You’ve finally gone out on your own and opened your new business. The privilege of being your own boss brings with it independence and the chance to realize your dreams. But it will mean endless juggling of priorities as you work to grow your business and its bottom line.
No matter what type of business you have; service, retail, or business to business, a digital marketing strategy should be a priority. You’ll need to attract new clients, and having an established presence online will help your business not look like a new start-up.
This is the first post of a two-part series. These six items will help you target your ideal customers, and set up the marketing infrastructure to reach your audience.
These items below should be handled before you open for business. You’ll have enough on your plate once you’re officially open, don’t add to your stress. Handle these first, and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!
1) Identify Your Target Market
Knowing who your customers are seems like a logical first step, but it is often overlooked. Many business owners assume they know who their customers will be, and don’t put much thought into really identifying their characteristics and motivations.
To do that you’ll want to create profiles of these potential customers such as:
These profiles will inform how you use social media and other marketing efforts to reach your audience. Once you know who you’re trying to reach, you’ll want to consider why these people would want to be your customers. What makes your company the best fit for their specific needs?
2) Logo, printed materials, business cards and brochures
This is another important first step. A design company can create a custom logo for your company using your input on the color and design you prefer. Different colors and designs convey attributes about your business, so it is vital to build this base of your brand.
There are low-cost web services for creating a logo. If your budget is tight this may be an option to look at. However, before cutting costs at this stage, consider the expense of re-branding in the future, and if a non-professionally designed logo presents your company image adequately.
The decisions at this stage will translate into the look of your website, social media and all other marketing efforts. It is important to build a solid foundation of color scheme and design. Consistency is an important part of branding your new company. Your logo, business cards, printed materials, website and social media should all feature similar designs.
Once your logo is set, you’ll want to design your business cards, brochures and other materials to provide information about your company. I recommend using a local printer for these materials. Online sites may be less expensive, but you are unable to have the same control over quality of materials and the design.
3) Set up your professional looking website
It is important to have a professional looking website. This is your first impression to customers, and you want to make sure it conveys the right message.
An important consideration is to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Many people will be viewing your website on a phone or tablet, so whatever design you choose, it must be mobile ready.
4) Set up your social media accounts
Many people may search your business on Facebook before they even think to use a search engine. It’s very important to have a Facebook page set up. Be sure to include the relevant information on your page, and a profile and background image that best convey your business.
For many businesses Facebook is more important than a website, as more customers will visit you there than your website. Every business should have one, and should be updating their page with regularity.
Depending on your business, a LinkedIN, Twitter or Instagram should be set up as well. A B2B business should certainly use LinkedIN, and most B2C businesses will find value with Instagram and Twitter as well.
All social media accounts should be utilized and posted on at least once a week, if not more. Especially at the beginning you want to build up content on your pages. If you are going to go through the effort to set up a page, be sure to update regularly with posts and content.
5) Claim Your Business on Google
When someone searches for your business on Google, you want to make sure you have a business listing with your correct contact information. As the most popular search engine it is vital your address, phone number and website are accurate and easy to find on Google. And it’s free!
To learn guidelines for claiming your business click here.
6) Set up Profiles on Review Sites
As you start to get customers, you’ll want to make it easy for them to give you good reviews online. If you mainly cater to consumers, you’ll want to have a review page on Yelp. If you are in the hospitality industry, Trip Advisor is important to have a review page on. If you are in the home services industry Angie’s List is a great way to receive testimonials.
If your competitors are being reviewed, you want to make sure you are included on those same sites. Which sites do you, your friends and family use when discovering new companies? Be sure you establish a presence on all the relevant sites.
To learn more about setting up business listings, see below:
With these six items checked off, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a foundation for your marketing efforts.
There is a lot to consider when opening your new business. Marketing your new business is essential to its success and growth. Endorphin Advisors provides management consulting and marketing solutions to companies so they can achieve that growth.
Learn More About Endorphin Advisors