You may never know what results come from your action but if you do nothing there will be no result. – Mohandas Kanamchand Ghandi
Welcome to Day 9 of the 20-Day Business Startup Challenge! Today we’re going to work on marketing ideas.
So far we’ve found your business idea, set up the legal structure, and planned what you are selling. But how are you going to sell? I assume you are starting a business to make money, so we need a plan for how you’re going to do that.
But, before you make a plan, you’ll need to decide who your ideal customer is.
Remember to niche down. Don’t try to serve anyone and everyone, that’s far too broad. “The riches are in the niches” is a witty saying that also happens to be true.
Now, picture your perfect customer. How old are they? What do they enjoy doing? What’s going on in their lives? What are their struggles and problems? How are you going to help them?
Create an entire fictitious life for this ideal customer. Give him or her a name, job, family…everything that makes them real to you. Then, as you create your marketing plan or write an advertisement, do it for that person.
Once you understand who you are trying to reach, you can determine how to reach them.
This plan does not need to be formal, a list of marketing priorities is a good start. You want an idea of how much and where to spend on marketing. Once you start making money, your plan can grow. Right now, we only need to decide on the initial steps.
A few questions to consider:
- How robust will your website need to be? Will you need to pay extra to have eCommerce functions or any special features (such as online appointments or reservations)? Or can it be a simple blog or basic information type of site?
- Will you be adding anything to your website to draw in customers, such as a blog or vlog? Providing helpful and interesting content is a great way to bring more people to you.
- Which social media outlets will you be using? Choose 2-3 to focus on so you can do them well. Trying to do them all will spread you too thin, and you won’t be effective at any of them.
- As you build your email list (recommended for all businesses), what types of emails will you be sending? Will it only be the occasional email blast to announce a new sale or offering? Or would you like automated emails to go out on a regular basis?
- Will you send out door hangers, mailers, or postcards to your community?
- How about flyers or business cards to leave with local businesses (those that can refer you to clients)?
- Will you want to have a booth at tradeshows, street fairs, craft shows, farmer’s markets, or the like?
- Can you build a relationship with people that can recommend your product or service? Are there leaders in your industry that would be willing to help you?
- Do you have family or friends that can help be your mouthpiece? Anyone with a lot of connections or simply a big mouth?
- Where else can you advertise your business to attract the clientele you desire?
There’s a world of great marketing ideas and advice online. You can Google “marketing + your industry” or search on Pinterest. Spend some time looking around to get as many ideas as you can for your new business.
But, don’t spend too much time searching. There’s still a ton of work to do to get ready for launch.
Find three new marketing ideas you’d like to use and share them in the comments below. Which one are you most excited about?