You know you can do something more to get your small business off the ground and you still do not know for sure what. There was no lack of who came offering you the gold and the Moor, it seemed wonderful and still did not give you results. A part of you knows that there are simple things that can be done with little money but you do not know which ones.
Choose your strong social network for your small business
Everyone tells you that you must have a presence on all networks or at least on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are even those who tell you when, where and how often to post, but I have seen that many startups and rising businesses usually have a strong social network.
Identify yours: the one that gains more followers or the one that is easier to publish and interact with your clients. You may love the live broadcasts or photos you share on Facebook, the real-time interaction on Twitter.
Identify the network that generates greater exposure and customers. Get used to it and that’s a good start for your social media strategy.
Connect with others like you
Known as Networking, it’s what good marketers and businessmen have done all along: look to create connections. Not all will be your customers or suppliers, but you can share ideas, seek feedback and even generate alliances that will serve you in the future.
How to start? Identify your sector or industry and look for activities, from those advertised on Facebook to specialized portals. Remember that Entrepreneur performs several events a year that will allow you to know not only success stories but also people like you in search of growth.
Do you have a phone? Make videos
Many times we do not notice the wonderful machines that we have in our pockets: smartphones. Many looks at the price, the size or the brand, but few on the benefits. The videos that you can take with your phone, equipped with high definition and improved sound, can be options for your small business.
Whether through a live transmission via Facebook, a question and answer session by Periscope, small segments via Snap chat or Instagram and even a video blog on YouTube, you can show your products, you’re local, answer your customers’ frequently asked questions or even communicate offers. In fact, in this post, I give you some ideas.
“But Armando, I’ve never been a good writer, that’s why I do not encourage myself with that blog”, was the excuse that broke records last year among my acquaintances: as I’m not good, I do not write.
The truth is that all talents are refined over time. Now ask yourself: who knows better about your small business better than you? Who can tell what they do with more commitment and passion than you?
Go ahead, go to the computer and write. It’s free. Here are some ideas that may interest your clients and are easy to write. So tell the world about your small business.
Do not read your electronic newsletters? How about physicists?
They tell you to send emails with newsletters to all your customers and contacts, but you do not get an answer. If you use a tool like Mail Chimp that lets you know how many opened the mail or how many decide not to receive your mail, the situation does not look better.
Think a little outside the box: what would be better for your customers? Maybe a card, a booklet or a newsletter short enough to read in the bathroom or in the waiting room of an office can work. The important thing is that you give them valuable information to take advantage of those 6 seconds of attention they give you before that paper ends up in the trash.
Tell stories instead of sales arguments
Do you remember the last time a salesman came to tell you the benefits of your product and the promotion? They rarely remember because one develops that instinct to flee, but, do you remember a friend who told you how they helped you with the credit of your car, where did you find the ideal Christmas gift or some item that you loved in the supermarket??
Stories are easier to tell and to retain because we associate products and services with people and put the benefits in terms with which we can identify. Who did not have to go for a taxi in the rain and not find it until Tuber helped him with that problem? Who has not heard any history of a request for a hand in which the atmosphere of the restaurant was key for the moment?
Do not count benefits. Tell stories and let people get hooked on them.
No flyers: show what you do
Have you been given a flyer on the street, looking where to throw it and finding a boat nearby you see full of equal flyers? Before it was used to give papers so that people read them on the road, but now that there are telephones to inform themselves, what forms are there?
Make yourself known, not only with video but in more creative ways: coupons, discounts on the first visit, a glass of wine, a gift on the first purchase, tastings or free samples, promotions, home delivery … imagine what you can give us an extra to that person who is not yet your client and how to keep falling in love with your current customers so that, in addition to continuing to buy what you offer, they recommend you.
Do you have a cell phone? Record podcast
A podcast is an audio recording, more similar to radio programs, that you can record and upload to the network for others to listen to. There you only have your voice and what you have to attract someone who can listen to you in the office, in the car back from work or on a walk to school.
Before, it was complicated not only to record them but to upload them. Now, with the recorders of the phones that offer an acceptable quality and platforms such as Sound cloud or Ivory that automatically upload your podcasts to iTunes but can also be heard through an App or through Twitter and Facebook, it’s never been easier to meet.
As a tip: it is more fun when it is more than one person because conversations tend to be more enriching with the exchange of ideas. Even blog topics can also work for the podcast.
Look for them to see you: stay present
Do not flies stop at your place? Maybe it’s time to evaluate your location. Is it attractive for clients? If you can not easily see on the street, you have to evaluate how to solve that. Many great ideas are lost because of a bad location. Or simply because they do not look.
I like to think about Food Trucks and the way they dealt with this: they upload their location and samples of their products on social networks constantly. So you can make creative ways to be seen.
Whether uploading your catalog to Instagram or Pinterest, making voices in the street, leaving coupons to neighbors, give cards at the stationery near schools, make memes and viral content that makes people locate you, creativity is the limit. If you can not think of anything, ask for advice from those around you.
Work on your online reputation
Have you already searched on Google? See what you find in your small business. Does your store appear on Google Maps? You would be surprised what is said on social networks, if they left any recommendation or complaint of your small business on Foursquare, you can even know if there is any news of your small business.
If on the contrary, nothing appears, it is a good time to start. Create a Google+ account to be easier to find through the search engine. If you have friends reporters, give them a sample of your product to recommend you with your editor or leave on a note, Add your small business and your location on Facebook and Swarm. If you change your location, remember to update yourself on maps.
Moreover, I would recommend that if you are going to pay for advertising, it is better to invest that so that they find you on Google to pay for fliers. Now, if you want to do it in a more structured way, here is a detailed guide.
Create a graphic identity
Maybe I should have started with this, but many take it for granted or simply do not consider it when it should be the most important thing for people to recognize you. After all, remember that most of the stimuli we receive per day come through our eyes.
Does your small business have a logo? If so, put it to the test: ask clients, friends and random people what they think and use that feedback. You may need a designer to support you with the creation of a new logo.
Remember that the logo is the face of your small business: it should appear on your business cards, it will be the profile image in your social networks, it will be on the first slide of your sales presentation and on your website or online store, so try to create an easy to remember logo.
With these eleven ideas, this year will be fantastic. Remember that you can learn more about marketing for SMEs in the texts that are found here in Entrepreneur and I am at your service to learn new ways to add value to your company.