When you run a small or micro business, you have to carefully choose how you spend your marketing dollars. Below is a list of five ways you can market your business and all they cost is time.
1. Add a Pin It button to your website. Pinterest is the fastest growing social networking site. Images that are posted on Pinterest link back to your site. Because Pinterest is a social site, your image may be repinned numerous times, increasing exposure for your business. Businesses can link their Pinterest account to their Twitter account. The most effective ways to use a Pinterest account for business are to pin complementary items or little known aspects of your business to your board.
2. Start a blog and update it regularly. A blog is a free way to add a personal touch to your website. Customers can interact with you on a blog by leaving comments to your posts. Be sure to check the comments on a regular basis and respond to them. If your customer took the time to send you a message, you owe it to them to respond. You can use a blog to give information about your business, your products or your industry. A blog is a great complement to any business website.
3. Add testimonials to your website and brochure. While a blog lets customers know what you think about your business, testimonials let them know what other customers think. One way to acquire testimonials to use for marketing is to ask customers for their feedback. Be sure to request their permission to include their comments in promotional material. For state specific information, check http://www.sba.com/business-resources.
4. Give free consultations. Free consultations are another easy way to boost sales. Although the initial time spent with a prospective client is a gift, that client will likely turn into a paying customer. Giving something of value away is one way that a small business can compete with larger businesses. By offering a consultation for no charge, you can demonstrate the value of your services to the client. Even if they don’t immediately buy from you, they know enough about you after the consultation to recommend your services to a friend or colleague.
5. Provide exceptional customer service. Customers prefer to shop where they get good service. When several small businesses are competing for the same customers, you can stand out from the crowd by providing superior service. Get to know your customers by name. Remember what they buy and ask them about it when they return. Even if you only deal with customers by phone and email, smile when you interact with them. Great service is such a rare commodity, they will appreciate it and return because of it.
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