You have a phenomenal product or service -- and you're eager to attract more customers. That's the goal of every business owner, right? There's just one small challenge: you don't have a big budget to get big attention. Fear not! Here are six tactics you can employ to get your business noticed right now.
1) Solicit media coverage.Start locally in your area and identify media outlets (print, radio, blogs, and TV) that serve your target market--whether parents or other businesses. Study what they cover and connect with the reporters, writers, and producers who'd have the greatest interest in your story -- maybe it's a trend you're part of, or an anniversary, or something seasonal. Be sure the story you are looking to tell not self-serving; all pitches must truly benefit the audience more than you.
2) Host teleclasses. Every few months I host a free 20-minute "teleclass" -- a class hosted via conference call -- during which I offer advice on a specific small business topic that showcases my style and expertise. This is an ideal way to stay connected to my followers -- and to expand my reach -- by providing valuable tips and tricks with no strings attached. I promote the call to my database and through social media, which generates about 500 participants. Some of those people are so impressed with what they hear, they wind up registering for my events or becoming private clients. Consider what expertise you might offer, and use it to promote your business and build your network.
3) Enter contests. Competitions exist in nearly every industry, offering extensive exposure, among other prizes and benefits, to the winners. My national conference tour, Spark & Hustle, is heavily involved in three terrific contests for small business owners: ideeli, the flash sale site, is searching for three small businesses with the perfect products to sell to its 5.5 million members; Lifetime Moms, the prestigious blogger network of the cable channel, is awarding $10,000 prize packages at every Spark & Hustle event; and SurePayroll, the leading online payroll provider for small businesses, is giving away a $5,000 SureSpark grant to one lucky Spark & Hustle attendee. There are many others, some local, others run by corporate giants like American Express. Find and enter the contests that make sense for you -- and your company could be the lucky recipient of priceless promotion.
4) Pursue cross promotions. Think of the companies or organizations that share the same target market with you -- and reach out to them for opportunities to promote each other using email and social media. I've worked with various groups that also serve women entrepreneurs, including Make Mine a Million, Crave, and Little Pink Book. Instead of viewing one another as competitors, we see the value in championing one another's success. Reach out now to three companies or organizations in your field and discuss cross promotions that can benefit everyone involved.
5) Develop profitable collaborations. Some partnerships are for promotion and others are for cash. Look for people and organizations that share your target market and explore opportunities for money-making joint ventures and special projects.
6) Secure speaking gigs. When you speak authentically to an audience that's interested in your expertise, you have the opportunity to wow them with your knowledge, which can lead to promotion, referrals and sales. Find groups to serve with your best knowledge -- and you'll wind up increasing your customer base.
Cheers to your success!