So you’re here because you’re a new to marketing. That’s fine—we all were at one point or another. You’re starting up a business or just bought one. Maybe you’re thinking about it. Whatever it is, you know you need to get the word out but don’t know how. Like they said in Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade—the hardest place to find is where to start.
So we’re hoping this post will help solve that problem. While every small business is unique and has different opportunities to capitalize on, there are some basic, fundamental things you can do to get started at the most rudimentary level and get you and your business on the proverbial map.
Write a mission/vision statement. Yes, they can be cheesy. Yes, they’re sometimes written by people who like to talk about themselves too much—but the truth is mission statements are a vital component of marketing. They tell your prospects who you are, what you do and—in some cases—why you do what you do. It serves as the bones of any marketing campaign or initiative. If you don’t have one, write one. If you don’t feel you’re best equipped to do it, find a marketing agency who is. Mission statements are extremely important—they give you an identity.
Develop an ideal customer profile. Who would benefit most from your service or product? What do they do? Where do they go? What worries do they have? How do you make their life easier? Where do you fit in their life? Who are their friends, what kinds of communities do they live in, etc. We know it’s a lot—but it’s totally worth it. Narrowing down exactly who’d be the best fit as a client helps you be more efficient with how you’re spending your marketing budget. Especially in the case of a startup, every penny counts.
Professionally designed website and marketing collateral. You’re not going to believe how often you’re going to be asked for a business card. You’re going to be even more shocked at how quickly people will comment on it. Having cohesive branding means a lot—it tells people you’re serious and that you’ve put skin in the game. You’re not a moonlighter or someone trying something because you don’t know what else to do. It tells people who you are, that you’re serious and most importantly—that you’re open for business.
LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is basically Facebook for professionals. The tone is more formal, but the resources that can be had are immense. People can learn lots about you—you can recommend others, be recommended yourself, organize contacts, network, participate in discussion forums, etc. It allows you to personally brand yourself and have your information readily accessible in a place where anyone can get ahold of it.
Where you go from here with your marketing strategy is dependent on a lot of things, but having those four pieces of the puzzle firmly in place can go a long way towards making your future, more expansive marketing campaigns successful.