Blink PR started from zero – zilch, nada, no dosh. Recently I also had a chance encounter with a brilliantly successful business that started even lower than that. Many a business owner has built on very humble beginnings to create a thriving business that is overrun with customers and positive ‘word of mouth’. We look at how to market your business with no budget.
How? Well I hope I am not doing Blink out of work, but here are some tips to market your business, from the team:
- Emphasise how special you are. Blink isn’t just a PR and marketing agency – it’s “North Devon’s most friendly and approachable agency”. No idea whether that’s really true or not, but when a local small business is looking for marketing support and see’s this quote on the web or social media, they’re likely to look and find out more.
- Sell the experience. That’s quite a tricky one when you’re in the B2B sector, but your customer still wants to be looked after; to feel they know the team; to understand that you will do the best for them.
- Location, location, location. Decide where you want your customers to come from and then make sure you’re actively involved in that location. We choose to be in North Devon, and to be honest we’d rather limit the journeys up and down the M5 and A361 – so most of our customers are from North Devon too.
- Be honest. These days we live in an age where honesty and integrity are values that seem to be hidden from public view, but these are exactly the values that are admired and ensure loyalty. Make sure these are your business values and forget the flim-flammery. If you don’t work on Fridays because you prefer to hit the beach at Woolacombe, say so. We do!
- Get into your local newspaper. Have you got something newsworthy going on? New product, new team member, raised money for charity, running a competition, moved premises, sponsoring the local football team? Any of these things and more can get into your local rag. Simply pick up the phone and speak to a journalist to see if they’re interested in running something. If they are, they’ll probably write the story for you.
- Create an e-newsletter. If you have a customer database, put together some mini articles and send them a newsletter using email. It will keep you on their radar and will hopefully remind them to do business again with you.
- Write a blog. Something just like this article! It’s a good idea to show off your skills and expertise and all the while builds a bit of trust. Remember to keep your blog updated with quality content and both Google and web visitors will find your website more easily.
- Give some people a call. Start the day by following up any enquiries or calling potential partners, journalists – anyone really. It’s always good to do some research or stay in touch.
- Use social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, YouTube. Don’t be afraid to chat to your existing or potential customers using the FREE social media channels. These are communication platforms that are free and are a great way to start networking without going out in the rain, or putting up with yet another chicken lunch!
- Get testimonials. Nothing works better for your marketing and PR than having a testimonial from a happy customer. And don’t leave them sat in your in-tray either – make sure you put them up on your website and on your marketing materials. Do it now!