Last week, I posted a link to an article called 20 Marketing Ideas to Help Grow Your Small Businessby Janet Attard. It provided some quick and easy tips to get your business “out there” for the world to see. Since I consider myself to be a small business owner, why not put me and my business to the test to see if I am really on top of my game? This post is a checklist of things that I have done to promote Éclat Enterprises, LLC and what I could do to promote it.
The 20 marketing ideas to consider are listed below in bold. My responses follow immediately after the tips.
Be different. Take your cue from big advertisers and brands and find something that distinguishes you from your competitors – then promote the difference.
My difference is clearly noted in my slogan: “Making sense of the value of the dollar”. Accountants, CPAs, and other financial professionals have a tendency to make money complicated. My ultimate goal is to make sure my client understand how their money is being affected and what options they have available in order to take control.
Form strategic alliances with other businesses. This is something I am going to work at diligently in 2012. I so desperately want to work with other small business owners who do not have a real, personable connection with their current accountant, or any accountant for that matter.
Segment your market and create products or develop specialties that appeal specifically to the needs of each segment.
I offer tax preparation and financial planning for individuals. My services are tailored to the needs of the clients. The cost of my services considers affordability to client as a service criterion.
Before I started Éclat Enterprises, I only offered personal income tax preparation. I also provide income tax preparation to other small businesses, in addition to monthly booking services. And again, affordability is considered.
Expand into new markets. Sell your bakery products to local restaurants and catering facilities as well as directly to consumers; if you sell office services to small businesses, look into soliciting business from bigger businesses, and federal, state or local government agencies.
Talk to your customers – ask them for feedback. I surveyed majority of my clients. I sent about 15 client surveys via email. The only about 6 responded. I posted their responses on my website (Client Reviews) to see. It appears that there is no need for new services at this point in time.
Put your business on the web. Visit me at www.consulteclat.com!!!! Boom!
Get listed in Google Places. Done!!! I just have to remember to check my clients in when I meet with them!!
Get involved in social media. I have set Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for Éclat Enterprises. In addition, I have personal profiles on all of the above plus LinkedIn. Let connect!!!
Fill out social media profiles with as much detail as you can, being sure to include website links and products. Done and done!
Use direct mail to reach your customers. I actually researched this on Vistaprint. It is pretty expense considering when you are starting a small business on a budget. After purchasing a mailing list, roughly 150 postcard advertisements and shipping, I would have spent $300. Honestly, I rarely follow up on postcards in the mail unless it’s a business I already to business with. I will look into Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Facebook and AdWord Campaigns before I will revisit this option.
Send a card or postcard to customers to remind them when they need to come back. I don’t know if my clients would benefit from a reminder. I usually place a phone call or send a text to confirm or reschedule. Besides, it seems impersonal. But maybe I could send a holiday greeting-reminder card???
Put local keywords (the name of your city or county for instance) on your web pages and in title tags to help web searchers find you. I did this without even knowing it. But, I have to refresh up my home page and services page.
Add share buttons to your website and encourage visitors to use them. Done!!! But I need more visitors and friends.
Use email to stay in touch with your customers. To be honest, I am a little bit leery about doing this. I don’t want to be considered spam, ever. But an email is more like to be shared in the workplace than a text or a link on a social media platform. MailChimp or Constant Contact will be researched for this.
Include your telephone number in your pay per click ads. As soon as my ad campaigns are up again.
Make the telephone number on your website a click-to-call link. I never thought about it. I must do this! 80% of purchasing research/decisions are made from a smartphone or mobile device these days.
Advertise in weekly shoppers and the classified sections of local weekly papers if your business is local. I wonder if I my ad will appear in print and their website as well. Again, more research.
Give away something useful. I can give away small gifts for referrals. I even offered free tax preparation. But did the people show up? No.
Be proactive and be persistent. I am thinking outside the box, and I am trying my best.
Start today. Make your own list of marketing ideas. Here are my ideas
1). Improve social media ad campaigns
2). Add widget to keep website fresh. Look to your immediate right!!
3). Convert my blog to a monthly newsletter for ease of distribution.
4). Build a better brand through personable service.
5). Create workshops to introduce myself to community.
I think I’m headed in the right direction. What you do think??? All comments are welcomed.
"Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is" is a journal about real life experiences and concerns of Jéneen R. Perkins. The purpose of the blog is to exhibit the real life challenges and answer the tough questions posed by the concepts of business, entrepreneurship and money.