If you are like most independent contractors you spend your days and nights distressing about how you will gain customers and grow sales. Even if your company does not have a formal marketing or business plan yet, there are many cost-efficient things you can do to market and promote your company's products and services.
Here are 8 simple approaches to put your marketing efforts on the right track:
1) Focus on Your Core Competencies:
Know your target market and the value your product will bring to them. Focus your sales and marketing efforts towards these groups.
2) Develop a Message:
Create a statement that clearly explains what you do and why your target audience should buy from you. Have this message become your company's mission statement and foundation.
3) Create Collateral:
Nothing says you are a business more than having a company logo, business cards, brochures, and a web site. Keep it all simple and once these items are in place, do not be afraid to use them.
4) Join Networking Groups:
Join or form one or two networking groups with individuals you do not know very well. Tell people what you do and who your target market is. Help others by connecting them with potential suppliers or employers. In time, they will return the favor to you.
5) Network Every Day:
Networking is not limited to groups and networking meetings. Carry your business cards with you at all times and be prepared to talk about your company's mission statement at a moment's notice. Your next hot prospect might be standing behind you at the grocery store.
6) Influence Your Current Customers:
Happy customers are your best sales people. Ask them to provide testimonials or to be references for new prospects. Consider establishing a customer referral program, and provide free or discounted services or a monetary reward for every customer that they recommend.
7) Don't be Afraid to Try New Things:
If you are serious about growth, spend time outside your comfort zone and try new things. Sometimes new ideas will work, and other times they won't. Either way, the process will teach you something new and valuable about yourself and your business.
8) Brainstorm with Others:
You are in business for yourself, but that does not mean you need to have all the answers yourself. Whether you are a natural born marketer or one that sees marketing concepts as completely foreign, kick around ideas with others whose opinions and values you trust. You never know where your next “big idea” will come from.
These are just 8 ways in which you can easily market yourself and your business. Use these approaches as the building blocks to acquire customers and grow sales.
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