I envision that the start of a business is like beginning a marriage. We begin by dating and getting to know the details and peculiarities about our chosen field. Hopefully we spend some time “getting to know” our business before jumping in and making a commitment. Once we make that leap though, we enter into a marriage, putting effortless energy and work into the relationship. We love this first phase and it requires little motivation on our part to keep that “lovin feelin” alive.
In the early stages of business, marketing is often something that is fun for us. We love the creative processes of building a company identity, designing a logo, writing a catchy tag line, creating our business cards and letterhead. We have a clear vision of all the possibilities that lay before us.
For many people though, that initial glow wears off fast and marketing starts to become a tedious task. It gets harder to devote time to marketing when so many other business details are vying for our attention. The romantic, dreamy, love phase is gone and reality sets in. But how can we keep the passion for our business and marketing in particular, alive? We must find small, cost effective, and timely ways to market our businesses everyday or improve upon our current strategy. It’s the little things that count, right? Here are just a few easy ideas.
- Carry business cards with you all the times.
- Maintain a tickler file for marketing ideas, even if you can’t get to them now.
- Get automated. Create a series of letters and emails that address virtually every aspect of your business and save them as “stationary files”. You will never have to start from scratch again.
- Create a nametag or pin with your company name and logo and wear it often.
- Read the business section of local newspapers and periodicals.
- Write an article for your local newspapers and periodicals and submit it for publication. Keep trying if your first submission goes unnoticed.
- Attend a business seminar or tradeshow.
- Look for a marketing or networking list-serve.
- Barter your services in exchange for advertising.
- Develop a newsletter or e-zine.
- Send postage-paid survey cards to your existing clients.
- Add client testimonials to your collaterals.
- Put your direct mailings in bright, colored envelopes.
- Put a wrapped lifesaver or a pencil in your direct mailings to give them that “lumpy” look that will create recipient curiosity.
- Update your media contacts.
- Send letters to old clients that you’ve lost contact with.
- Have a publicity photo taken for inclusion with press releases and articles.
- Search for a mentor. Contact a respected industry professional and ask for an interview.
- Change your voicemail recording to add a “helpful hint” for the day.
- Re-invent your services when things change in the marketplace.
- Send interesting magazine articles to your clients with an FYI note attached.
Bring back the enthusiasm for your business by integrating your original visions for your business with what you know about your business and your market today. Think about what your business will look like and how it will operate when you reach your desired objectives. By utilizing these easy marketing ideas you are creating focus and direction for your business on a day-to-day basis. Write down some daily marketing goals that you want to achieve and keep them handy. By reviewing them daily you are choosing to put all your energy and passion into creating in real life what you’ve put on paper.
Tiffany Washko is a virtual assistant in Phoenix, Arizona and the President of Constellations Virtual Services Group. Tiffany has provided marketing and support services for companies specializing in areas such as Income Tax Preparation, Financial Planning, Theatre, and Healthcare. Mail to: [email protected] www.constellationsgrp.com