Any business stands or falls by the effectiveness of its promotional activities. It’s not only a question of having the right strategy, but also having the skills and processes in place to execute your plans effectively.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Firstly, learn from the market.
What does the competition do in terms of marketing? Presumably, they’ve learnt through experience and evolved their strategy in light of what does and doesn’t work.
At the same time, consult with your prospective customers. How would they go about identifying prospective suppliers? What do they look for in terms of suppliers? How do they prefer to be charged?
The answers to these questions should inform your marketing strategy.
In this day and age digital marketing is increasingly important, but it’s also easy to become fixated on it. To ensure an effective use of digital marketing, ask yourself the following questions:
Answers to these questions will influence the use, content and functionality of both your website and social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook etc.
It’s also important to consider the consequences of a mediocre online presence. If your digital channels are out-of-date, difficult to navigate, complex or slow, they provide an immediate impression of poor quality and may dissuade any further contact from customers.
You could also consider collaborating with others to market your business; using telemarketers, partnering with complementary businesses or working on a sub-contract basis.
The key is to consistently monitor the effectiveness of whatever type of marketing you do, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
This aspect of self-employment probably causes more angst than any other. Even experienced sales professionals can find selling an uncomfortable exercise when they’re selling themselves rather than someone else’s products or services. Effective selling depends on clearly knowing your product or service offering, understanding the sales process and developing the right set of skills.
For those of you who find selling an uncomfortable exercise, think about your route to market. Should you partner with someone who can sell on your behalf? It can also help to practise with someone who you can get meaningful feedback from.
If you’re unemployed and thinking about starting out on your own, or you’ve recently started your own business, get in touch to find out how our start-up grants and business coaching could help your business thrive.
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This content was supplied by Chiumento. Chiumento is an independent HR consultancy that provides a range of services including outplacement, HR recruitment and talent management. With a nationwide network of career coaches and comprehensive online support, they help people who’re looking for a new job or are interested in self-employment.