| Creative Ways To Promote Your Business

Posted in Marketing at 5:00 PM by Loftis Consulting

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If there is one thing that every mompreneur knows, it is that the world of business is intensely competitive. When you are just starting out, you have to set yourself apart somehow because you do not yet have a reputation to rely on. This may mean selling your services and products at a somewhat reduced rate for a while until you have developed a customer base who knows and trusts you. You can then amend your prices to increase profits. However, once you’ve become somewhat developed, the game changes and you are now forced to compete with established companies, and depending on your specific market, you may find yourself up against massive corporations who, with their greater resources, can outperform you.

The sometimes irritating thing about corporations is that they manage to sell so much that they can charge a slightly more reduced mark-up because they know that they can make it back in greater numbers of sales. As a small business owner, you cannot as easily rely upon reaching so many customers and will therefore have to charge each one a little more to make back your investment. This is especially true when the corporations seem to have a monopoly. One example is Google which, as of last year, had 63.5% of the search engine market. The next closest is not a small ambitious company but technology giant Microsoft which has a 22.5% share, followed closely by Yahoo with 11.7%. The next closest, AOL, has just 1.4%. Trying to break into that market at this stage of game seems impossible. Not only does Google have a dominating share of the market, the name of the company has actually been co-opted as a verb to describe what they do (few people say that they will ‘Bing’ or ‘Yahoo’ something, but the idea of ‘googling’ something is near ubiquitous).

While you may not be trying to compete with the biggest companies in the world (one wonders when Apple are going to introduce a search engine; the iSearch perhaps?), you will still have to do what you can to get ahead of your competitors. There are lots of ways that you can try to do this but if everyone else is trying those things too (such as TV ads and promotions sent through the mail), you may struggle to pull ahead. What you need are new and creative ways to market your business. If you are successful, your competitors will soon start copying your tactics and you’ll be back where you started: having to innovate. In any case, here are a few ideas that you may not have considered trying to set yourself apart from the pack:

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Host a corporate event. This is good for two reasons. Firstly, you get to promote your business in all sorts of fun ways (and we’ll get back to those in a moment) but it also gives you a chance to make business contacts both in your local area and from around the country, depending on the scope of your event. Organizing a symposium or a trade show may seem daunting but there is not as much to it as you may imagine. Hiring a venue is easy enough, whether it is a local hotel conference room or a built to purpose conference center. You then need to organize events. These could range from inviting speakers, leaders in the industry, to lecture about their successes or organizing a dais and having a more diverse group such as industry insiders as well as academics and local policy makers. The idea is to create both an informative but also an entertaining event. Once you have your events, the rest is just sending out invitations and taking care of the small logistical matters of finding hotels for your guests. Integrating your brand into the event is then rather easy. For instance, when each guest arrives, give them their ID and conference pass in a lanyard with your company logo and details (check out Lanyard Factory Home page for ideas). You can also give a talk yourself: since you had the initiative to organize everyone together, what you have to say takes on more import. Other ideas include running a charitable event alongside the conference and then donating that money to a local charity. Your company will be reported in the press and will gain greater recognition.

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A brilliant resource (one that business people in the past would not believe if they saw) is the internet. It is easy to advertise on massive sites like Facebook but the internet is much more than its most popular site after Google (which is hardly a surprise). However, since the internet is free and relies to a great degree on user generated content, people with similar interests tend to find themselves congregating together. With a little research, it would be quite easy to find a site dedicated to any niche that you can imagine. This is good for your business because if your services or products appeals to a certain, specific demographic, you are able to market to them directly. It is more efficient than trying to advertise to everyone in the hope that it will find its way to the people you’re interested in as customers. Another cool thing about the internet is that it is connected all over the place. This is the idea that has allowed for the existence of viral content. A video only needs to be posted to one site like YouTube, and by the end of the day, it can be on hundreds of thousands of websites and shared on Twitter too. Taking advantage of this perfect marketing tool is as easy as creating something that people want to share. Whether it is a blog post with a catchy title, or a snarky ad that pokes fun at a public figure or politician, you may find that you get more advertising than you’d ever be able to afford and all for the cost of uploading it just once.

In the modern world, where business is so competitive, the secret to succeeding is not always spending lots of money (although it doesn’t hurt) but being creative and innovating.

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  1. […] above need to happen before you begin engaging in the nuts and bolts of running a business, such as promotion and bringing in new customers. While they may be dull, they are so important that not taking care […]

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