If you just started a business, you probably have a million things running through your mind at a million miles a second. Here are few marketing insights to help you in midst, and flurry, of starting up.
While trying to actually make a living and build your dream, you might feel like you don’t yet have the time or strength to deal with marketing, and that it is better left alone until you make enough money to worry about it.
Chances are, however, that lead generation and a demand for your product or service is at the top of your to-do-list and concerns, and successful demand generation comes down to marketing. While it may seem like marketing is a lot of work and money, there are a few marketing basics that are an entrepreneurs friend, not foe.
Whether you want to market, or not, the fact that you have started a business means you are establishing a brand which means you are, in fact, a marketer. Every time you engage with a person or a channel regarding your product or service you are representing your brand and, therefore, marketing.
Rest assured that marketing is your friend and does not have to equal massive capital spend to reap business benefits.
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Marketing builds credential
The number one reason to market is to enable consumers to trust your brand. It is important to realise that marketing does not only comprise expensive investments such as print advertising, costly web development or exhibitions, but there are many options and avenues available, especially in the digital world, for serious entrepreneurs to build and boost their brands.
Having the basics in place will enable you to derive much needed brand credential, which helps consumers to trust that you are delivering a real product or service that will prove valuable to them.
Here are a few marketing basics to take advantage of while you are busy kicking your business off the ground:
1. Have a place for consumers to get to know you
A Facebook business page is not only a great way for you to build a following, but also serves as a free professional looking business profile and portfolio. Google+ also offers a business page and enables you to log your location online, thereby, increasing your organic search engine rankings and making it easier for potential and current clients to find you.
These pages provide a glimpse into your business processes and reputation, proves legitimacy and they are 100% free.
2. Use the WWW to your advantage
Ensure that you exist by making your mark on the World Wide Web. This does not always equal expensive investments into a website, as there are many free options to help you gain valuable visibility as well as the trust from potential consumers.
Online directories almost always offer a free listing option and it is important for you to list yourself on as many as possible. Identify the social channels that will be most relevant to your business and dedicate all of your effort into one or two, rather than signing up for all channels with nothing informative or helpful posted on any of them.
3. Create professional templates
You need to have a professional image when it comes to your business to ensure that the brand reflected to current and potential customers is trustworthy. Having a professional logo is not mandatory, but is highly recommended and there are many free logo design tools online.
Even more importantly, you need to create set templates for quotes, invoicing and product information. This will also make it easier to handle admin while juggling everything else that is on your mind.
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4. Response time proves reliability
Getting back to potential and current customers and clients in time is not optional and will be the deciding factor in you winning or losing a deal. In a world where fraud is rampant, you also need to prove that you are a serious entrepreneur and that customer excellence and superior service delivery is inherent to your brand.
5. Ask for references and reviews
Unless you invented something completely unique and unheard of, yet badly wanted, chances are that you have quite a few competitors trying to scoop up the same business as you. The number one way to distinguish yourself from them and gain consumers’ trust is to showcase how other clients and customers felt about your product or service.
You need to ask client or customers for reviews as soon as you are done delivering a product or service. This will also help you to see where improvement is needed and to build a stronger brand. If you are confident that a recent project or sale turned out well, ask for an online review on Google+ or Facebook as this will help build trust with potential clients or customers.