As a business owner you’re probably always looking for more ways to get your business out there, without having to spend a fortune.
When I started my first business I only used paid advertising to raise awareness. I started off with Google Adwords and then moved on to developing my SEO (which cost me a fortune) and advertising on other websites. I used to spend around £15,000 per month on advertising, which is a colossal amount of money! Don’t get me wrong – it did convert well (otherwise I wouldn’t have done it), but it was eating away at my profit.
Then I got smarter and started using free advertising… social media.
The great thing about running a business today is the power of the internet and the amount of free advertising you have access to and you can use it to get started and in conjunction with offline advertising and paid advertising.
Here are some of my top tips for raising awareness of your business
1. Blogging. As well as starting a blog of your own, you can also blog for other people. This is a great way to take advantage of other people’s networks. Have a search for blogging communities, which are relevant to your business. If you can’t find any you could always have a search for companies who have a similar target market as you, but aren’t direct competition and approach them and ask if they would be interested in letting you write great content for their website. If you want to reach out to women, you could blog for us and raise awareness of your business through our website and social media. You should also start a blog of your own (check out wordpress.com) and every time you write a new post share it in relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and send it to people on twitter and ask them if they could re-tweet.
2. Get active on Twitter. Find relevant people to follow and go and check out your competition on there too and follow the people that are following them. Tweet interesting and relevant things and make it your mission to connect and get to know people (without it taking up too much of your time)
3. Start a Facebook fanpage or group. I know that not everyone thinks Facebook is relevant for their business, but so many people are using Facebook these days, it’s worth having a try. If you don’t want to start your own page, join lots of relevant groups and pages and get involved in discussions.
4. Join lots of relevant groups on LinkedIn and start interacting. Once you’ve joined a group invite all the members to connect with you on LinkedIn. Make sure you send a good invite note (“ Hi Jane, I noticed that we are in the xyz group and I thought I’d be great to connect…”) When someone accepts your invite you could follow up with a message to get to know them better.
5. YouTube is a powerful way to raise awareness of your business. You could create a series of videos of about your product or service and then upload them to YouTube and share them via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks. You could also try getting video testimonials from clients to upload to YouTube – I did this with my other business and I included a promotional code in most of the videos, so I could track how effective the videos were. Those videos have received over half a million views. Make sure you put the keywords in your title and include a good description.
6. Find people you can do joint ventures with. This way you can access their network and in return they get a percentage of every sale you make through their list. It’s a great way to find lots of potential customers quickly.
7. Don’t be afraid to try pay per click advertising, as long as you know what your aim is and test and track everything. Facebook advertising can be really effective, because you can target specific people – for example, if you sell wedding dresses in London, you can advertise specifically to women who are engaged and living in London – amazing!
There are lots of things you can do get your business out there and not all of it is going to cost you money.
The main thing is to know what you want your outcome to be, don’t waste time doing things that are working and make sure you test, test, test.
Remember when you’re using social media, focus on building relationships not selling. When people get to know you and trust you they will be interested in buying from you.
If you want to have any questions about any of my tips let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.
In my next post I’m going to talking more about building your list and using email marketing.