Updated: Apr 24
Keeping a new business going can be tough. The right legwork, done early, can change everything.
Welcome to the first of many blog posts that will help you see the value of spending your precious time and energy (and in some cases, dollars) on marketing.
Let’s start with the obvious: what is marketing? Well, it’s many things, including, but not limited to, logo and brand maintenance, the design and content of your website, press releases, brochures, flyers, your company stationery, business cards, taglines, and all advertisements—including digital, print, and environmental ads.
Any social media presence that promotes your business falls under the marketing umbrella as well. That means Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Even the way you talk about your business in your literature and social posts is a function of marketing called "tone of voice.”
Consider how your active customers view you and your business. Your marketing plays a vital role in shaping their experience of your brand. A customer you've already caught in your net will be easier for you to turn into a repeat client.
All of these things, in a nutshell, add up to a comprehensive and well-established marketing program that can help build your business to survive through those periods of "famine" that all businesses experience. With the right plan in place, you can turn the lean times into new and repeat business opportunities.
You might say to yourself, "Jeanette, I am just starting out, and I don't think I need all of those things." You might be right. You might have everything figured out. Every project you complete leads to a stream of referrals. And you never have to advertise or seek out new clients again. Good for you!
The reality of most new businesses isn't so sunny. More likely, soon after starting your venture, you will probably pick up a few jobs. You’ll see a trickle of interest, maybe a few new Likes to your hastily constructed Facebook page. And then silence.
While you were completing those first exciting projects you landed, you missed out on potential customers.
What you've failed to do is market yourself effectively. While you were completing those first exciting projects you landed, you missed out on potential customers. And since you probably started with nothing to promote yourself but your name and a half-baked social media presence, no one can find you to hire you. You don't even have a business card to give your current customer. How will they recommend you to their friends?
What a shame. All of those missed opportunities could have been snapped up. How can you remedy this? Don't despair, don't quit, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Marketing takes time and effort. But if you can start a business from scratch, you can help establish a functioning marketing plan.
Now, you might be asking yourself, "If I'm just starting out, how can I afford all this stuff?" It's a question of budgeting. No one expects you to spend your entire income on some all-encompassing marketing plan. That would be foolish in the extreme.
What you can do is develop your logo. This single piece of marketing can make a huge difference. Your logo is the foundation of how people view your business, the first impression they get of your company. Why not make it a positive one?
I have helped dozens of new and established businesses create logos that then extended into brand packages, websites, and social media pages that attract a continual increase in followers.
Start with your logo. Then you can build a whole new identity to push your company into bigger and brighter prospects.