Let’s look at ways you can be marketing your business offline. Meaning, not on the internet. These techniques are relevant for most businesses. You will notice that there are so many ways that you can market your business. Some people would say that you should do them all, whilst others say focus on one or two elements.
Just before we look at some ways how you can be marketing your business, let’s just discuss your logo. For both online and offline marketing you need a logo. You need something that is going to represent you or your business on all your forms of marketing. Essentially becoming synonymous with you and your brand.
It is best to have a logo professionally created, rather than trying to do it yourself. Make sure that you are happy with your logo, as you will probably keep the same logo as long as your business is operating. Your logo should be the same on all your marketing; your online marketing, letterheads, advertising, business cards, etc. as it forms part of your brand. Thus you should have your logo in various sizes for different advertising platforms and media.
If you meet a potential client for the first time, your business card is one of the first impressions they get of you and your business. A business card that looks like it has been printed on your home printer, does not reflect professionalism. You do not need to have the flashiest or most expensive business cards, but they need to represent you in a good light. If you use one of the online business card providers, pay the little extra to remove their advertising. It does not look professional if your business card says “Vista print” on it.
• Your card should be at least 350gsm. Not your 80gsm paper at home.
• Initially at least, just get paper cards. Don’t get DVD cards or other unusual cards. They can be very expensive. You don’t want to feel bad if somebody throws your card away.
• Start with a small amount of 200 or so cards. You can always order more. You may want to change or add something on your card. This way you don’t have to throw away cards or wait a long time before you can get that done.
• Laminated cards wear better and last longer. They also don’t tear as easily as non-laminated cards.
• Make sure your business card is not cluttered or too “busy” with information. You should have the following on your card: your name, company name, logo, phone number, email address, website and maybe a tagline. (We discussed this in networking tips.) Have your main area of business. Don’t try to put everything you do on the card. Less is more.
• Remember that you can use the back of the card as well. This can be worth using for your services or testimonial etc.
Flyers can be useful to get your name out in the market place. Again you should have them professionally designed. Having a badly designed flyer can do you more harm than good. You can get 5,000 to 10,000 done quite cheaply. Paper clip them in bunches of 50 or so. Approach local businesses where your target audience may go to. Tell the receptionist or business owner that you are also a local business. Ask if it would be ok to leave some flyers on their reception desk. Most people are happy to help and allow you to. If somebody is interested, they will pick up a flyer. If not, they won’t take one. So your flyer is more likely to go to the right person.
You could even offer an incentive to the business owner for any new clients you get from them.
You can often get a cheaper package deal for business cards, flyers etc.
Trade Publications and Magazines
Consider if your ideal client will be reading the publication? Some publications are a one off, whilst others may ask for a minimum subscription period. Find out what the circulation is. How many people are potentially going to read your message? Where the magazines are delivered. Are they free or do client’s have to pay for them? Are the design costs included in the advertising price or are there hidden costs? These publications can be expensive or have a low return on investment. You need to way up what it is that you want to gain from your efforts. Ask yourself how many clients you need to get to pay for the advert?
You could of course also do newspaper advertising, but I personally stay well away from that.
Email or Newsletters
You may have heard the saying, “The money is in your list.” Having people sign up for a free EBook or course on your website is a good incentive to get their email address.
You can then send them a regular newsletter, but remember that nobody likes spam. Make sure that you provide quality content and that there is an unsubscribe button on your emails. If you use a good CRM (Content relationship management) tool like Active campaign, then it will make life much easier. You can have the emails automated, so you don’t have to physically send them one by one. There is some set up work initially, but it is absolutely worth it in the long run.
You can also use your email content as blog articles on your website, which if optimized, will also help your website rank better. Thus putting in the effort once, but getting twice the results.
Staying in touch with potential and past clients, will deliver results in the long term if you produce quality content that your audience wants. It is much cheaper to sell to somebody whom you have a relationship with, then a cold prospect.
PR publications in the right media can be very beneficial. This can include stories about you and your business. Maybe good work you are doing in the community, volunteering, etc. This can be done online and offline. You can do it yourself, but many newspaper and magazine will want the content to be written in a specific way. Some may do it for free, whilst others charge. Local newspapers and magazines may do them for free if they serve your local community. There are also places like HARO (Help a reporter out,) that are always looking for good quality articles.
Then link these articles to your website or write a blog that links to the PR article. This has further benefit from a Google ranking factor.
Write a Book
Writing a book is a great way to build authority and credibility. You don’t have to write a 300 page book. You can simply write a short Ebook or information product. If you do write a book, you can self-publish or hire a publishing house. Both have their benefits. Make sure your contact details are in the book so readers will know who you are and how to get in touch.
Face to face to marketing your business
Next let’s look at some face to face ways you can do marketing.
Attend local trade shows and see what the competition is doing. Be very wary of just paying for a stand because you think you are going to make lots of money. Trade shows can be very expensive. Smaller local or industry specific trade shows can be more affordable. If you need to exhibit, see if you can share costs with another company you have synergy with. Example as a weight loss coach you may work well with a personal trainer etc.
It is great if you can speak at a trade show. That way you are present and it will cost you very little, if anything at all. Trade show organizers often need people to speak at their shows, so you could potentially get a spot for free as you are helping them out.
Word of mouth and referrals are one of the best ways to get more business. The leads are warm and the clients are expecting your call. This beats cold calling every day.
We already touched on this under trade shows, so let’s talk about public speaking. You want to be known as the expert in your field by your potential clients. One way to achieve this is to speak at every opportunity you get. For many people this might be a little daunting at first. However, seeing as you are now a great coach, you know how to overcome that fear and just get on with it. Or if you are in another industry, look at the coach directory to find somebody to assist.
