Well, we’re in the second month of 2011, where does the time go? Did you hit the goals you set for January? If not, are you marketing yourself, and if so are you marketing yourself properly? As your business coach, I recommend that if you want to make money in 2011, you need to market yourself or your business. I found a tidy list of marketing tips to keep in mind as you think about your marketing efforts. It is courtsey of Rhonda Abrams of USA Today.
Recommened marketing tips from Tampa Bay Business Consulting Services, ActionCOACH
1. Get out there. People do business with people they know, so build your business network. Attend industry conferences, join community organizations. Be seen frequently. Connect in person and not just online.
2. Get listed — free. Want to show up in search engines and mobile devices without spending a cent? Be sure to set up your free business pages in Google Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp and others. You can list your products and services, hours of operation, specials, even add photos or offer specials. It’s a key, free way to market on mobile devices and Web search engines.
3. Keep your top prospects in view. Make a list of your top 10 prospects or referral sources and keep it on your desk, your mobile phone, or use it as the “wallpaper” on your computer. Contact each of these key income-generators at least once a month.
4. Create a strong company brand and identity. Start with a distinct look-and-feel — logo, colors, typeface, etc. — that conveys what you’re about. Use those consistently on everything — your website, business cards, packaging, newsletters, marketing materials, job ads. If possible, give your brand some zip and personality that makes it memorable.
5. Repeat, repeat, repeat. This is the golden rule of marketing. Whatever marketing tactics you use, you must repeat your message to the same audience in the same place, over and over again. It takes a long time for your message to sink in.
6. Tell people what they get, not what you do. In your marketing materials and messages, focus on the benefits the buyer receives — rather than just long lists of features of your products or descriptions of how you perform your services. Of course, customers compare features and services, so you’ll need to include those. But always emphasize the benefits those features bring.
7. Create an e-mail newsletter. An e-mail newsletter is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to regularly stay in front of customers, prospects, and referral sources. Make sure your newsletter provides some value for the recipient, such as useful information, details on discounts or a special offer.
8. Get a tagline. Devise a short phrase conveying what you do or makes you special (like “The world on time” for FedEx). Even a simple descriptive phrase can set you apart (like “Bonded janitorial services for banks”). Give prospects a reason to remember you. Use your tagline on your website, business cards, even e-mail signature.
9. Attend or exhibit at a trade show. Trade shows are great places to find many customers in one place, do research on your competition and meet referral and information sources. Research which trade shows target your customers attend and check them out.
10. Be visible online. Make sure you have a website. Learn about social media. If you sell to consumers, get a Facebook page and consider a Twitter feed. Monitor your reviews on Yelp and other review sites. If you sell to businesses, look for industry-specific social media sites.
11. Get a contact management system. Keep track of past and current customers, prospects, referral sources, and more. This data is an invaluable business asset — use it for staying in touch, making sales calls, announcing new products or sales and more.
Do you have any marketing tips that aren’t included on this list? If so, contact your ActionCOACH and let us know what they are.