Can’t afford big newspaper advertising campaigns? Not ready to invest in television or radio spots? Feeling a bit uncertain about paying fees for public relations and marketing expertise?
One key concept in promoting your business is to think about how you can “promote” your clients at the same time. Good promotional activities are those that give value, appreciation and recognition to your clients as well as help to increase your business visibility.
Here are some inexpensive but effective ways to keep your business in the public eye:
1. Put your company name and slogan on every email you send. Create a signature line for all email which promotes your business name, phone number, website. This information not only promotes your business but lets customers know how to find you quickly and easily.
2. Send press releases to the newspaper when you hire someone new or when you add a new service or product line. Let the community know what you are doing to make life easier or better.
3. Carry and hand out business cards. Some large office chain stores now offer free business cards if you don’t mind their company logo on the back of the card. Or create your own cards with an inexpensive desktop publishing program for business card creation.
4. Send note of congratulations to companies or clients as a way to maintain your visibility.
5. If you do buy promotional items, buy something tangible which will be used long after the “give away”. You want your company name to be remembered. Think pens, water bottles and key rings instead of candy or balloons.
6. Smile when you answer the phone. Research has proven that smiling even when the other party cannot see you is proven to be effective in relaying friendliness and an upbeat attitude. Making someone smile will be remembered much longer than any four color glossy slick brochure.
7. Give them something unexpected. When you fill an order, add a sample of one of your products or give a certificate for 15% off the next order. Added value is always remembered and much appreciated.
8. Donate your services or product to a local fundraising event.
9. Host a celebrity. Authors need and love opportunities to promote their books. If you sell cookware, recruit the best local chef.
10. Teach a class. If you sell garden supplies, offer to run a free gardening class. If you sell computer services, offer a free informational night on how to keep information secure online.
11. Send a thank you note. Nothing beats a note of appreciation. Think about it. How many pieces of mail do you receive in a week? Real mail – not bills or junk mail. Personalized, handwritten notes are a steal of a deal in promotional weight for just the price of a stamp and the cost of a card.
12. Take your advertising outdoors. There are hundreds of local runs and just as many opportunities to host a water station or rest station. Most events will allow you to wear your corporate t-shirts or hang a banner if you provide the volunteer time and energy needed.
Promoting your business is not just good for business but should be good for your customer as well. Keep that concept in mind and you’ll find plenty of ways to shine the spotlight of success onto your business.
Simple Home Business Relationship Building Strategies
You want your home business to be top-of-mind with your customers. The problem is how to do that when there’s so much competition out there. By following these simple, but effective, relationship-building strategies, you can greatly increase your chances of being the company people think of when they’re ready to buy.
1. Reach out often. Communication is vital to every business, whether it’s a home business or Fortune 500 company. So you want to contact your customers often and with different messages. Don’t just focus on promotions. Send email updates about your business and newsletters with helpful information they can use. And don’t forget to call or arrange face-to-face meetings that aren’t always sell-related.
2. Reward your customers. Offer rewards that are incremental so that the more they spend, the more they earn. And as often as possible, offer incentives that are related to your home business to remind them of your own products and services.
3. Have special events. Any event that allows you to interact with your best customers is great. The event doesn’t have to be about business either. Just make sure it’s appropriate for your customers and your home business.
4. Don’t just talk, listen. Two-way communication is extremely important to your home business relationship-building. Your customers should feel comfortable discussing their problems and issues with you. There’s just no substitute for good rapport when it comes to building and sustaining customer relationships. Because it’s a fact that people buy from people they like and like being around.
5. Give killer customer service. Nothing can hurt a home business more or more quickly than poor customer service. Respond as fast as possible to any customer inquiry or problem. Work hard to see that problems are resolved to your customers’ satisfaction, and they’ll reward you by being loyal, which gives your home business a firm customer base you can rely on-and that means you’ll sleep a lot easier at night.