When starting a business, one of the first questions you’ll ask yourself is, “How can I get customers?”. To be a successful seller, you have to get your clients somewhere, right? And you have to get the word out about your products and your company. Before the Internet, the only way to build a following as a startup was to go to local events or print out fliers. But now, there are so many reliable marketing opportunities out there, both physically and on the world wide web. All you have to do is look.
- Go to local events.
Often, towns will hold small entrepreneur fairs or farmers’ markets. If you sell handmade crafts, then a farmer’s market, for example, would be a perfect venue. If you sell clothes, you can attend a mall event and pay to open a booth for the duration of the event. Because many people come to malls with the intent to shop, you could build a large customer base quickly. In order to make sure they remember your information, it’s wise to invest in a pop-up banner with your contact information, website location, and other details about your business.
If you’ve opened a physical store, get visitors to come by offering deals and discounts. Or purchase ad-space on community fliers. If you design your advertisement well, there’s a chance that they’ll save your information and remember it when they need your product.
Remember that when going to physical events, people will be drawn to you based on your design. If you have great products but your booth or stand is poorly designed, they might choose to walk right by. If you have a logo that looks as if it was made on Microsoft Word, that’s another no-go. If you’re starting a business, you definitely don’t want it to fail. That’s why you should invest in high-quality banners, promotional tools, and a stellar brand image.
- List it online.
There are three places you should register your business with on the Web. The first and most important is Google Places, also called Google My Business. By creating a business account for your store, you’ll be able to rank it so that when people search for your product niche on Google, it can pop up. Since Google is the largest search engine in the world and processes millions of users a day, it only makes sense that you’d want your business showing up there. All you have to do is fill out the data and verify your address by asking Google to send a postcard with a verification code there.
You can also get your business registered on Yahoo! Local and Bing. They’re both free and easy to sign up for.
- Start a blog.
If you service a little-known niche, starting a blog can be a great way to drive traffic to your shop. Customers can read about the product, then buy it from you. A high-quality blog will get your company’s name out to the world. Just remember that you need to keep it updated with informative, engaging content.
If your blog is strong enough and gets enough viewers, you’ll be able to monetize it by using ads. There are different types of ads, but many people use Google Analytics. You can also create email sign-up widgets that let customers receive updates whenever you have deals, discounts, or promotions. If you don’t want to put ads on your site but prefer to advertise on other blogs, you can always e-mail a blog owner and ask if they’d be willing to let you advertise with them. Of course, it’s important to choose bloggers and sites that are actually related to your product in some way. If you try to mash two totally different audiences together, your promotion probably won’t work!
- Create press releases.
Whenever your brand does something noteworthy, try publishing a press release. You never know who’ll pick it up. Press releases are a powerful tool to use that can boost publicity. Once it’s done, share it to sites like 24/7 Press Release or PRLog.
- Ask someone to endorse your product.
Paid promotions are very popular now. By asking an “influencer” to share a photo with your product to their followers, you can drive major traffic to your brand. Instagram Influencers usually have hundreds of thousands of followers, and if you can get even a fraction of them to order, your business will be booming in no time. With how quickly trends and posts go viral in today’s digital age, sharing a simple post on Instagram might lead to overnight Internet fame. You just have to keep trying and cultivate a great brand.
- Use social media.
Make sure to have a strong online presence. Create an Instagram and maintain it. Share high-quality photos with your followers, even if you have none at first. Create a Facebook, too, where people can message and ask questions about the products. Once your business grows, delegate these tasks. Consumers who feel that a brand is friendly and welcoming are far more likely to become loyal customers. Plus, they’ll spread the word for you at no extra cost.
On another note, share to news-aggregator sites like Reddit. But don’t do it in a way that makes it obvious that you’re selling something. If you produce something clever or artistic, it’s perfectly fine to share it in a subreddit like r/art or r/smallbusiness.
One thing to remember when promoting your business is the human aspect. Customers, clients, and consumers are quickly turned off by brands that obviously just focus on selling. To create a long-lasting business with loyal customers, you have to have personality. People like brands they can relate to, and you won’t be able to relate to anyone if your focus is just on making profit. In contrast, by building personal relationships with people who buy your products, you can create organic, healthy growth and allow your company to maintain a great reputation.