Ways to Market Your Small Business

Marketing is essential when starting any business, regardless of size or industry. Effective marketing strategies will build brand awareness, attract potential customers, drive sales, and increase profits. Fortunately, effective marketing does not have to involve large, expensive campaigns. There are plenty of simple strategies to advertise your business and ensure consistent growth. To help you achieve business success on a budget, here are four affordable ways to market your small business.

Create printed marketing materials 

Printed marketing materials are a simple yet effective way to market your small business. Some common examples of printed marketing include business cards, brochures, signs, posters, and flyers. With so many digital technologies now available, some businesses consider printed marketing to be outdated and unnecessary.

However, research shows that print marketing is still a highly effective way to reach your target audience and advertise your products and services. What’s more, print can easily be combined with other marketing platforms to make your marketing campaigns even more effective. You can easily create affordable print marketing by searching for Printing Services online. Many companies specialize in creating quality printed marketing materials for small businesses.

Have a strong social media presence 

Social media has become one of the most powerful marketing tools available to modern businesses. Any company can set up an account on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, then post content designed to captivate their target audience and drive traffic to their site. All businesses can now use social media platforms to advertise their products and services to a global audience and boost sales and profits.

Business owners should be taking full advantage of social media in their marketing strategies and using this innovative platform to grow their business. To be successful on social media, businesses must maintain an active presence, interact with their followers regularly, and post high-quality content. If you don’t have the time to manage your company’s social media accounts, then you should consider hiring a professional social media manager.

According to experts  – “Social media is constantly changing… a social media manager will track any algorithm changes on the platform and adapt your marketing strategy based on the latest updates.” This will ensure that your social media marketing strategy continues to be effective and produce good results.

Start a business blog 

Creating a blog can be a highly effective way to drive traffic to your site, generate leads, and increase sales and revenue potential. Having an active blog gives internet users a reason to visit your site and should attract more visitors each month. Fortunately, starting a business blog is relatively inexpensive with the help of blogging platforms like WordPress.

Once set up, you must produce quality content and post articles on a regular and consistent basis. This will help you gain a regular flow of visitors and increase credibility with your audience. Having optimized content is also an excellent way to improve your rankings on search engine result pages.

Make sure you share your blog posts on your social media accounts to help gain visibility. If you’re struggling to write interesting, informative articles regularly, then you should consider outsourcing this task to a freelance content creator with the skills to produce high-quality, optimized content.

Take advantage of cross-promotional marketing

Cross-promotional marketing is a simple way for small businesses to expand their market reach and increase earning potential. One of the most effective ways to use this marketing technique is by forming cross-promotional marketing partnerships with other businesses. In this partnership, you agree to advertise a company’s products and services and gain the same exposure in return.

If you are planning on implementing this marketing strategy, then you must consider your options carefully and find the right company to work with. Keep in mind that you will be sharing reputations, so always research a company’s credentials and online reputation thoroughly before agreeing to a cross-promotional partnership. You should also avoid forming a partnership with a competitor or a company that is offering products or services that are similar to your own.

Summary 

Marketing should be a key element of any business plan. Implementing effective marketing strategies is one of the easiest ways to expand your market reach, increase sales, and boost profits within your company. For that reason, all business owners must know how to successfully market their companies. Use a combination of the above techniques to help you successfully market your small business, whatever your budget.

 

10 Signs You Have a ‘Hidden’ Fear of Public Speaking

Stage fright, however, may still be at the root of your reaction. Here are 10 signs that you may be dealing with a ‘hidden’ form of fear that’s disguising itself as something else. Overcoming your speech anxiety is never easy. This way involves a little thinking and self-examination to help you figure out what’s really going on.

Worrying About Performance over Process

If you’re worrying about your performance, you’re actually making it more difficult for yourself to perform well. I know: confusing. The best way I can explain this, is to share with you what I call the actor’s paradox. Stated simply, it’s this: You can’t give a good performance by trying to perform well.

Actors in a role are all about truth—the realness of what’s happening in the script and how the character reacts. No good actor ever thinks about himself in the moment of performance. They are there to serve something larger and better: the audience’s belief in the unfolding drama. Your truth is the audience’s understanding of what you’re saying. Aim to serve only that.

Becoming a Mind Reader

Speaking of minds and deciphering their inner workings: how’s your crystal ball? Is it showing you things clearly . . . and are you making sure you’re bringing it along to all of your speeches and presentations?

