Tag Archives: marketing

Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth MarketingThis is the one thing you are doing while not doing it—. Just what do I mean?

Let’s take a closer look at word of mouth marketing.

What it is

Word of mouth happens when one person tells another person something. In the business context, we understand that to mean people talking about you, your product or service.

Word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is more than that. It where you actively influence and encourage it (see a more detailed description in this Wiki article) . It is a well research field of marketing, there even is a formal association (WOMMA)

How To Do It

The word of mouth that happens naturally, is potentially good and is free so it is certainly something small businesses should take note of. The problem with natural word of mouth is that you have no control over it, and you certainly can get bad/damaging word of mouth.

Here are three keys to consider

  1. Be Sociable
    You need to be “out there” before people can talk about you. So you need to attend functions and be on social media. And when you are out there, be sociable—on the other side of the keyboard or phone is a person just like you who appreciates being treated properly.
  2. Be Credible
    Whatever you do, you need to be credible and reliable. Always deliver what you promised and then some.
  3. Contribute
    Always be willing to make a contribution, both to your business community, and the general community. For example, be willing to give talks at chamber of commerce meetings, or if public speaking is not your thing, write useful articles.

Summary

Word of mouth will happen, but with some careful consideration you can turn it into word of mouth marketing and make it work for you.

Getting Clients

open4businessSo you have started a new business. The question is how do you get clients? Basically you need to let people know that your business exists – that is stating the obvious but how do you do it…

In this post we will review some of the main concepts of getting your new business known.

The Basics
First, you need basic branding: a name and a logo. Without these people cannot get to know you.  You probably also need a tagline —if your name is “Jason’s” it would help to add “best brick oven pizzas”.

Next is to have a business card, a basic website, phone number and email so that people can find out about your business.

Make sure that all printed materials clearly have your name, tagline, website address and contact information.

Target Audience
Your type of business will determine your potential client base. Those are the people you need to address most of your marketing to. Direct mail to these people is a good option as we discussed in a previous post.

Where do your client base go? That is where you advertise your new business. Maybe a flier on the local coffee shop notice board will get you your first clients. You run a child-minding business, then leave business cards with school secretaries.

Budget
If you are a small business just starting out, chances are you have a limited budget. That means you have to use guerilla marketing (this is a term coined by Jay Levinson).  You can buy his books on Amazon and it would be a good source of affordable marketing tips.

For example, you might be tempted to print your fliers on your own printer. You don’t save money that way, it is cheaper to have your local print shop print a stack of fliers for you.

Word of Mouth
An existing client is worth a lot. If their experience with your business, product or service, was good, they will tell others—so make sure you make a good impression.

Your Presence
You represent your business. So wherever you go, you can be promoting your business. So make sure that you are a member of your local chamber of commerce and attend meetings.

Also, any other events in the community are important opportunities to get known, especially if you wear your business t-shirt.

So be active in the community. There is no need to “sell” your business at community events—just being there and being helpful where possible is all that is required. There will be enough people who will ask “so what do you do for a living?” which is your cue.

The Bottom Line
If you advertise, the new clients will come.

How you advertize will determine how quickly they will come, and how much it will cost.

Old School Marketing

a postcard I was asked recently how one goes about getting new clients. One immediately thinks word-of-mouth, website, social media and so on. And these are all fine marketing techniques of course.

In this post I want to describe a marketing method that you might not have considered—postcard marketing!

Postcard Marketing
When was the last time you received a postcard addressed to you personally? It has become quite rare so if you do get a postcard, it stands out!

The idea is quite simple. You create a postcard that promotes a specific message. This you can do in Word and print the postcard on cover stock yourself, or have a local print shop print them if you printer does not handle cover stock.

I found that the standard 6”x4” postcard size works well.  I get two cards per page. So I print as many copies as I need, turn the pages over, and then print the reverse side. See the example below of a recent project.

Website-postcard-2_Page_2w   Website-postcard-2_Page_1w

The List
The postcards don’t cost much to print, however with the cost of the stamp it can quickly add up. Then there is the time it takes to address the cards by hand—which is important for that personal touch.

So you don’t want to send the cards to just anyone. Spend some time developing your mailing list. For example, for the website promotion project I would look for clients who had either just started a business, or had a rather dated business website.

Finally
I have found postcard marketing amazingly effective. People tend to throw direct mail pieces (junk mail) away but they keep the postcard as it is small.

I will often get a call months after the mail out. I have even had a postman contact me for a friend because he was intrigued by the card he had delivered.

So how does one get new clients? Remember the truism, if you market they will come, but if you don’t…