Starting your business is a very exciting time, especially if it’s your first crack at entrepreneurship. But along with starting your business comes costs, and while we would all love to have the marketing budget of a Fortune 500 company, sadly that is rarely the case.
So, where do you start when it comes to marketing your new business and creating a brand presence—especially when budget is limited?
Watch this video to learn some important tips for marketing on a budget, or keep reading below!
Define and Create Your Brand
What’s in a name?
Try and match your name with what you do; it makes it easier for people to find and remember you. And, keep it simple. Make sure your name is easy to spell, so that you’re easily searchable online.
Define your niche
- Who is your target market?
- What is the value you provide?
Trying to be something to everyone is not the answer. Marketing to everyone who could possibly buy your products or services takes too much time and will water down your message.
Pick your ideal market and appeal to that!
Then, ask yourself:
Why should a customer buy from you?
Ideally, you offer a solution to solve a key problem faced by your target market. What makes you different from your competitors, and why should they buy from you when someone is cheaper/closer/more established, etc.?
Answering this “why” will help you later create the right messaging to reach your audience and let them know that you’re the brand to do business with.
Create a logo for your brand
Once you’ve figured out what your brand is and who it’s for, you need to make a logo that visually represents what you do. Your logo should be easy to see and understand, and it should also be memorable.
Tailor Brands is the perfect DIY tool to help you with that, as it not only helps you create a logo, but it also helps you visualize your brand across business cards and more.
Create a company profile
This is a key tool in your marketing, as it forms the foundation for you and your business. Your profile will be used on your website and social media channels, and it needs to draw your ideal client to you. Use language that resonates with your niche, the clients you want to work with, and the solutions you offer in the profile.
Your profile can intrigue a new visitor to check out your products or services in more detail, and nudge potential customers into choosing your business over competitors. So, spend a little time on it and get others to read it too.
Own Your Real Estate
Now that you have a brand and company profile, it’s time to set up a strong online presence (i.e. claim your “online real estate.”) Here are a few things to check off your list:
Register a domain, set up emails and create a website
Your domain name is your home on the internet. Just like your regular address, this is the place your customers will be able to find you online. This is your online shop front for business; make it easy to remember and easy to find.
And, make sure to set up a business email address using your domain name. This will automatically give you a lot of credibility, and it’s a free way to market your brand with every email that you send. (We’ll get to that below.)
Build a website
If you can do this yourself, great! There are some great tools out there like WordPress and the Divi Builder from Elegant Themes (and, yes, Tailor Brands too!) you can use if you choose to take the DIY route—and they’re a very affordable option.
However, if in doubt, or if you don’t want to spend the time creating your website yourself, use a professional.
Set up social media profiles
Customers, including businesses and consumers, are using social media. Social media is your key for low-cost marketing and engaging your customers as part of your business.
Social media is an effective form of marketing to create hype around your business launch, or a new product or service. It is also great for encouraging customer feedback, referrals, and interaction around your business.
One thing to understand about social media is that it is not usually conducive to direct selling. It is a medium that allows you to introduce yourself and your business to prospects, and let them get to know you in a non-threatening manner (unless you use their paid advertising).
Social media is also great for spreading the word about you and your business around the internet. It is important to realize that you need to give, as well as get. Participate in groups, help other small business pages, and try to share and grow together.
Set up an account with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, etc, making sure that you brand these pages to be consistent with your identity.
You don’t have to use every platform right from the get-go; learn one platform at a time, and when you get the feel right, tap into tools like Meet Edgar to help you automate your posting.
Use email to market your brand
A topic that has come up of late with our clients is the unharnessed power of email to brand your business and market your brand. Every email you send is a marketing opportunity and another chance to make your brand stick in the prospective client’s mind.
Here are 3 simple ways to have your email harness free marketing opportunities:
1. Use your domain name
An email coming from your domain name is given more value and respect than those sent from a generic account like Gmail or Hotmail. You have invested in hosting your website, so make sure you market it with your email using the same domain details.
2. Check your ‘from’ name
Your ‘from’ name at least needs to be your full name. At Media Connections, we also include the business name as another opportunity to build the brand.
Make sure the spelling is correct, and there are capital letters where there should be capitals. And most important of all: No nicknames.
3. Use your signature on every email
Signature blocks are key to email success. A great signature block engages and connects your client. Include your contact details, social media, and logo to make your brand stick.
Emails are received and sent every day. They give you a great opportunity to promote and market your brand while going about the day-to-day of your business.
And, you can use tools like Wisestamp to market with your email signature.
Use the Power of Content Marketing
Content can generate engagement and revenue while you’re asleep, just like an e-commerce site or any other digital approach to building a business.
Using content marketing – or giving potential clients information they will find interesting or useful – you can create traffic, engagement, followers, sales, repeat sales and conversations around your brand, and help build your profile. So, it is a great way to start marketing your business.
Evergreen content refers to the type of information that pops up time and again, year after year in business. It’s often found in the information your customers seek or the things about your industry you find yourself explaining over and again.
And, evergreen content is always fresh; it can be used at any time throughout the year, or it’s relevant at a certain time, repeating year after year after year.
Evergreen angles are easier to find than you think. They are hidden within your knowledge, and often they are the things you take for granted as being “known” about your industry.
Some examples of evergreen content are:
- Your top 5 tips on a topic
- Tips for beginners
- Explaining industry terms
- How to use your products or services
- Ideas and resources
Contribute posts as a guest author
Being a guest author is a great way to reach a wider audience, establish your credibility, and build your online presence.
By tapping into the power of someone else’s audience, you get a transfer of trust.
Final Thoughts: Create a Plan and be Consistent
Starting a new business can be exciting, and planning is often the last thing you want to do. However, it is the key in keeping your messaging consistent and your marketing on target.
Your marketing plan does not have to be a long, detailed and drawn out document; it just needs to be clear.
Use your plan to set clear marketing goals, determine the resources you will need to get the job done, and identify any problems or roadblocks that might otherwise catch you unaware. Once you have your plan laid out, you’ll be ready to start creating your brand, marketing your business, and getting your name out there!