A classic manifestation of speech apprehension is imagining a) that you know what the audience is thinking, and b) where you’re concerned, it’s bad. In fact, believing that the audience even cares about you or is thinking about you at all is usually an erroneous mindset. Remember: it’s the listeners’ understanding and response concerning your message that matters. And anyway, they’re thinking about themselves, not you.

Preparing So Much that ‘Nothing Can Go Wrong’

Come on, be honest . . . have you gone down this road? It usually involves amassing about three or four times the amount of material that you could possibly get through in your presentation. “I’d better have LOTS of things to talk about, in case I get through all of my content too fast,” you find yourself thinking.

Never mind that if you’re all-around knowledgeable about your topic, that’s simply not going to happen.

 Taking Courses to Become an Expert

Yes, some anxious speakers even go this far. “But I’m not good at [body language] [storytelling] [PowerPoint design]” they say, “so I’m going to learn how to do it before my presentation.” Let’s unpack this response in two stages:

First, that skill you’re obsessing over probably isn’t very important. It may be true that the ability is a trendy “must show” in the business world these days. (And truly, if that’s the case, do you really care?) But what matters to listeners is that you know how to connect with an audience through who you are, not your sleight-of-hand ability with this or that trick.

Mimicking Other Speakers

For this lack of self-confidence, I lay the blame at the feet of our schools, which don’t teach us how to be self-assured speakers. Taught and drilled incessantly in reading and writing (and yes, ‘rithmatic), we are given no instruction or practice in getting on our feet and sharing what we know with audiences. Is it any wonder we don’t feel secure at it?

Thinking About Yourself Instead of the Audience

The best place to start this process is from a high enough altitude where you can see things clearly—in other words, the 30,000-foot view. In this case, that means getting your head in the right place.

It’s natural to think about yourself and want to do well when you speak in public. The problem, of course, is that the speaking situation isn’t about you. The more you think about yourself, in fact, the harder it will be to get on the wavelength of serving the people you’re there to talk to. I call it “living in the audience’s world,” from your initial notes to your finished dynamic performance. Thinking about your own response means you’re not concerned about theirs.

 Imagining Worst-Case Scenarios

You may not have the type of personality that indulges in worst-case thinking, though this too can disguise itself. Because of your own emotional involvement in your response (of course), the possible outcomes that pop into your head may seem perfectly natural. A few moments of rational thinking, however, may evaporate those thoughts.

The point is, if your mind tends to find this groove, it means you’re in negative rather than positive territory.

Believing You Have to Be an Excellent Speaker

Here we have a very subtle and insidious example of hidden speaking fear. Again, many speakers become overly concerned with performance over process, and worse, miss the point of the speaking situation entirely. Perhaps too much exposure to motivational speakers, many of whom are all about the sizzle, is part of the problem.

Your job when you speak to a group is to communicate successfully about this topicThat’s it. Unless you’re a paid speaker, you don’t have to be the King Kong of the convention. As I say to my executive speech coaching clients: “Your job is to be a good CEO [radiologist] [VP of Human Resources] [Sales Director] [board member]. In that role, you’re expected to be a good communicator.” Trying to be ‘excellent’ doesn’t work (see actor’s paradox, above). It also shows that deep down; you may feel you’re not good enough. But ‘good enough’ is the right goal!

Memorizing Your Material 

Eligible for a two-for-one pass with The I Will Over-Prepare School of Survival cited immediately above. When clients say to me, “I tend to memorize my speech word-for-word so that nothing will go wrong,” I invariably reply, “Then everything is going to go wrong.”

Audiences want a speaker who’s knowledgeable about her topic, and can talk to them with ease (and perhaps a note or two). They don’t want someone reading from a manuscript. Nor is a robotic recital of material laboriously learned very exciting to behold. Being present and responding to the speaking situation in real time is organic and engaging.

Obsessing Over Technology

This sign of hidden speaking fear includes anxious thoughts about how technology can leave you with digitized egg on your face. But it also involves becoming so infatuated with PowerPoint that it crowds out other, legitimate concerns about accomplishing what you’re there to achieve as a speaker.

A few years ago, a national association of healthcare practitioners asked me to speak at their annual convention on how to deliver a dynamic PowerPoint talk. You see, their members had fallen hard for Bill Gates’s ubiquitous presentation tool, and now spent all of their energy on bells, whistles, and electronic glitz to blast attendees out of their seats. They had forgotten their primary directive as presenters at an association conference, which was to educate the membership.

