Keep reading to learn some tips on selling yourself and your business as a new entrepreneur.
First Comes Branding
In order to market your services or a new business concept, you need a defining picture of who you are and how you’re different from the competition. Branding is the critical first step in making yourself recognizable and memorable to customers while showing investors that you can stand out from the competition. For one-wo/man businesses, this may mean personalizing the brand to be a reflection of you, your values and your passions. For companies with employees, it means making sure everyone is on the same page. Take a look at Entrepreneur’s 6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Successfully Brand Themselves for more helpful tips.
Know What Works for You
Before setting up a Twitter feed or hiring a sign spinner, remember that what works for one entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily work for the other. While those operating in the online sphere may benefit greatly from a regularly updated blog, customers seeking the services of a construction company are probably better served by client recommendations, yard signs or even a regularly updated Instagram with pictures of ongoing and completed projects. Think about your service or product, evaluate traditional and digital marketing options, and create a tailored plan that is as unique as what you’re offering.
After branding yourself and identifying suitable marketing methods, it’s time to formalize those ideas within a business marketing plan. These malleable and ever-evolving documents help entrepreneurs think about the nuts and bolts of what they provide, who forms their client base, what competition is out there and how they’re going to use all that information to market themselves in a way that stays true to their brand and offers a unique perspective.
Once you have a clear brand and a rock solid marketing plan in place, the most crucial thing at this stage is to be consistent. Do consumers expect new blog posts on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Make sure that happens. Did you make client follow-up a cornerstone of your new business strategy? Get on the phone. Whatever you’ve said you’ll do in terms of marketing and client development, building brand allegiance through these regular activities helps cement your place in their minds. When there isn’t follow-through, customers question your commitment to the company and whether or not you’ll be consistent in your services to them.
While it’s important to be consistent, entrepreneurs must also recognize when a strategy isn’t working. But how is this best done? For marketing initiatives that provide analytics, estimating your ROI (return on investment) can offer a lot of insight. If you placed a sponsored ad on Facebook, how many imprints did it get and did you receive any clients or interest from that post? If so, keep going. If not, it may be time to reevaluate.
If you’re spending valuable hours each week using a marketing tool that isn’t bringing in clients, stop. Research your competitors to gain insights on what they’re doing to find success. Can their strategies be tailored to your company? Is it possible to bring some of their clients to your side by reaching out in similar ways? Just as entrepreneurs must always be aware of how clients are responding to their overall business concept, the same applies to marketing.