Whether you're an established business leader or an emerging entrepreneur, you have the same goal: to attract new customers, expand your business, and increase your profit.
Have you tried to place a print ad, only to find it's too expensive? Have you sent press releases to a newsroom, only to get no response? Have you fiddled with social media, but can't seem to gain new followers?
To be successful, you need to focus on four key areas:
1) Establish a budget. Just like every other part of your business, you need to know how much you have to spend on branding and exposure. Here's one tip that many business owners miss: ensure you have invested enough money in the graphic design and creative direction of your ad. If it doesn't' look good, it won't matter how much money you pay to run it. It simply will not get results.
2) Create a compelling – and consistent – marketing and public relations campaign that fits your budget. First, define the demographics. Who are you trying to reach? Second, develop a message that will resonate with them. Third, create a strategy to get this message in front of your audience. If you don't have a strategy, every dollar you spend is a wasted opportunity.
3) Maximize online and social media opportunities. Every business owner knows they need to have a website and a Facebook page. The key is to make sure they're user-friendly. Why is someone coming to your website? Is it to find information, make an appointment or order a product? Are they able to do all of those things easily? How about your Facebook page? Why would someone become a fan? They want to interact. They want to know about specials, give-aways, events, and interesting and relevant stories, either originated by you or passed along by you. You have to keep your website and your social media pages engaging, which means you need to invest time in them and post new content consistently.
4) Develop strategic partnerships. I know you're tired at the end of the day, but it's so important to network and meet new people. Each person is a potential customer or strategic partner – or could give you an introduction to somebody else who could become one. Whether it's setting up speaking engagements, partnering with related companies, or developing media partners, you need to have a plan to get in front of a larger audience in order to grow your client base.
These four strategies will help get you and your company on the right track for 2011!
Find Icon B. Marketing & Publicity Group on the web at www.icon-b.com or on Facebook.