As a business owner, you probably feel like you’re constantly juggling the challenges of servicing your customers, securing supplier relationships and managing your team. Time is a premium commodity and there often isn’t a lot spare for marketing efforts.
We thought we’d put together a minimum effort, maximum impact guide to marketing that’ll help you make sure you’re winning as much business as you can manage.
Here are our 10 best ways to promote your business on a budget:
1) Build a website
If you don’t have a website, you need one. Considering that 94% of B2B buyers finalise a product purchase by researching online, you really don’t have any excuse for not having an online presence.
Your website will be their first port of call and building one doesn’t need to be expensive. A well put together website will help you supercharge your brand, convert more leads and improve where you appear in the search rankings. If you’re just starting out, there are plenty of great low-cost options available, especially if you know where to look. It’s amazing what you can do yourself if you put your mind to it.
We recommend using template-builder tools like WordPress, Squarespace or Wix if you’re looking to build something that looks professional and want to get it up and running quickly. For a small hosting fee, you’ll be online in no time; perfect for maximising
business and supporting your day-to-day work.
2) Unlock your memorable phone number
Once you’ve got your website sorted, you’ll need a memorable phone number. Did you know that 98% of customers expect to find a business’ contact details front and centre on their website? A memorable number will increase inbound calls by up to 175%, help you provide a better customer experience and, because it’s nice and easy to remember, it’ll encourage your customers to pass it on to others. Perfect, right?
Starting from just £10 per month, our number ranges also have a huge amount of tech add-ons that can help you manage your calls better, enhance your business and ensure you never let a call go unanswered. Not sure which is best? Read our guide on how to choose a memorable number here.
3) Get listed
One sure-fire way of making sure your customers can find you is by getting your business listed. Google My Business and Bing Places for Business are great places to start, along with other well-known paid solutions.
Listing your business is a great well to build your brand’s image, help you connect with prospective customers and support your search engine optimisation efforts. The greater the strength of your online presence, the greater the likelihood that your prospective customers will find you when they need you.
4) Channel your local Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce puts it so well on their website, we thought we’d simply share it. In their words, your local Chamber of Commerce exists to ‘make a difference to your business, whether that means ensuring your views are heard within government, opening new business opportunities in local, national and international markets or providing critical advice, services and skills development.’
We couldn’t have put it any better ourselves. Becoming part of your local Chamber of Commerce is a fantastic gateway into meeting other businesses, potential customers and forging professional relationships that will help you boost your business. Interested? You can find your local Chamber here.
5) Nail networking events
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. How many times have you heard that before? Use sites like meetup.com to find out what’s going on in your area and sector then head along. This is the perfect way to garner valuable contacts and meet potentially valuable new clients.
The important thing to take note on here is that networking events aren’t about the hard sell. This is your opportunity to have great conversations with likeminded people and, through a non-salesy approach, identify business opportunities.
Once you’re confident with this approach, we really recommend setting up your own networking events. Sure, it might take a little effort, but it’ll be invaluable for your reputation and is the perfect opportunity to capture the attention of a passive audience.
6) Sort out your social
Social media isn’t just the fluffy tool that many people think it is. Used correctly and it can become a valuable lead generation tool for you and your business. Choosing the right social media platform for you really depends on what your business does. Facebook is great for B2C organisations, LinkedIn is perfect for B2B, Twitter is great for regular updates and Pinterest or Instagram are great bets if you have a really visual product. That said, there’s no hard and fast rule. Don’t be afraid to dip your toe in the water for all of them; marketing is about experimenting, learning and developing and your social strategy will grow with your business.
Once you’ve chosen the right page for you, do your homework and invest a little bit of time every day to your social media pages. We love buffer for scheduling social media posts because it means we can do the leg work up front and then ensure that our social media efforts don’t detract from our other core activities. Social media isn’t a magic wand solution, it times take to build up a following so invest time little and often – The results will follow.
7) Ramp up your reviews
It’s amazing how powerful reviews can be for your business as you might have seen our recent article. Let’s face it, as a consumer you know that any business you look to purchase from is going to tell you that they’re the best in the business. Why wouldn’t they? Reviews from real customers add a tremendous amount of credibility and help you quickly establish trust with your prospective customers. Head on over to our Trustpilot page for an idea of some of the great things our customers say about us.
Never underestimate how powerful great feedback can be and don’t be afraid to ask every customer after you’ve worked with them. If you’ve impressed them they’ll generally be more than happy to share the feedback and this third party reference will be a fantastic door opener to new business.
8) Embrace email marketing
Email marketing doesn’t need to be difficult and is a great method of generating leads. Many marketing methods require you to
wait for a response from your audience, whereas email is a direct engagement with your contacts. There are so many great email marketing tools out there, many of which are free if you only have a small contact database. Mailchimp is the perfect place to start because of its clean user interface and WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) template-builder.
Start small and learn by trial and error. You’ll learn what really resonates with your customers and what doesn’t; just remember, this process takes time and don’t be disheartened if you don’t get results immediately.
9) Forge partnerships
Affiliate partnerships are a fantastic way of developing mutually beneficial relationships with other businesses. Think about your business. Are there any complimentary services or products that would fit within the lifecycle of your target customer? For example, a plumber might benefit from a partnership with a carpenter as they can pass leads from one another seamlessly, working as a ‘partner of choice’ for one another.
Great business is all about relationships. The better your relationships with complimentary businesses, the greater the likelihood of receiving referred leads for yourself.
10) Build your blog
Great marketing is all about content. As an expert in your industry, you will have amassed a great deal of knowledge about what you do. Don’t be afraid to share it. A blog page is the perfect place to write ‘How to’ guides, case studies and updates from your business. Not only will this benefit you in terms of where you’ll appear in the search rankings, it’ll help demonstrate your knowledge and build your credibility.
Not the best writer? Don’t worry about it, film yourself on YouTube or record a Podcast. Great marketing is about effective communication with your audience. Don’t be afraid to do it in a way that suits you.
We pride ourselves on helping small businesses reach their full potential by bolstering their brand with a virtual telephone number and helping them manage their calls better. Use these tips to help drive enquiries to your virtual number and close more business. Interested in finding out more? Fill out the form today and we’ll show you how you can win more business.