Most of you have more work than you can handle, so why bother marketing your business? Here are two good reasons:
- It legitimizes your business to top prospects (so you can be even pickier about the jobs you choose to do)
- Over time, it adds value to your business for that time in future when you decide to hand the business over or sell it. It helps set you up for a great handover or sale and set up the person who takes over for success.
Tip #1: Make Sure You Shine Online!
There is simply no way around it. Your business must have an outstanding online presence. Gone are the days when a great website was optional. Do you know that approximately 80% of shoppers across nearly every buying category begin with a Google search? Investing in a professional-looking website pays dividends throughout the year. There are excellent tools available that make building a professional website easy, even for a novice. Website building services to consider are Webpress, Squarespace.com, Websitebuilder.com, and Weebly.com.
You can also hire a pro to build your site for you! If you want to pay someone to create a great website but don't know where to start, try Fiverr.com. This site gives you access to thousands of creative folks ready to help make your business look fantastic, and most at excellent prices. You can also find people there to help you with SEO (search engine optimization) and content writing. Remember, it's the consumer's first impression. Make it a good one!
Tip #2: Reviews Matter – BIG TIME!
Customer reviews are like gold. Making a serious effort to gather online reviews can literally be a game-changer for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Why? Because research shows that 90% (yes, 90%!) of all shoppers are influenced by reviews when making their buying/hiring decision. Gathering customer reviews is not only a powerful form of free marketing, it's also easy. (Score!) Obtaining customer reviews can be as simple as sending a follow-up email or text asking past clients to leave you a review on places like Google.com, Yelp, or Facebook. Once you have them, remember to use those great reviews! Post them on your website or Facebook. You can even include them in emails or newsletters sent to current or past customers, reminding them that your business is "5-star" stable!
Tip #3: Yard Signs Actually Work
If your customer will allow it and you can place it in an area where folks driving by will see it, yard signs actually work to attract customers with the same type of job. Just make sure your phone number and website are prominent so they don’t miss the info.
Tip #4: Coupons Are Always Current!
While many of the marketing rules have changed with the insurgence of technology, one small marketing tool has remained effective — coupons. People love coupons, always have, always will. Coupons are an inexpensive but powerful way to attract new customers. Marketing research consistently shows that consumers will go out of their way to use a coupon. Not only are coupons an effective strategy for attracting new business, but they also generate return customers. At the end of your job, offer customers a coupon for a discount on future business or a referral bonus when they give your name to a friend. There's a high chance they'll be back. In most cases, coupons are a failsafe marketing method.
Tip #5: Be the Go-To Expert!
Positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your field is an excellent marketing strategy. Customer confidence and peace of mind are significantly impacted when they trust that they are in good hands. Instructional videos are a highly effective way to market yourself and your business as the leading authority in your craft.
Instructional videos can be used to offer education and information, all while subtly marketing your business. Videos posted to social media gain significant exposure at no cost to you. Now, that's clever marketing! Keep in mind, though, quality counts! Just like the quality of your online presence matters, so does the quality of your video. Take time to learn how minor tweaks go a long way toward making your videos look more professional. This article from Wistia provides an excellent tutorial for creating high-quality videos, on your plain old iPhone!
 According to Small Business Trends January 2017
 According to Forbes research
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This month's training tip comes directly from a question we received recently.