DIY Marketing for Your Brand & Business
Most business owners and entrepreneurs understand that marketing is highly important and vital to the success of a business. Your brand is how your customers and target market recognise you. It is a big part of how you attract your customers. Your customers choose you over all your competitors based on a number of influencing factors including your price, brand, quality, and reputation. Some of the challenges for many entrepreneurs is finding the time for marketing, knowing where to start, and understanding exactly what to do. If you are not using a marketing agency or outsourcing to a specialist then self-marketing is where it is at, and honestly, it really needs to be done.
A QUICK GUIDE TO SELF MARKETING:
1. Request & Publish Testimonials
Testimonials are true power when it comes to credibility. Ask your past, present and future clients for testimonials, publish these testimonials to your website, and share them to your social media pages. Potential customers want to know that they are in good hands with a professional who is going to not only meet their needs but go above and beyond to provide excellent service. Client testimonials act as recommendations that endorse your business, brand, and services. When former and current customers provide positive feedback about their experience working with you it boosts your reputation and helps others feel secure in their choice of working with you.
2. Write & Publish SEO Blog Posts & Social Share
So many business owners and entrepreneurs think blogging is overly time-consuming and find it challenging because they feel that they are not writers and therefore it’s a terrible idea. This is simply not true. You are the best person to tell your story, your subscribers, readers, and followers opt in to hear that story. Blogging gives you the opportunity to tell your customers what sets you above your competition and why you are the best choice. Your knowledge and experience will speak for itself. A monthly or weekly SEO optimised blog of 350 words creates content for social media, it keeps your website updated, and improves your Google ranking.
3. Attend Local Workshops, Conferences, Meetups
There are a number of reasons why attending workshops, conferences, and meetups that attract and speak to your target market is a good idea for your business. It means you are in a position to better understand your customers and their needs. Knowledge is power and understanding the business of your customers business ensures you can talk to them on their level with insight into their industry while you impress them with your personal knowledge and know how. More importantly, it gives you the opportunity to network and generate leads. Attending events puts you in front of a room full of potential customers that may be looking for exactly what you have to offer.
4. Create Surveys & Polls to Collect Data for PR
Surveys and polls provide insight and credible data ideal for press releases and for publishing to your blog. Conducting studies makes you more knowledgeable and capable of making educated decisions. Survey Monkey is perfect for surveys (what gave it away?) while Facebook is an effective way to run polls establishing what your customers need while creating the opportunity to speak directly to those needs. Use the collected data to put together a report of your findings and write valuable press releases and blogs. Select print and online publications best suited to your brand. Make contact, and send your releases with the objective of getting “earned” editorial.
5. Competitions Increase Subscribers & Turnover
Competitions achieve specific objectives such as creating exposure around your brand, increasing the subscribers on your mailing list, and adding social media followers to your network. To create exposure around your brand run a “like and comment to win” campaign. Run a competition to increase subscribers enticing your audience to signup to your newsletter and stand a chance of winning. This opens up channels of communication for you to keep connecting with and speaking to your current and potential customers. Run cost-effective campaigns on social media and in your newsletter. These types of marketing efforts result in an increase in turnover and brand exposure.
6. Vlogging Is Big. Record & Share Your Pearls
Connect and attract your customers with visual media. In a ffast-pacedworld with such a high demand for time video is the perfect way to promote what you do, tell your story, offer tips, and promote your brand. There are various styles of blogging from short films and tutorials to live blogging on YouTube or Facebook. You have nothing to lose by trying your hand at video marketing across both of these popular platforms. It doesn’t need to be a daunting. Music, images, voice over, and text works just as well as face to face vlogging that puts you in front of the camera. It does take some time to record, edit, and upload but it is time well spent at the end of the day.
7. Offer Your Insights as a Guest Blogger
Connect with bloggers who will benefit from what you have to say and the stories you have to tell about your brand and business. It is important to consider the readers and who you are targeting with the objective of generating leads, increasing enquiries, and boosting sales. Guest blogging for an industry blog where there is no conflict of interest offers the perfect platform to promote your brand and business with the opportunity to link back to your website. Links are an important element of SEO and guest blogs create credibility. With so many professional bloggers, guest blogging is a way to get online coverage on other blogs without having to pay for space.
