If you’ve been in business for more than a week, you know how critical it is to market yourself and your work. While those first few clients may fall into your lap, business will wax and wane. Your phone won’t always ring, and your inbox may not always overflow with demand for your services. Especially in that first year.
And yet, even with these scenarios, you have the power to increase your exposure, gain followers, and earn people’s trust so that you’re their go-to when they are ready to spend on what you have to offer.
Last week, an artist (also named Rachel) emailed to ask me if I had any tips for building her new business.
She feels stuck. Frustrated. Spent.
And her marketing budget is non-existent.
Does this sound familiar? Just starting out… have a lot of talent, yet lacking the necessary tools to earn the living you had hoped for?
Rachel is NOT alone. In fact, I’m confident that most of you have probably had the same thought at some point: “How can I grow my business without a big budget?”
And, as the pressure for a boost to your business (and bottom line) builds, it becomes even more essential to have an effective new business marketing strategy.
Facebook Groups. Instagram. Twitter. SEO. Content Creation. Email Marketing. And Pinterest too?
It’s all so overwhelming! How can I be everywhere all the time?
You can’t. And you won’t.
But, by investing in a marketing strategy, you will find which tactics work best for you and your new business model, and you’ll see your hard work pay off over time.
Check out each of these tactics and then download the infographic for a handy, printable freebie that you can post in your office or on your fridge!
10+ FREE Tactics for Your New Business Marketing Strategy
1) CREATE COMMUNITIES (OR TRIBES) ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Pinterest is one of the hottest places for business growth right now, so you have to be present! Find Pinterest groups to join and contribute to, and be active in posting a combination of your own content as well as that of others. Activity on this platform is sure to bring in new eyes.
Same goes for Facebook. Create a Facebook Page for your business or brand, and set a schedule for posting regularly. (I love the handy Scheduling Tool that FB provides!) But don’t stop there! Find 3 groups to join where your Ideal Client hangs out, and engage daily. Respond to people’s questions and challenges, share tips (when asked, and not in a spammy way), and make friends. These are the connections that will build real relationships that turn into sales. It always starts with GIVING and TRUST.
2) GET TESTIMONIALS & ASK FOR CUSTOMER REVIEWS
These are social proof that you can’t buy… and that can greatly increase your marketing effectiveness. By providing a high-level of customer service and making available a platform for your clients to share their experiences (in reviews on your webpage), potential clients will feel more confident investing in your new business. And, as a bonus, it’s highly likely that your repeat business will increase as well.
3) GOOD OLD-FASHIONED WORD-OF-MOUTH REFERRALS
There’s nothing greater than being given the stamp of approval from a friend, colleague, or former client. Those good ole’ fashioned referrals just can’t be beat. And the best part? They totally FREE. So, when you sell a product or finish a service and you know it went well, ask for a referral… and share it with your audience.
4) HARNESS THE POWER OF YOUR EMAIL LIST
Believe it or not, email marketing is still one of the most effective ways, if not THE most, of reaching your audience. So many of us assume that people don’t open emails… but they do and it’s significant enough to make an impact on your bottom line. Use your email list to connect with your audience, share ideas and resources, and create value that they can’t live without. Many of the email platforms now offer automation features that allow you to put your email funnels on autopilot so that you can maintain regular contact with your audience. This is a great way to spend a couple hours and then never have to think about it again!
5) FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING
Yes, it’s true — people still meet in person! The relationships I have made from the people I meet at local networking groups, events, Meetups, and in the proverbial elevator are some of the best connections I have. There’s no better way to get to know someone than to sit with them and have a coffee (or green tea, as I prefer).
6) CREATE & PROMOTE VIDEOS
Videos are a great way to increase visibility online. Whether you post them on Facebook Live or YouTube, audiences love the opportunity to hear you speak or see your work in action. The more you can let your ideal client into your life, the more she will be able to visualize where she fits in and how you can help her.
7) CREATE VALUABLE CONTENT
If you don’t already have a blog, create one. It’s the best way to share your voice and expertise, and for your audience to get to know and learn from you. Whether it’s in written format or on video, your blog is a powerful platform that will draw people in and provide the foundations for potential clients to buy from you.
8) BOOK SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS & WORKSHOPS
Getting yourself out into the community – whether it be on-the-ground locally or in an online group – is a great marketing strategy for your sales funnel. Use those opportunities to provide free value while you connect with new audiences, collect email addresses, learn more about what your ideal client wants and needs, and give them a taste of the magic you provide.
9) DONATE YOUR SERVICES/PRODUCTS TO THOSE WHO CAN INTRODUCE YOU TO NEW AUDIENCES
Donating gift certificates to organizations for their raffle or auction is yet another way to showcase your work and introduce your business or brand to a new audience. You can also find other businesses, with a similar audience profile but a different product, and offer to donate something to their clients.
10) GET A BUSINESS MENTOR
With my first business, I matched with a business mentor who had decades of experience growing huge businesses. He was retired, incredibly knowledgeable and wanted to give back by helping others succeed. I was absolutely delighted to be the recipient of his expertise and guidance! Check your local Small Business Administration and other organizations on the group to find out if they offer a free mentorship (as St. Louis did when I was launching and growing in 2004/2005). Having a mentor is a great way to get the support, resources, and guidance you need to create a strategy for growth and hold you accountable as you develop your idea or project.
11) USE SEO TO GET FOUND ONLINE
By leveraging the content on your website and optimizing it for search engines, you will increase your rankings and get more traffic. Google offers a lot of helpful resources for learning and navigating the ins-and-outs of search engine optimization, so I highly recommend it to further your understanding.
12) CREATE A REWARDS PROGRAM
It’s even more important to get and keep your current customers than it is to find new ones. Because it’s much more costly to acquire a new client, you’re always better off bringing in repeat business… and a rewards program is an attractive proposition for them – and you.
You can’t do it all. It’s impossible.
But, when you invest in a handful of these new business marketing strategies and tactics to grow your business, you will start to notice the increase in engagement online, the inquiries that come in through your website, and the overall buzz that’s building around your business or brand.
MY CHALLENGE TO YOU (in order to keep the overwhelm down): Choose 3-5 of these strategies, implement them over the next week, and continue to be active throughout the month. Then, report back in our Private Facebook Group and let us know how things are working!
Hi, I'm Rachel!
I help women like you launch and grow their businesses so they can realize their passion, purpose, and potential.