Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Low Cost Ways To Promote Your Small Business

I was recently asked if I had any suggestions of ways that you could promote a small or new business on a next to nothing budget. It really got me thinking! I haven’t got a background in marketing or promotion so, as a psychology graduate, my suggestions are more based on psychological theory.
These are some of the things I suggested:
1. Maybe an obvious one, but make sure everyone you know is aware of what you do and what you offer as a business. It doesn’t need to be the main topic of conversation but just remind people occasionally, tell them what you are working on or show them your latest creation. Your family and friends are your biggest supporters and are likely to recommend you to others. Leave your family and friends a couple of your business cards too.
2. Don’t forget to mention what you do when you’re out and about too and always have some business cards to hand! For example, when chatting to other mums outside the school gates or at baby groups as well as to your hairdresser or beautician. I love having a chat with my hairdresser and she recently recommended something (not hair related) which I then went and bought! You are more likely to buy something or hire someone that is recommended to you.
3. Use your creations! If you make jewellery for example, wear one of your creations when you go out and have a business card ready if anyone asks where you got it from! If you make cards and send them to family and friends, put your business logo on the back, so any admirers can know who made them!
4. Use free tools like social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or create a blog. Once again tell your friends and family as well as any customers on which sites they can find you.
5. Offer great customer service in the way of good communication. Thank customers for their orders and keep them updated as to when their items will be dispatched. It costs nothing and will encourage recommendations and repeat business. Send a thank you note with the item to give a personal touch.
6. If you make something to sell or post an item from your shop, create a label with your logo or business name on. And/or include a business card or compliments slip. The more your name is seen the more likely it is to be remembered. If you are just starting out spend time thinking about your name and your logo, you want it to be memorable and reflect your business!
7. When you send your customer an email, not only include a link to your website but also a link to your Facebook page. If they are on Facebook, they’ll probably go and have a nosy at your page! (See my earlier blog post http://jill-morethanmummies.blogspot.com/2011/04/im-learning-as-i-go-along.html on how to assign your Facebook page a vanity URL to make it look more professional.)
8. If you make something to sell and usually only sell from your Facebook page, try other avenues once in a while. Put an occasional item on Ebay for example, it may just attract a different audience. If you are already on Ebay make sure there is a link to your website, Facebook, Twitter pages etc. on your ‘about me’ section.
9. Make contact with other businesses in your area. For example if you make jewellery see if there are any independent clothes shops in your area who would like to stock your items or who would be happy to have your business cards on their counter. Small post offices with independent shops attached are also great for selling locally produced items.
10. Another one for Facebook. When looking for potential customers, think outside the box. As well as using pages like ours http://www.facebook.com/morethanmummies  and http://www.facebook.com/YummyMummies.BusinessMums to promote your business think about who else may be interested. For example, if you make something that would appeal to cat lovers, see if there’s a page called ‘I Love Cats’ or if you make cards and Father’s day is approaching see if there’s a page for ‘I Love My Dad’. Obviously your business needs to somehow relate to the audience of the page.
I hope you find these helpful, I will be adding some more very soon.
Jill. x

P.S. You can also now list your business for FREE on www.morethanmummies.com !



12 comments:

Gill said...

Hi

Some good tips here ...thank you!

gillian martin
Lead Sonographer
FIRST CHOICE BABY SCAN www.firstchoicebabyscan.com

4D scans from only £60

Jill said...

You're welcome, thank you for reading. X

WanderingStar said...

There are some really good ideas there, thank you!

Metal Munchiez said...

thanks for some fantastic tips! will be sure to impliment them asap!

Eve said...

Thanks for the tips. I have just discovered your blog and am finding it really useful. Will be sure to be back regularly! x

Amanda said...

Some really great and helpful tips here, thank you :) going to browse through your other blog topics now!

Amanda x

For handcrafted cards for all occasions visit our website - www.water-lily-wishes.co.uk

or find us on facebook - http://www.facebook.com/water.lily.wishes

Con-fusedArts said...

Hi thanks for that, most of them I try and do already but having a vanity URL was something I had thought of for a while and I have finally gone and done it! LOL Thanks

Pam
www.facebook.com/ConfusedArt
(Fair Trade Jewellery for catwalk)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips xxx

Jaci
www.gothic-fusion.com

Linda said...

Thank you some very good tips,
Love Linda Smith
www.dancewithadifference.co.uk

Tracie said...

Thank you for taking the time to share these very good tips.
I will check back with your blog again!
Tracie
Ring Pillow Diva
FB: RingPillowDiva
www.ringpillowdiva.ie

Helen Neale said...

Great ideas here. Thx v much. I always put all my social media sites on my biz card too. Gets u connected in every way u can with people :-)

Glenn Evans said...

I totally agree with tips 3 and 7! Since many people are online these days, the quickest and easiest way to reach a wider range of people is to sign up for social networking sites. Facebook and Twitter are particularly popular. Keeping those accounts updated will ensure that your customers will stay interested, and hopefully will spread the word about your business. In the end, the key goal of online advertising is to turn site visits to sales.

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