Setting up a new business can feel daunting. First and foremost, the service you offer is paramount and getting that right is obviously key, yet beyond that, there’s so much to consider – one of the most important being, how to market your business to new and existing clients and customers.
To help with this, let’s look at five things to consider to market your new business successfully…
1. Define who your target customer/client base is
Before we get into the how’s, you need to consider what marketing your business actually means and who it is you are trying to attract. Now, before you write us off for telling you how to suck eggs – taking the time to go back to basics for a minute, mapping out what you do and most importantly for who, can be a valuable exercise (and often ends up a great spot for other ideas to springboard from too.)
It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, but a simple brainstorming session with a pen and paper. From here, list both the services you offer in order of priority, followed by a profile of your ideal customer. This can really help hone in, on who you are trying to attract before you start to plan how.
With your ideal customer in mind its time to consider how to reach them
2. Establish your brand
Now you know who they are, how do you get them to remember you? For nearly a hundred years the rule of seven has been talked about in marketing – The idea that you need to hear about or see a company’s message seven times before buying their goods or services. This dates back to the 1930’s when the movie industry found that the public needed to hear about their films seven times before deciding to go. Flash forward to today and that number is growing exponentially. In the digital age it can feel like we are constantly consuming – on our phones to TV, social news feed scrolling to billboards and vehicle signage, we are inundated with different brands constantly. Equally important to being remembered, is building up trust with potential customers. Recommendations and word of mouth, a physical presence and seeing your company mentioned multiple times, these all help to build up trust levels.
In a crowded marketplace, crammed with competing voices the first thing you need to do, is make sure the message you send out is consistent across the board – this is where branding comes in.
Do you have a logo? Brand colours and guidelines? How about a website? These are all things to consider when you are starting out. Working together they will then start to establish your company voice and presence as a local business. Each time you put information out, in whatever format.
Working together, all these different elements: from your website, to company signs and social media posts – will all deliver a consistent brand message. Creating quicker recognition every time a potential customer sees mention of your business.
3. Start talking
Once your branding is established, it’s time to start talking to your potential customers. Whatever your type of business, having an online presence is key. Google is our modern-day phone directory, so make sure when people are searching for the service you offer, your business appears. After making sure your Google listing is up to date, the next step is your company website – make sure it showcases what you do and equally important is that it answers the questions your potential customers are asking. Blog posts are a great way to do this – post regular blog articles to keep your website current and ranking on those all-important search engines.
Beyond your website, there are many ways you can market your business physically. If you are a hospitality business for example, or a service company that encourages customers to visit, are your building signs visible and marketing you in the best possible way? Or, if you are mainly out and about as a company, could vehicle signage help get the word out? Although we now consume so much digitally, there is still very much a place for traditional marketing. Would a brochure to take home help covert a sale? Or special offer flyers encourage repeat business from customers?
This is the time to refer back to your ideal customer profile, think about where they will be likely to be looking and what questions they are asking.
4. Time to get social
No longer the territory of the young – from the silver surfers spending hours on Facebook, to millennials shopping on Instagram, most people are on social media. Not only that but the majority of people, spend time on it every day. What better way to connect with your customers then, than with business social media pages.
But before jumping in, now is the time to consider the profile you’ve made of your ideal customer again. Where do they spend their social media time online? Do they have a predominant platform? If you are a business to business company, then Linked In may be far more important than say Instagram is to an online shop. The reason we are asking which is the most important, is also because social media can take up so much time – especially doing it well.
Our advice would be, out of the four main platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In) choose two to focus on. Then, dependant on how relative the other two are, if you feel all four is important to your business, establish a presence on them but don’t commit to being as active as the others.
Next up is being consistent. To build up engagement and a good following on social media, you need to post regularly. One way to save time, is to create a batch of posts together. Create and use post templates as well as a scheduling tool to set them up to be published at a later date.
5. Get involved in your community
If you are trying to attract a local audience, taking the time to get involved in your local community is a great place to start. As well as building an online presence locally, there will also always be a place for traditional marketing methods. Are there events you can get involved in? Even if you don’t have physical products to sell, taking a stand at a local event could be great way to build awareness. A local estate agent getting involved in a Christmas fair for example – chatting to the public handing out free mulled wine, probably won’t sell any houses on the day, but when the time comes, people may remember the name or friendly team, when they are considering who to use. Or how about sponsorship opportunities? These come in all shapes and sizes, it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. There could be a local football team or charity event to sponsor.
Essentially the more times you connect positively with your customer base, the more they will trust you and then ultimately purchase from you.
Here at WP we recognise how much there is to juggle when starting out, so we have recently launched our start up packages specifically for business less than 2 years old.
For a discounted price we have a number of packages available that cover everything you could need from logos and business cards to websites and social media content.
Have a look at our different packages to see which one would be best suited to your business or get in touch to see how we can help today