Importance of Business Etiquette

Etiquette is a set of unwritten rules that apply to social situations, professional workplaces and relationships. In the business world, good business etiquette means that you act professionally and exercise proper manners when engaging with others in your profession. Good business etiquette is a valuable skill-set that will make you stand out from others, enhance your chances at success and help you land that dream job.

Effects of Good Etiquette

Good business etiquette is the recipe for advancing your career. In the business world, people with good etiquette are rewarded for their professional and polite skills. For example, an employee who arrives at a meeting on time (or early) and is ready to take notes has a better chance of impressing his supervisor than the employee who shows up to the meeting late, and forgets to bring a pen. Those who exemplify good business etiquette are proving that they respect their position, job, coworkers and take their performance seriously. As such, these individuals win promotions and get ahead in their careers.

Importance of First Impressions

Making a good first impression is important. The way you dress, for instance, impacts the way you are perceived by others. Other peoples’ impressions of you should be positive so that they continue doing business with you. To accomplish this, start with your attire. Ask yourself if you look professional, or if your outfit needs some fine-tuning. Looking sloppy, messy and dirty will put off your coworkers and turn away potential clients.

Business Etiquette Significance

In business, the relationships you build are critical. Establishing good rapport is significant if you want to progress your professional future, take on new clients, impress your boss or close that final sale. The way to build positive relationships in the business world is by exercising good etiquette, specifically by exhibiting top-notch communication skills. If others are speaking, give them your full attention and make eye contact to let them know you are engaged in the conversation. This is known as active listening. When it is your turn to speak, be clear and concise, and avoid jargon that your audience would not understand. Add a smile and a handshake so others find you pleasant to work with.

Etiquette in Online Communications

Netiquette is etiquette that takes place over virtual mediums, such as email. Virtual communication is popular in the business world, so it is critical that businessmen and women have the right netiquette to maintain professionalism. Compose emails the way you would write a letter. Use complete sentences and proper grammar, and check your email for correct punctuation usage and other technical errors. Avoid using jargon, abbreviations and emoticons. Do not type emails in all capital letters, as this is construed as yelling.

Other Considerations Outside the Office

Business etiquette extends beyond the office. When you are required to attend a business luncheon or dinner, it is important that you adhere to tableside etiquette standards as well as business etiquette. People with good dining manners can win over their colleagues and counterparts, whereas people with poor conduct may miss out on business deals.

Technology meets Event Management

Events of various kinds are being attended by people across the globe. How companies are organizing unique events is attractive, but how event management technology operates here is intriguing.

Technology has grown manifold over the years and in astonishing ways. From being limited to a knowledeable few , technology has found application in every household,.When it comes to events, we all have been a part of one sometime or the other. Today, event management technology is redefining our experiences at an event.

 

Virtual reality

Virtual reality is a technology that has gained momentum in the last decade. With VR’s unique feature of portraying real-life views on a user’s device and making tours within reach has allowed people to experience things like never before. With VR technology being introduced in events, portraying how a company’s product looks during a seminar or an exhibition becomes easy and makes the prospect even more interested in buying that product.

Live streaming

With live streaming, people who are unable to attend an event can remotely view it on their mobile devices. Using this technology, the number of people attending the event increases. This allows people who are not able to come, become the virtual attendees. There are several companies that enable these events to be streamed over their networks and further allow people to record it too.An example of websites allowing people to host an event live is the live feature from Facebook. Facebook recently launched this feature where people can share a live video when in a concert.

Radio frequency identification

Using this technology, companies arranging and managing events can fluently keep track of people that are attending an event and the number. of people who attend such events almost always. RFID technology helps in the collection of qualitative and quantitative data, that can be gathered and used for analysis. Companies can track what people are more interested in.

Online payments

The technological innovation of making online payments has made managing an event so easy that it reduced the number of people arriving at the ticket counters and standing in queues.

With online payment, people who wish to attend an event in a city can easily go to the website specified by organizers. While booking their tickets online, customers are taken to the company’s payment portal where they can finalize their payments and confirm their arrival at the event. With online payment being used more frequently, the tedious task of physically entering and noting down every transaction during an event is becoming a thing of past.

Event management companies are relying on technology as using technology for their processes has eased out several tedious tasks. Organizers are looking out for other ways that technology can be used in their events for smoothening out every event that they host.