8. Use MailChimp to Send Monthly Newsletters
Newsletters are an effective tool to communicate your brand message and a way of sharing your news, views, tips, events, deals, promotions, and competitions. The subscribers on your mailing list are interested in what you have to say and what you offer. It is important to keep communicating with your readers to keep your brand top of mind. MailChimp is trusted as the world’s number one mailing platform and is free for up to 2000 subscribers. If you can work on Microsoft Word, you can get going with MailChimp. It’s an easy drag and drop platform, you can upload images, embed videos, it allows for coding and automatically updates your mailing lists subscribers.
9. Get a Regular No Pay Gig as a Column Writer
Connect with your local and/or national online and print publications with a readership that includes your target market. Select the publications best suited to your brand. Decide whether you want to do a weekly or monthly piece and get in touch with the editor of each of these publications. Put forward a proposal to write a free of charge column for their publication offering your knowledge and insights into your business, the current trends, and your professional opinion, what you do, and how it benefits. The objective is to get readers enquiring about your offering. Adding your press and media coverage to your website provides your brand with further credibility.
10. Create a Monthly Marketing Calendar
Failing to plan is planning to fail. Know what it is you need to do, what your objectives are, set goals, and plan content that is engaging and has a purpose for your business and brand while adding value to your past, present, and future customers. Plan and keep updated what you are going to do on a monthly and daily basis to promote your brand and market your business. It helps manage your time and marketing effectively. You should be doing at least one thing a day to market your brand. Create and send a newsletter, set out and schedule your social media content for the month ahead, take your Facebook ads live, write and send a press release, or do a little vlogging.
11. Create a Monthly Social Media Calendar
The biggest of brands through to the mom and pop shop across industries can be found on social media. Along with a monthly marketing calendar, create and update a social media calendar for the month ahead. Take into consideration international and national public/bank holidays and observances and work these into your content. Make sure your content is engaging and shareable. There is a simple rule… if you won’t share it yourself don’t even think about it. Content is king, make sure your content speaks to your target market and customers while pushing for your brand to stand out from your competitors. Tailor your content for each of the social platforms you use.
12. Get Your Website SEO Right & Update Regularly
Paid SEO is the likes of Google Adwords – it is paid advertising on Google search according to specific keywords and search terms putting your website on the first, second, and third page. Organic SEO is all about your website, whether it is linking back to your website, the content, your blogs, the SEO tools plugged into your website… it really all leads back to your website. There are a number of tools and strategies to boost your SEO and there’s plenty of great information online to guide you through the process of getting your website SEO right. Begin with updating your website content regularly with press updates, testimonials, and blogs – Google ranks these sites higher.
13. Offer Your Loyal Customers Exclusive Discounts
Reward past, present, and future customers. Exclusive deals, discounts, and giveaways make your loyal customers feel good, valued, and important leaving them with a positive sentiment around your brand and a lasting impression based on excellent customer services. This is also a great way to attract new customers. Retain your customers with exciting specials and freebies that keep them engaged with your brand and interested in your offering. Use these campaigns to achieve specific objectives including lead generation, increasing turnover, and building your mailing list or database. Discounts and giveaways are a way to get noticed.
14. Get a Regular Guest Slot on Local or National Radio
In the same way as your would approach writing a column for selected online and print publications, connect with local and/or national radio stations and offer your insights into your business and industry free of charge. It is an excellent way to reach your customers. Offer listeners great advice and tips, let them know how it is that you can help with specific challenges and where they can connect with you. Talk directly to your target market, drive traffic to your social pages and website for details, deals, competitions, news, and interesting relative information. Connect with listens that are interested in connecting with you and in the market for what you have to offer.
15. If This is Too Much… Get a Professional On Board
Running a business means limited time for marketing, those running multiple businesses and brands have even less time to spare. Life is a busy place and business of running a business takes priority. Marketing requires dedication, patience and continued effort. Sometimes even committing to a single marketing action daily just requires too much time. Some businesses owners and entrepreneurs just simply don’t have the time to spend a day creating social media content, SEO optimising a website, blogging, or a PR press releases. Consider bringing a seasoned professional on board to manage your marketing and outsource your marketing to a specialist.
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