There's a hype about making it big over the internet in a short amount of time with marketing your business. The truth is, expect that building your business is a gradual process because you are a small business with limited funding. As a new business, don't depend solely on the internet to get your customers. Grow your business like a brick and mortar company would. At the same time, use the internet to get extra exposure.
- Encourage friends, family and current customers to refer others. You can give them some form of incentive to encourage them to do so (e.g. free service/good or a monetary reward in exchange for a referral). People are more likely to do business with people they know and can trust. As a start up business you want to offer customers a reason to trust and do business with you.
- Join social networks as a business - the four must have are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Google.
- Have a website. This is your personal branding. You can market your business through your website url to search engines etc.
- Join two organizations in order to gain exposure and to gain your customers confidence in you as a reputable company. One organization that you need to join is the local chamber of commerce. They usually provide members with a free listing of members and you can mail or email a flyer to members . They also have numerous free programs that members can attend, network and exchange cards.
- Join a national organization that is affiliated with your business (e.g if you are a hair dress, you would join the beautician association). Although there's a fee to join an organization, it's worth the price. You want to make sure that the national organization is legitimate. A national organization that is affiliated with your business will offer discounted services to members. They will also provide some free seasoned information that will help you succeed in your trade. They may provide business listings where you can market your business.
As noted, the best business marketing approach is a combination of tools. Do not rely on just one marketing source. The big businesses raise awareness to their brand in a multiple ways. As a startup, you need to do so more diverse forms of marketing compared to other businesses in order to create a brand awareness.