These are just a few places you can speak:
• Trade shows and exhibitions.
• Many networking groups look for guest speakers.
• Creating YouTube videos.
• Guest speaking at industry related events
Take every opportunity you can to speak. For the most part, you can speak at these engagements for free and for some even get paid. Potential clients will come up to you and ask you for more information. This is another form of “Attraction marketing.” It is important to be well prepared and to stay within the time you have been allocated. You have a wonderful opportunity, so be professional and courteous.
Additional ideas to market your business
Radio or Podcast
Like PR, many radio stations will be happy to do a free interview with you for a newsworthy story. This is much better than paying for radio advertising, which can be very expensive and you may not get any business from it. You are more likely to get business from an interview than an advert, because the audience has time to warm to you personally, instead of just a cold advert. You can also get a copy of the interview and post it on social media, your blog, newsletter etc.
Podcasts can be a great way of marketing your business. There are many podcasting companies. We use Podomatic.
You can upload audio recordings that you can then have potential clients access. Again, you could send them the links via your email marketing, online courses etc.
Testimonials and Referrals
Testimonials are useful in your online marketing, as well as example, adding one to the back of your business card. Or adding a couple on your email signature. More importantly, if somebody is happy to give you a testimonial, then they will also be happy to give you referrals. So ask all your happy clients, who else they think can benefit from your services.
Written testimonials are great, but video testimonials are even better. It is very powerful when a potential client sees and hears about a previous client’s success. Don’t create false or unrealistic testimonials.
Getting referrals from happy clients are very powerful to get new business. Who would you rather go to? Somebody who you don’t know, or somebody that has been referred by a satisfied friend? Referrals are also free business. All you have to do to get referrals is to create satisfied clients.
Give away free stuff
The idea is to give something that is low cost to you, but high perceived value to your potential client. Example a free mini course or EBook. This can be done on your website, as well as example networking events or one day introduction seminars. The idea is to showcase your product and create desire in your potential client. It also ties in with capturing emails and newsletters as well.
As I mentioned, this does not have to cost you loads of money. As an example, we created a free 7 keys to achieving results mini course as well as a free introduction to NLP course. It took some time to do the initial videos, but once it is done, you don’t have to do anything further. Essentially you want to become a valuable resource for your potential clients.
Examples of free stuff are:
• On line courses.
• Video series.
• Taster sessions
Another example of giving away free stuff is doing pro bono work. Example working with a charity. You can offer free coaching to the families. The charity gets the benefit of giving back to their supporters. The supporters benefit from the coaching and you benefit from practice, as well as getting your name out in the market.
Another example is offering low cost quit smoking hypnosis for charity members. The income goes to the charity. They benefit as they get an income and the clients benefit from the low cost.
You benefit from being altruistic and you can give a business card to each person you coach. Letting them know that you are available for additional coaching in the future. You may even offer future coaching for them at a discount as an incentive.
Taster Sessions or Demonstrations
Depending on your industry, free sessions may or may not be possible. In some businesses it would giving free demonstrations. Example if you had a pool cleaning company, you could do a onetime demonstration of how well your team cleans the pool.
In coaching you could offer free coaching taster sessions to potential clients. You can give them a 45 minute free session so they understand more about coaching and get a feel for you. Then you can ask them to enrol in your coaching program.
Serve on a Board
Industry boards are often looking for volunteers. Depending on your industry, you could serve on a board to enhance your profile. Serving on a committee relating to your industry can assist in meeting key people and improve your professional recognition and meeting potential clients. You will also have spin off benefits, like potentially learning leadership skills.
A master mind group is a great way to meet with a group of people on a regular basis to discuss each other’s business goals and challenges. The people in the group can be of the same industry or different industries. The effect is usually very rewarding in that you create new ideas and solutions that one usually would not have come up with alone. Many of the top CEO’s and business owners are involved in master mind groups. Napoleon Hill called it a “master mind alliance in his book, “Think and grow rich,” and people like Henry Ford, Benjamin Franklin and Andrew Carnegie have all been in master mind groups.
Focus on a niche
Are you a generalist or a specialist? A specialist might work less hours than a generalist and make much more money.
Decide on your niche market that you want to operate in. Example, business coaching working with clients to increase their profit margin. Become the “go-to” person in that niche. When people think of your niche, they should think of you. When you become in demand for your product, you can invariably charge more for your service.
You may want to consider what would make you great in that niche.
• Profile your ideal client.
• Make a list of what attributes, challenges, requirements and qualities that client will have. How will you market to them?
• What is the problem you can solve for them?
• What do you offer that makes you the go to person?
• Is there a large enough market for what you are offering?
Speak to your accountant
This is a whole different way of marketing and it does take a forward thinking accountant to do this.
Ask you accountant to link you with some of their clients. You accountant should be willing to do this as you are spending money with them. So they should want to help you in return.
Some examples of how it might be beneficial for the accountant to do so. Let’s use the example and say you are a business coach.
• Helping their clients increase their turn over, means that they will be around to pay for the accountancy fees in the future.
• Some accountants also charge by the amount of hours they work. Thus, increasing their clients business, means the accountant gets to make more money.
• The accountant becomes a connector of people, introducing their clients to each other. This is a potential selling point for their prospective clients.
How are you going to market your business?
There are many ways to market your business and finding a strategy that works for you is important. Often people get caught up in too much and get overwhelmed. Or they get analysis paralysis.
Focus on a couple of ways to market and do them well. Example, do networking, speak at events and do email marketing. Get your client facing activities up and start earning. There may be a time in the future that you might want to sell online products or courses and you can cross that bridge when you get to it.
If you need any help with marketing or getting your business profitable, feel free to reach out.
I hope that you found this article useful and as always ask that you please share it below so that other people may also benefit.