What do entrepreneurs want to know?”
The answer? (well, you tell me) How to market their businesses. Easily. Cheaply.
Turns out I’m kinda an expert at that, so I decided to compile a list of some of the easiest ways you can start marketing your business today.
1. Start Blogging
At DIYMarketers, we’ve told you that blogging rocks. We’ve even told you how to start blogging. If you’ve been ignoring us on this front, it’s time to take action. When people search for answers to questions, you want them to find your blog, and by proxy, your website.
2. Go Beyond the Blog Post
Once you get comfortable writing blog content, keep writing. Books, ebooks, whitepapers … these are all part of a smart content marketing strategy.
3. Guest Blog
One way to reach a wider audience is by contributing content to other more established blogs. Find blogs that speak to the people you’re trying to reach and pitch them on topics they haven?t written about for a guest post.
4. Get Social
Using social media effectively is one of the easiest ways to build up a following online. Share useful content and links, and potential customers will follow. Just don’t take on more than you can realistically handle. Choose 1-3 sites to manage regularly.
5. Share Everything You Write
Now that you’re an established writer online, make sure people are reading your content. You can set up your Twitter and Facebook pages to automatically post your content, but it’s also wise to handcraft an update that entices people to click to read what you’ve written. And don’t forget to do this when you guest post. The blog owner will appreciate the extra promotion.
6. Schedule in Advance
Before you whine about how you don’t have time to be on social media all day: I’m going to tell you how to manage multiple accounts in just an hour or two a week. Use a tool like Hootsuite that allows you to schedule posts in advance. Block off an hour a week and schedule tweets for the next few days. You can still check in once a day or so to see if anyone has posted a message on your profile so that you can respond promptly. But you’ll save tons of time this way.
7. Don’t Be a Tweeting Autobot
It’s easy to get into a rut of constantly retweeting other people’s posts or sending only links from your blog. But autotweeting can turn your audience off. Focus on delivering content your followers care about, and mix it up.
8. Participate in LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn is fantastic, especially for B2B companies. Find a few groups that cater to the audience you’re trying to reach, and get active. Answer questions. Share links. Dive into conversations. Then link to other members and grow that relationship.
9. Host or Participate in a Tweet Chat
Tweet chats are virtual events on Twitter where participants use a particular hashtag. If you participate in one, you can find people in your industry or potential customers to follow. If you host one, you can attract new followers and introduce your brand to more people.
10. Use Visual Social Media
Sites like Pinterest and Instagram are fantastic marketing tools if your business is one that can be illustrated visually. Share pics of your products, your staff, or even what inspires you to create.
11. Write Press Releases
In order to rank higher on search engines, get the attention of potential customers, and make it easy for journalists to write about your brand, issue regular press releases. Come up with a different news angle each month.
12. Share Your Releases
Just like any other piece of content, you can share your press releases through social media. Also post them to your blog, your News page (you’ve got one of those, right?), and your email newsletter.
13. Make Sure Your Web Copy Speaks to Your Audience
Remember this rule: your website isn’t about you, it’s about your customers. Answer their questions. Tell them why they’d be a fool not to buy your products. Don’t talk about how great you think your brand is.
14. Host a Webinar
In hosting a webinar, you establish your expertise in your field. You attract people who want the solutions you’re offering in the 30-60 minute presentation. Don’t charge for the event; simply collect the emails of participants and use them to market.
Not all of your marketing efforts should happen online. Attend local networking events. Fly to important industry trade shows. Mix and mingle. Even if you don’t get customers out of the effort, you’ll improve your public speaking and make connections you may be able to call on down the road.
16. Start Speaking
If you don’t clam up at the idea of public speaking, start positioning yourself as an expert in your field, and pitch a few local groups or events on a topic you’d like to cover.
17. Take Advantage of CRM
Customer relationship management software can make your life much easier if used properly. You can keep track of customer contact info, take notes on meetings, and see what they’re saying on social media. Using CRM, you can increase sales and make sure you’re constantly nurturing leads appropriately.
I could go on and on with this list! What would you add to it?