7 Tips for Self-Marketing and Promotion
In today’s marketplace, everyone wants an easy fix and quick answers on how to grow their business and market themselves quicker, for faster results and in less time.
As far as I know, there’s no magic formula, but here are seven (7) tips I’d recommend to help increase an entrepreneurs visibility, leadership position and revenue possibilities:
1. Share your knowledge. Offer an initial consultation where you provide some meaningful value, and explain what you do, who you do it for, and most importantly, how you help your clients solve problems and achieve goals. Your time investment can be as little as 15 minutes, and it can be done over the phone, via Skype (web cam), or in person if it’s practical to do so.
2. Stay in touch with your clients and prospects — and often. While this may strike you as one for the “hey, I knew that already!” file, I’m amazed at how often smart and successful people neglect to stay in touch with their clients and prospects on a regular basis. And really, “staying in touch” doesn’t mean a 2-hour lunch, a 4-hour round of golf, or anything else that may otherwise qualify as relationship- building. Simply sending out a quick email, mailing a hand-written birthday card, or even passing along a thoughtful gift are all excellent – and virtually cost-free – ways to stay on the radar screen.
3. Create a targeted message in all of your communication. A confused mind never buys. That’s why it’s important to target your message distribution and branding to customers and prospects via email, blogs, video, invoices, brochures, newsletters, premiums, signage — even your voice mail or call waiting message. Post on social media as frequently as possible and share information. Don’t self-promote more than 20% of the time; it’s not just boring, but it sends people in the other direction.
4. Build a referral base. While many successful people rely on referrals and “word of mouth” advertising, I’m continuously struck by how few of them actively build a strong referral base. There’s really nothing to it and, honestly, a little goes a long way. All it takes is a small thank you gesture (gift certificates work great) to those who have helped build your business. Also, don’t shy away from asking for referrals. Just be polite, clear and willing to return the gesture. If a client has enjoyed your product or service, they’re usually happy to recommend you.
5. Send out a personal “State of the Union” address. Twice a year, write a personalized letter to your clients and tell them what you’re doing with your work, what charities you may be involved with, and how you’re helping both your professional community, and personal community. Describe how you’ve supported important social events and everyday events — even if it’s for a brief time. Don’t boast about any of your efforts. Instead, thank everyone who has helped make your achievements possible, and single out some of your role models who have served as an inspiration (whether you personally know them or not).
6. Invite your clients and prospects to hear you speak at an industry event. Speaking at an industry event qualifies you as an expert. By inviting your clients, you’re letting them know you’re up to something big, and worthy of their business. If the RSVP’s come in as a ‘can’t make it’, send a video, press link or a follow-up article that summarizes your presentation. If you’ve written a book, send a signed copy. This kind of communication and connection strengthens the bond with the people in your network, which in turn strengthens your marketing efforts.
7. Get your name out there. If you don’t have a media department behind you, consider hiring a PR, social media assistant or office admin to respond to online media requests such as HARO (“Help a Reporter Out”). Responses to the media should be respectful, polite and on target.
Here’s an extra tip, as a bonus. Want to know what’s being said about you? Set up a Google Alert in your name. Trust me, you’ll love watching your press mentions (and business) grow!
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