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Tips for Marketing your Small Business

Most would say trying to push out an article grouping small business marketing for all types of businesses goes against everything they taught you in business school, and you’re right, but this article is really not about your business, whatever that is, but how your business is perceived by your audience – your sales prospects!

Whether you run a landscaping company, law office, photography studio or you’re just looking to paint houses in your spare time – there are a few things ingrained in every single one of your potential clients that will push them to pursue a quote from your business, or not.

Getting Social
Free classified listings are the obvious place to post ad’s for products and services that people use, but obvious is not always the way to go. You can spend hours posting the same ad’s to the same sites, just to end up with the same result eveytime – you have ad’s on page 30 viewed 4 times with no responses (other than webdesigners and other services trying to sell to you).
I have encountered countless small business owners that I have not been able to convince to set up an easy to use, multi-platform social media system. Projecting a professional image to your current and future customer base is as simple as staying in touch with them, and they key to bringing the business in is consistency. Let all your customers know what you’re offering no matter how they find you or through which channel they follow you.
Sounds like a lot of work? Well you do not have to hire a full time staff to manage a multi-platform campaign anymore. Keeping your customers up to date is as simple as posting once on your website and letting software syndicate to everyone who follows you. Autoposting to a huge audience sounds like alot more fun than copying and pasting to kijiji to me!
If you’re diligent with quality content your audience, and sales, will grow. Just remember – nothing makes a customer laugh harder, or run faster, than seeing a twitter account with a total of 3 tweets from 2 years ago.

How to get Customer Testimonials
This one is so simple, but everyone either forgets or is too shy – ASK! When you finish a job and the customer is happy it is easier, but making an easy to use channel for clients to leave feedback (and actually asking them to use it) not only gets you those valuable testimonials, but lets your prospects know that you can be contacted. An open forum, or commenting system, is a little more gutsy, but has an even stronger effect. Encourage people to ask questions before buying, you may find trends of similar questions that will help you hone your marketing materials to better educate your prospect, and make closing the sale that much easier.

Defeating Skepticism Upfront
If you’re not prepared for skeptics, you will never be able to convince them to buy from you. You stand by your products and services, so show the world what you can do! They say if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, so show them it isn’t by having Pictures, Video and Samples readily available on your website. Be upfront about pricing, don’t hide it at the end of your pitch. If your work is of a custom nature, let people know upfront what the process of buying from you looks like start to finish, from quoting and deposit requirements to implementation, maintenance and warranty. Everybody likes to know that all the information they need is available, so give it to them on your website!

Tying this all together can be alot of work, especially if it is your first time. It may be well worth the fee of a freelance consultant or marketing company to help you build a system that lets customers (and if done properly, search engines) know who you are, what you do, and that you are here to stay.

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