Let’s stop a moment and pause and think about all the ways you get new business. Is it by referral? Online ads? Print ads? Yelp? A strong content strategy? Or…. do you even know? Do prospective customers just saunter up to your front door and say, “Hey, I think you have something I need. Can I buy it?” If this happens, congratulations. You’re the first person to ever experience this.
As a business owner, you already know that you have to put yourself out there to some extent. You have to get over your fears, those voices that have held you back and kept you from stretching beyond your comfort zone to reach those goals.
Overcoming challenges (again and again)
Maybe you’ve had to overcome public speaking (which is typically reported as something to fear more than death). Perhaps you had to figure out how to come up with more cash than you ever thought you would be able to part with in order to get started. Maybe you had to convince your friends and family that this business was your passion.
So, you know you’ve overcome some pretty big obstacles in the past. When it comes to advertising and having an online presence, you’re going to have to face some challenges again.
It’s time to get out there.
By not advertising and relying stricting on word of mouth, you’re not being mysterious, you’re being absent. And that means you’re losing out out on new potential clients.
3 Tips to Online Advertising
This can be a bit like dating (but not as painful)
Let’s get out there and take chances! Let’s see where this goes. (Yes, sounds like your sister is pushing you into trying the latest dating app). But, when it comes down to it, dating and online advertising have more things in common than you may think.
1. If no one knows you’re interested, no one is going to consider you
When you’re advertising, your goal is to develop a type of working relationship with your customer. You have goods and/or services and they have a problem that can be fixed by those goods and/or services. If they go looking for that solution and they don’t find you, they will simply choose someone else to help them (even if they went to you for a prior project).
I know you might say, “But they know I’m around because I did work for them before!” or “I just put my name in the phone book, so they’ll find me.” 1. People are fickle and 2. No one reads the phone book anymore.
So, you’ve got to get ahead of the situation and fly that “for hire” flag like never before.
Advertising is not a one and done deal. You have to continually stoke the fire for new prospects and look for new ways to get folks interested in you. Consumers have become very savvy over the last 20 years. They have more information at their fingertips than ever before. If they are looking for a solar installation company or a zero waste vegan pot scrubber, they will research those things until they can go no further. Need proof? Just take a look at Amazon and Yelp. Reviews from users populate these pages, giving finite detail about just about every item. Your customers are no different. If they find something better or another company appeals to them, they will have no problem moving on.
Your job is to make them see you and stay with you.
2. Intrigue them & spark passion
Think of your current and potential customers as VIPs in your life. They are the folks that are going to help take your business to the next level and ultimately use your product to help solve a specific problem in their life. That’s a big deal!
In order to get them interested in your company, you need to develop a sense of intrigue and show them your passion for what you do. One way to do that is to rely on the power of social media or by letting folks get a glimpse of what exactly goes on at your shop behind the scenes.
This creates intrigue.
Some easy ideas you can employ today
- Create simple, behind the scenes videos of you and your colleagues doing their job. Do you install solar panels? Take a video of how careful and detail-oriented your team is in the installation process. Do you create something specific? Show your process and journey on how you take raw material in order to get to the final product. People love information.
- Create impromptu giveaways. Let’s face it, people love free stuff: keychains, shirts, tote bags….and, if it has your company’s name on it, that’s free advertising. If there’s a way you can allocate budget to “swag” for free giveaways, it can pay off. We encourage eco-friendly swag for a less wasteful way to promote yourself. You can always give a percentage off your costs when someone makes a purchase or signs up for service. This quid pro quo exchange can be beneficial because you get the sale and they get a percentage off. An example would be: “Enter to win 30% off window installation when you buy three windows.” You will be getting their name and email so you can continue to advertise to them and the winner will be purchasing their windows at your store. Win-win.
- Hold an open house and give tours. If your company makes something that has a sense of mystery surrounding it or people typically don’t know how it’s made, you’re at an advantage! Hold an open house. A great example of this would be a new brewery opening. The business of making and bottling alcohol is pretty intriguing to many people. Think of the interest that new brewery would garner if it held an open house, complete with tours and a free taste at the end. Sounds like a fun Saturday afternoon!
3. Develop trust and open communication
Every relationship must contain a certain amount of trust and communication. It’s no different between you and your prospective and current customers. When you get an email from someone, respond right away! Did someone call you, but you’re busy? Call them right back! Did you get a bid on Yelp? Respond with clear language and don’t act like you’re a distracted teenager texting your mom. (yeah, real life experience here).
Another way you can facilitate communication and trust is by being and acting like a leader in your field. You got where you are for a reason: you know stuff that others don’t know! Share that! Yes, it is interesting. Write a blog post, shoot a quick video on your phone, take some interesting pics for your Instagram channel. This isn’t just creating content for the sake of creating content, you are nurturing trust.
If you need assistance in getting your digital game on point, developing new business or if you just need some help creating an email strategy (yup, there is strategy behind email), fill out our form below for a free, no obligation quote today. You’ll be super glad you did.