-to-understand name that says something about what you do. Match your name with what you do; it makes it easier for people to find and remember you. Keep it simple make sure, your name is easy to spell so the cheques come in correctly, and the mail finds you too.
Define your niche.
Who is your target market? What is the value you provide? “Trying to be something to everyone is not the answer. Marketing to everyone who could possibly buy your products or services takes too much time and will water down your message. Pick your ideal market and appeal to that!
Determine your unique selling position.
Why should a customer buy from you? Ideally you offer a solution to solve a key problem faced by your target market. What makes you different from your competitors and why should they buy from you when someone is cheaper / closer / more established /, etc.
Turn your brand into a logo
Once you have found your brand you need to turn it into a logo that also says what you do. Your logo needs to be easy to see, understand and memorable.
Register a Domain, Set up Emails and Create a website
Your domain name is your home on the internet. Just like your regular address, this is the place your customers will be able to find you online. This is your online shop front for business; make it easy to remember and easy to find.
Set up an email address using your domain name. This gives you credibility and is a free way to market your brand with every email that you send.
Build a website – If you can do this yourself great! However, if in doubt use a professional. You would not build your office yourself without any building experience – same rules apply.
Set Up Social Media Profiles
Customers, both businesses and consumers, are using social media. Social Media is your key for low cost marketing and engaging your customer as part of your business.
Set up an account with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest etc., making sure that you brand these pages consistent with your identity. Social Media is an effective form of marketing to create hype around the launch, or a new product or service. It is also great for encouraging customer feedback, referrals and interaction around your business.
One thing to understand about social media is that it is not conducive to direct selling. It is a medium that allows you to introduce yourself and your business to prospects and let them get to know you in a nonthreatening manner.
They are also great for spreading the word about you and your business around the internet. It is important to realise that you need to give as well as get. Participate in groups, help pages and share and grow together.
Use the Power of Email to market your brand.
A topic that has come up of late with our clients is the unharnessed power of email to brand your business and market your brand. Every email you send is a marketing opportunity and another chance to make your brand stick in the prospective client’s mind.
3 simple keys to have your email harnessing free marketing opportunities
1. Use your domain name
An email coming from your domain name is given more value and respect than those sent from a generic account like Gmail or Hotmail. You have invested in hosting your website so make sure, you market it with your email using the same domain details.
2. Use your signature on every email
Signature blocks are key to email success. A great signature block engages and connects your client. Include your contact details, social media and logo to make your brand stick.
3. Check your ‘From’ Name
Your ‘from’ name at least needs to be your Full Name. At Media Connections, we also include the business name as another opportunity to build the brand. Make sure, the spelling is correct, and there are capital letters where there should be a capital. And most important of all – no nicknames.
Emails are received and sent every day. They give you a great opportunity to promote and market your brand while doing the day to day of the business.
Create a Plan and be Consistent:
New business can be exciting, and planning is often the last thing you want to do. However it is the key in keeping your message consistent. Use your plan to set clear marketing goals, determine the resources you will need to get the job done and identify any problems or roadblocks that might otherwise catch you unaware. Your marketing plan does not have to be a long, detailed and drawn out document it just needs to be clear.