You do so much as a small business owner. Have you ever wondered if you really should add self-promotion to your “to do” list?
Self-Promotion or Word-of-Mouth, Which is Right for Your Creative Business
If you’re a solopreneur or self employed professional with two or fewer employees the answer to this question might seem as easy as plucking a leaf off a tree. Of course, I should promote myself you may say. After all, you’re a one (wo)man team.
Truth is. The answer to the question depends on what you’re trying to achieve with your business marketing strategies and promotion efforts.
To start, have you studied your target audience to discover if they prefer hearing about product launches and new small business services from an external source? I’m thinking particularly about your efforts to acquire new customers. For example, promotional and marketing studies have found that word-of-mouth is an effective way to gain new customers.
Building a Business Marketing and Promotion Team
This is where a team of marketers may yield you rewarding results. You can build your team with family members and key networking partners. You can also blend word-of-mouth efforts from your current “completely satisfied” customers into marketing campaigns. Cool ways you can do this include getting and posting customer reviews and referrals at your website, blog and social network pages.
You can also ask satisfied customers to let their family, colleagues and friends know about your product and service offerings. If you’re feeling particularly pumped-up you can offer these customers free test products as a reward for their word-of-mouth work.
More Reasons to Build Business Marketing and Promotion Teams
Another reason you might want to work with a marketing team is to expand your reach. Five people can reach more people online and offline than one person can. That’s pretty simple.
What might not be so simple are the factors that go into an effective marketing campaign, factors not every small business owner is well versed in. Some of these factors include knowing when consumers are most likely to buy your products (e.g. before breakfast, just after lunch, on a Friday). As humans, we really are creatures of habit.
Knowing when consumers are most likely to purchase products and services like yours helps you to know when to get in front of consumers with ads, social marketing efforts, etc. To get a pulse on that information, you’d have to study and understand consumer behavior. Marketing professionals who have years of experience studying market trends can save you thousands of work hours, not to mention years of frustration.
Marketing that You Always Do Best
On the other hand, if you’re trying to engage current customers, your voice is likely more effective than word-of-mouth. You’ve already sold these folks on how good you are. Your job now is to continue to make them feel valued, a key part of your small business success.
You can do this by making it easy for them to subscribe to your small business newsletters, RSS feeds, customer catalogs, etc. Sending current customers holiday greetings is another way to strengthen engagement and increase customer sales. Some businesses even call their loyal customers to say “Happy Birthday” or “Happy Holidays.”
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