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Small Business Marketing: Must-Do Checklist
If you're just beginning the process of starting to do marketing for your small business ... or if you've been doing it for awhile but you feel like it's really disorganized ... then you could probably use a small business marketing checklist to help you get on track. The following checklist is just a start to give you an idea of the things that you really must do to have a completing marketing plan underway. Feel free to print it out and to add additional lines beneath it for your own ideas. And then keep it posted where you can see it, marking things off as you go so that you can have all of your marketing bases covered.
__ Set up a website.
__ Get business cards. Make sure they have all of your contact information, including your website.
__ Add your website and contact information to the signature on each of your email accounts.
__ Create a blog. Do blog marketing to increase traffic to your site on a regular basis.
__ Create a contact list comprised of all of the email addresses of everyone with whom you communicate. Add to this list regularly.
__ Design (or locate) a newsletter template. Use this template to create regular newsletters updating everyone on your contact list about your business.
__ Run promotions. This could be anything that draws attention to your business - contests or discounts on services are often used to attract business.
__ Use search engine optimization on your website. If you don't understand SEO and keywords, learn about it.
__ Submit your web page to search engines.
__ Use link exchange to get your website noticed on other sites that are similar to yours. You can use a link exchange program or contact businesses that you're already familiar with to discuss exchanging links; the latter tends to be more effective since it has the personal touch.
__ Write articles related to your business for the purpose of self-promotion. You can submit these to magazines and websites to gain attention for your company.
__ Press releases. Do them on a regular basis.
__ Direct mailing. Postcards, coupons, letters ... figure out a good strategy for doing a mailing to the right people.
__ Promotional materials. Pens, business card holders, candies or something that's more directly linked to your specific business ... these are all things that you can hand out to people to get them to know who you are.
__ Make a calendar of industry events. There are plenty of opportunities for you to get out into your community and network with people and that's one of the best marketing strategies around. Figure out which events you'll be attending this year.
__ Online advertising. Learn about banner advertising and pay-per-click advertising and see if it might be right for your company.
__ Devise a marketing plan. That's right, don't just stop with this checklist. Create an entire marketing plan which includes timelines and budget considerations.