Advertising the Experience Way
Advertising and marketing the intro
In this hub we will be talking about the joys of advertising, or the lack there of. We will talk about types of advertising and marketing, as well as the ones I use as a small business owner. I will also be exploring some of the ways that the advertising I use works for me. This hub is mainly my experience and does not reflect marketing in general. I will not slander any company that did not have a successful track record for me.
Viper's Den Art Gallery
- Viper's Den Art Gallery
Viper's Den Art Gallery is the subsidiary company of Vanderburg Graphic Productions. We sell premade and custom artwork. Custom artwork is available to most client specifications (up to 8.5" x 11").
Marketing is not from the Devil…
Despite what some businesses think, it really isn’t a bad thing. It might be difficult and expensive but hopefully this will show you some inexpensive ways to market your business on a budget. Let me start by saying my small business was way underfunded when I started it. I didn’t have all the fancy business education I do now. I started with a Multimedia degree in one hand and an idea for a passion of mine in the other. That being said it was a long road and a lot of research later when I found my most successful form of marketing, word of mouth. It can do wonders and it should be in my opinion the backbone of every business.
The customers talk and when they talk you should be listening. This means if you’re doing a good job they will talk positively about your business and recommend you to friends and family (hopefully). However if you’re doing a bad job they will advise their friends and family (and maybe more than that) to steer clear of your business. It takes some good customer service, good word of mouth (both by you and your customers and employees, if you have any), as well as some knowledge of the product. The best example I can give of this is I designed web site for a couple and their business. They in turn referred me to a friend and I got that friends business as well as a returning customer for their next web site.
Another concept to keep in mind is keep in contact with those that can help you market your brand. Whether it is networking thru LinkedIn or getting phone numbers/email of contacts or any of the other Social media sites. Stays in contact with those that can help you market yourself. The first example of this is my college career rep. I constantly update my resume there as they have scored me plenty of interviews. I try and keep up-to-date with them so that not only can I keep my name on the back of their mind but also I can keep informed about my field. In fact my first client interviewed me when I was at school there and then when they decided to actually go forward with the idea they came back to me after I was out of school to do the web site. If I had not kept my info at the school updated then that client never would have found me. The second example is my marketing professor. I’ve kept in contact with him through LinkedIn and Facebook so that I can bounce ideas off him for marketing strategies. As well he is one of my networking contacts. If I didn’t keep that contact then I would have lost an essential link in my business network.
This brings us to the next type of marketing strategy, your professional network. This is probably the second biggest marketing tool out there. This means that your professional contacts help you get noticed. An example, say you have the next big idea like Twitter. If you didn’t have that first follower then that second follower would not come along. I got a lot of my followers on Twitter just by following others in the business world. I at this point have more followed then following. However, many that I follow also follow me back (or vice versa). If you get a good thing going then you will get people to follow it. By the way my tag on twitter is @viper2k3sr. I always enjoy getting new followers and finding new networking contacts.
The next type of marketing that has worked for me is free advertising. Whether it is Google Places or Super Pages or even somewhere like your local library. You can find plenty of free places to get advertisements. I’ve had plenty of success with clients finding me. You just need that extra step of work. It takes not more than a few hours to get multiple free advertising spots opened. Within three days I had a Twitter account, a LinkedIn, a Facebook and a Google Places account all open and ready for people to find me. But that does not mean that I did not find others as well. That is the next step.
You cannot just sit back and wait for the business to come to you. You have to get out there and get aggressive. There are plenty of clients out there but you have to know where to look and how to get them before your competition does. The down and dirty work of the marketing world, customer relations is what ultimately wins the battle of the companies. With that being said, Public Relations is like walking a tight rope. If you fall to one side or the other you might have a PR nightmare. It is sometimes difficult as it is an external and internal struggle. If you please the customers they will expect more. But if you don’t please the customers then you will have minimal or no customers. It is a fine line of going above and beyond what the customer expects and staying within your means. This means that you can provide the customer with outstanding customer service but not at the cost of say $3000 above what you can afford. In other words, providing customer support and service does not mean you have to spend a fortune to get it.
In conclusion, you just have to
know where to look for customers. Figure out where to find your customers,
provide those customers with great customer service and then try and retain
those customers by great customer support. If you build a good customer base
they will come to you eventually, to a degree.