Congratulations! You’re so excited; you’ve taken the plunge and entered the world of entrepreneurship. This may have happened in many different ways. You may have purchased an established business, you may have inherited one, you may have started one from scratch, or you may have joined a reputable direct selling company. Regardless, here you are, magnificent woman business owner.
Although the circumstances surrounding your new business may be different, you still need to tackle the challenge of marketing it. If you’ve inherited your business, or especially if you’ve bought it from someone else, you need to work to make it your own. Incorporating your own touch and details will make you feel more confident and give you some excellent points to market. The same applies if you’ve joined a direct selling company. In these instances, much of the groundwork may already be laid for you. However, it’s up to you to differentiate or reinvent yourself.
A website is also a crucial starting point. One of the first things you need to ensure is that you have an online presence. Whether or not your business is based online, people will try to find you there for various reasons, so a website is crucial for first impressions. If your business is done solely online, this may have already taken care of itself. But, you need to ensure that it’s doing its job. Make sure it’s clean, visually appealing, and easy to navigate. Most important, make sure it’s not outdated. Also be sure that you’re linking your web page via social media, partnerships, and including it on any printed materials you may be producing.
As the online world evolves, it is becoming more and more important to have a social media presence as well. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and more, can be a low-cost and extremely effective way to market your business. When potential customers search online, they will look to social media first, or your pages may come up in their organic web search. Either way, it’s great to have a presence there. It can be extremely time-consuming. There are tools to help you manage it, like Hootsuite; however, I always recommend not taking on more than you can handle. So, if a Facebook page is all you can manage at this point, focus on Facebook and manage it well.
Now, it’s time to get the word out there. There are a million ways to do this, but if you’re small and brand new, grassroots efforts sometimes work best. Visit or call potential clients. Join networking groups and online forums. If you have a brick and mortar location, join local groups like your Chamber of Commerce. Meeting people and talking about your business is the single best way to get the buzz going about your new endeavor. This is just as important online as it is when marketing locally. Don’t overlook the importance of creating connections and building relationships from the very beginning!
PR is another avenue that has grown and evolved, but when it comes to marketing plans, I still recommend press releases and having PR as an integral part of your marketing efforts. It can be great in your local area, but it can be just as great online. Blogs can be an excellent publication resource, and sites like PRUndgeroupd can be an amazing help when it comes to using social media releases to spread the word about your new business.
Lastly, but certainly not least, you might want to consider purchasing some advertising. However, it’s imperative to do your research first to make it as effective as possible. There are thousands of options out there, so you want to choose what makes the most sense for your particular business. Things like Google AdWords can be great if you choose the right keywords and can target your niche market. This allows you to set your daily budget and to not spend too much too fast if you’re not ready.
Advertising on social media can also be a good choice. These sites let you pre-determine your budget and have tools for selecting the audience you want. Social media ads, like on Facebook, can help increase your audience by attracting new likers. Or, they can promote your page or posts to new, potential audience members. These ads are also ideal for promoting specific specials or events. Through their metrics system, you can see live results about the reactions and results you’re getting.
There are local advertising options, paid blog ads, event sponsorships, and many other ways to spend your advertising dollars. Each of these might be a great option for you, but you just need to do the research and verify it first.
Ultimately, the key is not to sit back and do nothing. It’s up to you to get out there and make something happen!
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Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than 11 years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and three children. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.
Originally published on November 30, 2010. Content updated on June 16, 2017.
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