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Top 10 Tips for Marketing a Small Businessby Kate Schultz
1. Create a brochure for your business. Include testimonials from customers and focus on your unique and special expertise.
2. Publish a newsletter. Many people will toss out the fliers or advertisements but will take a moment to read an interesting newsletter.
3. Develop a Web site and get an e-mail address. The latest research indicates that billions of dollars will be spent on-line this year.
4. Attend trade shows or exhibits related to your industry, product or business. Bring along your brochures, sales fliers and newsletters.
5. Join and participate in community business groups such as your local chamber of commerce.
6. Write articles for magazines and newspapers. Each time your articles are published, you gain credibility and visibility.
7. Set up a "take-one" box in your place of business. Put your fliers, brochures, newsletters in an open box with a sign that says "Take One".
8. Develop a "small town" marketing approach. Send out congratulatory notes for weddings, graduations, and birthdays.
9. Ask your customers for referrals. Put your customers to work advertising for you!
10. Send out press releases when you introduce new products or services.
About the Author:
Simple: it's a thank-you letter.
I know, you called them and thanked them. Did I say this is the most valuable call you could make? Nope. It has to be a letter. A call just doesn't have the impact of a letter.
You see, a letter, well, that's a permanent record of your special thanks. It took time to write it. You went that extra mile to put it all together and mail it. Now your effort sits on the recipient's desk as a lasting memento of your appreciation. A phone call just doesn't compare to the lasting goodwill generated by an appreciative letter. No way.
The time you ALWAYS write a thank you letter is when you receive a business referral. "Thank you so much for your referral and your trust." The person who recommends you puts their own name and reputation on the line for you. Does it deserve a letter? You bet.
This letter is the least costly AND most effective piece of advertising you can write, bar none.
Why is it so effective? You make the person feel comfortable with their recommendation of you, because you're going to do the very best job you possibly can. You'll be on your toes 100% of the time. You're going to lean over backward to look good, and to make them look good for giving a referral of someone so conscientious.
Your letter can convince them that you appreciate the trust they've placed in your products or services, and that their trust in you is worth more to you than anything else in the entire world. You can make them feel, well, like they should refer more people to you all the time. And therein lies the beauty, the value, and the monetary worth in the most valuable letter you can write: the receiver will remember it, and when the opportunity comes up again, they will continue to refer people to you.
You've heard of word-of-mouth advertising as the best (and the cheapest) form of advertising? Well, this is how you make it happen, again and again.
What does my office do for people who refer direct marketing consulting or copywriting clients to us? We send them a Cross Pen. Yep. And we have THEIR name engraved on it. If you engrave your name on it, they'll keep it in a top drawer. Engraved with their name, the pen will stay in their shirt pocket or ON TOP of their desk. Don't worry, they'll remember where they got it. By the time we ship it to them, and of course our own personal letter of thanks, it costs us about $25. Is it worth it? You tell me: the prospect already trusts us from receiving the recommendation from a friend. If we do any work for the client, our copywriting and consulting fees range from? well, we get our $25 back pretty soon. Many clients stay with us for years. You can't buy that kind of advertising - that goodwill or trust, or those kind referrals - at any price. Or can you?
About the Author: