(day 24 abc)
I’ve had several several several people suggest that the hardest part (and most time consuming) in selling *anything* is the marketing and advertising that goes on. I cannot stress how importantly vital this step is to your success (or failure) in the small business world.
First of all, the invention of the internet (which we all know that Al Gore did that…right?) has lead to an abundantly huge increase in people running and managing their own businesses. Secondly, the start-up of Etsy saw an abundantly huge increase in people selling their hand-made crafts and goods. Thirdly, the explosion of amazon, ebay, itunes, has seen and abundantly huge increase in people publishing their own ebooks.
I think that this is a blessing/curse sort of relationship. A blessing in that people who wouldn’t have had the oppurtunity otherwise are now soaring and excelling in this online venue. A curse in that some people really shouldn’t be offering their stuff even for free and they are getting money for it. The curse is also in the immense competition and overwhelming odds of getting swallowed up by the multitudes.
So, all that being said: What are some ways that you can advertise and market your product in order to remain competitive and not get swallowed up by the multitudes?
- Social networking. This one is almost a “duh” point because social networking is so stinking popular right now. You have twitter, facebook, pinterest, linkedin, stumbleupon, flickr, and a whole slew of others. So, go ahead and set up a page, or an account, or however that particular site works, for your product/shop/brand/name, whatever you are selling. Then, go and invite your friends and encourage them to invite their friends, etc.
- Write. This doesn’t have to be as tedious as it sounds. You can blog about how you are inspired for your new product, the method that you are undergoing to get published. You can write informative articles for search engines (how-to’s are GREAT). Make sure to include your business information with each article. Just get your name out there.
- Join forums and support groups. Be careful about spamming. Really get involved with the “community” that is available. By helping others, you really are helping yourself.
- Hand out flyers, business cards, pamphlets. Many people are refusing to buy products overseas. They want local. Even better than that, they want “in town”. This cuts greatly on the shipping costs and really supports the local economy. You can encourage people to do this by handing out a flyer with your information on it.
- If you are really desperate, or daring, or able, buy advertising either through google adwords, or the local newspaper, or whatever you can find that is available.
- Tell your friends. I’m guilty of passing this one up. I’m a bit timid about promoting my own products. But, if you work hard at it, and you are proud of it, make sure that you tell people. Your true friends want to see you succeed, so even if they don’t find your product useful (or along their specific tastes in literature) they are more willing to pass your name along to someone who they think will enjoy it.
It really isn’t a rocket science, but it does take a bit of work and some research. In order to remain competitive, you *have* to get your name, brand, business out there and noticed. Be bold and do something unexpected. I would certainly LOVE to hear any advertising and marketing ideas that you guys out there have 😀
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- 75% of Advertising Campaigns are a Failure (prweb.com)
- Some Efficient Strategies To Advertise Business Using Facebook Advertising (part 1) (ppc.org)
- How to use social networking to help your business (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
- Out with the new, in with the old – Online advertising has to change its definition of success (thenextweb.com)
- Big Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses (aweber.com)
- Facebook ads, comments fail to urge users to make a purchase, says Ipsos study (buzzom.com)
- How not to “reach out” to travel bloggers (hasbrouck.org)
- Marketing Methods (familybugs.wordpress.com)
- How This Entrepreneur Got Her Products Into Swag Bags At The Golden Globes (businessinsider.com)
- Call to action! 5 Things that you can do *right now* to increase your sales (familybugs.wordpress.com)
- Email Marketing for Etsy Artists (aweber.com)