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|God, family, earth, art & design, music, photography. Also... LOVE to help other business owners build a professional and memorable business.|
How To Spread the Word About Your Business
By Claudia Beck • Business Owner, Artisan & Mom
Getting customer$ — a.k.a. making money! — is basically the bottom line of why most people run a business.
But how to make your business seen by others to accomplish this is a daunting task to most home-based and small business owners.
Whether your business is online or offline there are some basics every business owner needs to cover to get these customer$:
You need to make it:
• easy to find
• stand out in a crowd
• easy, manageable, understandable
• attractive/pleasant/professional so that it draws in visitors who want to stay and browse and $hop
“Okay, great!” you say, “So where do I start? What works best?” The questions go on and on...
A great place to start would be to know your types of options available to spread the word about your business. Your basic list of terms to learn about as a business owner includes, but is not limited to (sorry to tell you that!):
Following are descriptions of these terms to give you an understanding of the basics of the various business promotion methods available to you. It’s a good idea to include several techniques from this list, if not all, at one time or another.
Once you read this entire article you will see the light and hopefully feel positive and excited to promote your business! I encourage you to print out this article and keep it next to your daytimer. This will help you create a To Do list to help you address your weekly business promotion tasks & goals.
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Promotion - The dictionary defines it as: 1.) the act or fact of being raised in position or rank; advancement 2.) the act of furthering the growth or development of something, especially: the furtherance of the acceptance and sale of merchandise through advertising or publicity
Promotion is the overall umbrella to all of your efforts to keep your product or service in the minds of your customers, and to gain potential new customers, clients and sales. It is an ongoing process and includes a variety of activities. This usually encompasses your overall company vs. a specific product.
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To a business owner, this means to communicate your informative, influential and persuasive message, usually focusing on one particular product or service.
This is done in the form of announcements which are the specific item chosen to promote your business and come in a variety of media such as print advertising like magazine ads or billboards, or electronic media such as banner ads. Other advertising opportunities are brochures, direct mailings or emailings, and even personal contact which would include networking. It is also television and radio commercials, which also are sometimes considered public relations.
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Branding - This is defined by the dictionary as a noun: 1.) a trademark or distinctive name iIdentifying a product or a manufacturer 2.) a distinctive category 3.) a mark indicating identity or ownership as a verb: 1.) to mark (with) to show ownership 2.) to publicize 3.) to impress firmly
Specifically for a business owner this would be to identify and differentiate one’s products or services from others by means of a name, term, symbol and/or design.
This is the public’s perception of your business. Good branding will confirm your credibility, connect your prospects to you in mind and heart, motivate them to buy and create user loyalty.
Branding should be instituted at every point of public contact. This is the cornerstone of your communication to the public, therefore it is very important to invest the time to research, define and build your brand.
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Marketing - The dictionary defines this term as: 1.) the act or process of selling (or purchasing) in a market 2.) the process of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service 3.) an aggregate (mass) of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer
Marketing for a business owner consists of going through the process of a variety of activities to meet the demands and needs of their targeted market thus turning their prospective customers into satisfied buyers.
Precisely, this includes such steps as market research, pricing, distribution and promotion to satisfy these objectives.
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Public Relations - The dictionary defines this term as: 1.) the act of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public 2.) the methods and activities employed to establish and promote a favorable relationship with the public
Publicity - This is defined in the dictionary as: 1.) the quality or state of being public 2.) an act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with “news value” issued as a means of gaining public attention or support
Publicity is one of the few things that a business owner can generally receive at no cost to themselves. It is a result a business owner aims for, but cannot be guaranteed, and once achieved it has great credibility.
It is information about you, your company/business and your products or services which appears in the media. Yes, it is hearsay and testimonials, reviews and comments. The good... and unfortunately, can be the bad.
To keep your public image a positive one, always offer something for others in a pleasant, positive and professional manner.
With the advent of the internet, business owners have a wealth of resources to gain free publicity and do it quickly! From submitting articles to websites, to posting comments on blogs, plus there are forums, networking sites & groups — the list goes on. You can also get yourself profiled or interviewed relatively easily because many other website owners are always looking for new content for their own websites.
And the great thing about all these techniques on the internet is that most of them stay published for the life of the site they appear on. So eventually the search engines begin picking up on “you/your business” making you even more in the public’s view.
Some offline publicity techniques include getting interviewed by television or radio news reporters, or newspapers, magazines or other publications. Also, attracting attention by the media through public endorsement or sponsorship of others’ products or services, publicity stunts or hosting news conferences are among other ways of creating public awareness of your business. Donations, community participation, volunteering... this list goes on too.
Basically any positive thing you do in front of others, in the public’s view, is a public relations act creating publicity for you/your business.
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Prior to beginning any business promotion endeavor, you need to research your market to understand the needs and wants of your prospects. Jot down notes as you think about who is buying your products and services, where will they be most likely to look for your goods, what income range are they and what are they willing to pay for your offerings.
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Claudia Beck has been a professional graphic designer & illustrator for over 25 years. She has a vast range of experience in the advertising, branding and marketing fields with worldwide clients ranging from local & state governments to world-class ski resorts.
She loves what she does and can’t wait until each new day to assist other entrepreneurs with the success of their own businesses!
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