3 Ridiculously Simple Yet Effective Tips for Building Your Small Business
If you own a business you know that one of the biggest challenges a small business owner faces is branding building. You want to grow your business. To do that you need to sell more of your product or service. But, in order to sell more you need more exposure. Sounds simple, right? The challenge though for most of us is creating massive exposure for our product or service while remaining confined to a very limited marketing budget. We could try advertising in traditional media, whether it’s print or broadcast. This would certainly get our message out to a very large audience but for most small businesses it’s just too expensive and frankly not all that effective. After all, it can be really difficult with this type of marketing to know if you’ve really hit your target audience and how they feel about your product. And well if that’s the case then you’re probably wondering, “if not this then what SHOULD I do to build my brand and customer base without breaking the bank?” In my opinion, you’ve got to be willing to invest the time and effort in a slightly different approach that may take more time but in the end will be much more effective. Maybe this will help clarify.
I once heard author and marketing guru Seth Godin say, “Using marketing to try to connect with your ideal customer is kind of like trying to find someone to marry.“ One way to go about it would be to stand on a busy street corner and shout about all your great personal qualities to all the passersby. Chances are that before too long you’ll find someone interested in your message that is also looking to get married. Though they may not be exactly what you were hoping for.
Or, you could try this approach to finding a spouse. Seek out introductions from a few trusted friends and, look to meet people through activities in which you might have a shared interest and values. This will inevitably lead to conversations with a few potential partners, which in turn will allow you to get to know each other better and build a level of trust before making a decision. Chances are THIS approach, while more time consuming will produce a better result in the long run.
Now, I want you to apply the same thinking to your marketing efforts.
- Focus your marketing efforts on “building a relationship” with your customers and prospects. Instead of just broadcasting information about your product or service, engage your prospects and customers in a conversation! This can be done in face-to-face interactions as well as through social media like Facebook, for example. Over time this dialog that you’ve started will enable you to build trust and credibility with them.
- “Fish where the fish are.” Sounds simple and corny but its amazing how often we fall prey to the notion that we should be everywhere for fear that picking one spot and owning will cause us to miss opportunities somewhere else. However, the reality is that if we spread ourselves too thin we risk wasting time and resources without making an impact anywhere. My advice to you (and I’ve learned this the hard way) is, don’t waste time trying to be everywhere, just concentrate on being where your customers are.
- Listen. Listen. Listen. It’s amazing what you can learn about what people really need when you ask, and then just let them tell you.
And finally, you’re going to have to be patient and, persistent. It takes time to cultivate these relationships. But remember, you’re building loyal customers who will in turn be your evangelists to a broader customer base.
Now get out there and build that business!
This much I know.