Top Tips for Marketing Your Business – Part 1
Starting a new business or even owning your own is always fun and exciting. There are a lot of parts that go together to get that business off the ground, however one of the most important parts is your marketing.
Marketing usually comes last and is often an afterthought, but this should come first. For some it does, but for many, it doesn’t. You have to have a plan of action to get your business off the ground (especially if you are pitching to investors).
Over my next two articles, you’ll read 4 valuable tips for marketing your business… and they aren’t necessarily what you think –
In this article,
- Find out why you need to really understand what you’re doing before you get started.
- Know why you need to be open and honest from the get-go.
In my next article,
- If social media marketing is part of your marketing plan (and it should be) – read how to fine tune it.
- Discover why marketing automation will save you time and a big headache.
Tip 1: Read Before You Speak, Type or Present.
The social sphere is swarming with various social media and marketing articles to help your business – how to get more likes, when to post, where to post, what you need to plan, etc.
Here’s a story for you… anyone who follows me on Twitter (if you’re not, I’m @memktgservices) knows I tweet out previous blog posts several times each day. A while back, I had a Twitter follower tweet to me that she was baffled that a social media consultant would tweet an article against Twitter, on Twitter and want people to retweet it. The title of the post was “8 More Reasons I Won’t Follow You on Twitter.” It was obvious she hadn’t actually read the post. If she had, she would have known that it most definitely was not a post against Twitter. In fact, I’m a HUGE advocate of Twitter but that’s another article for another time.
After our tweet exchange, which ended up in her favoriting and retweeting my response, it got me to thinking. This is apparently something people are doing across the board – commenting and posting without really knowing what they are commenting or posting about. This can parlay into to many other areas of business. People assuming and BS-ing their way through something they know nothing about. When starting your business you need to really know what you’re talking about before actually talking or writing about it. This can be financials, marketing, human resources, etc.
It amazes me how often people do this. How can you possibly give your two cents on something you didn’t read but only saw the title of or answer an investor’s question when you haven’t prepared.
Doing this will lower your credibility. And that is something you need to keep in check.
Tip 2: Be Transparent in Your Business
Being transparent in your business is very important in the age of the internet and social media. You can Google just about anyone or anything. Dig harder and you can find the truth even if they won’t admit it. Being transparent is more than being honest, it’s building an honest relationship. As in real life relationships, those built on lies (dishonesty) never last.
I believe there are 4 key components to being transparent in your business, and if you follow these, you’ll find your relationship with your community, your employees, and your clients, richer.
“I’ll never tell a lie” is the biggest lie there is out there in society. As hard as it may be to admit, we are not all honest 100% of the time. However in business, you have to be. If you are in a regulated business, dishonesty could cost you your business license or mean jail time. For those of us in unregulated industries, being dishonest gives you the appearance of that shady salesman you try to avoid. The most important part about being honest is knowing you have a clear mind about what you are doing. I’m not just talking about being honest to your audience/customers/community, but being honest with yourself. If you cannot be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with?
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “a man is as good as his word”? From honesty breeds credibility. If you are open and honest, you’ll be considered credible. In any industry, credibility is important. Journalists do not want to cite people who aren’t credible sources. Likewise, doctors are only going to source credible research when talking about the latest advances in medicine. Credibility should be a part of your backbone. If you’re not credible, no one is going to trust you and in this day and age, trust is important. If your customers don’t trust you and see you as credible, I assure you there is someone else waiting in line to fill that void.
If you’re credible, then you’re more likely to practice accountability. Having accountability means you can be counted on – you are honest, you are credible – people can take you on your word and rely on you to follow through. In today’s society, there is a lack of accountability & responsibility. People do not want to be held accountable for their actions. We see it in white collar businesses as well as our citizens. They want to live their lives without recourse. You can’t do that in business. Being transparent means you want (and should) be held accountable for your actions – both the good and the bad.
- Your clients/employees/investors will know what to expect up front
This is where transparency all comes together. If you are honest, credible and accountable, your clients/employees/investors will know what to expect from you and your business up front. There’s no guessing what type of business you run or how you conduct yourself as a businessperson. It all cycles to this – the ones watching you.
No one ever said marketing a business was easy. There are so many things to consider outside the financials. It’s not just advertising and sales – it’s relationship building and it all has to have a foundation. It’s like the man who built his house on the sand – it couldn’t stand up to everything it faced because it lacked a foundation and fell at the first blow. Having a marketing foundation will help you build your company up into something awesome.
I hope the tips over these two articles will help to build that foundation so your startup will have its best chance to succeed.
What is your experience in marketing? Has you experienced anything that was so valuable that you want to shout it from the top of a skyscraper? If so, share with us in the comment section!