This is Post No. 14 in How to Start a Business Series.
Once you start your business, you need to market it.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Low Cost Ways of Marketing Your Business.
Here are some ideas where you can invest time and almost no money and grow your business.
Blogging is good for both for B2C and B2B business. Blogging on your own blog may not do wonders quickly but you can blog for other established blogs in your industry to get attention for your business.
Initially blog more on establish blogs that on your own blog.
If you blog well it can get you speaking opportunities. But if you are starting out then prepare a topic well and then write to conference organizers for an opportunity to speak. Not everyone will accept it but some will.
Keep this in mind.
- Initially you will have to do it for free. As you get going, at least get the travel and stay – so that you do not spend money from your own pocket.
- Do invest in good presentation design.
- Do not make the rookie mistake of delivering a new topic in every presentation. Instead prepare one topic well and deliver it again and again. Later when you get good at it add 2-3 more topics.
Position Yourself as an Expert.
Blogging and speaking both can help you with this. Get in touch with local media and offer to help them with inputs about your industry. Also try and write for local magazines.
You can also write a book, but blogging is a good starting point for this.
Syndicate your existing content.
Word of Mouth Marketing.
Ask people to share with their friends and share on social networks.
Finding right distribution channels and partners, can help you grow quickly and take away a lot of growth pains.
How to Find Distribution for Your Business.
Let us first see how right distribution helps.
Why Is Right Distribution Really Important for Your Business?
Right distribution can help your business scale quickly. Ideally find your distribution before you start your business so that you can speed up your success. It takes your business to right people in a quick fashion. That’s what every business wants – right people seeing a product and seeing the business.
How to Get Distribution for Your Business and Spread the Word About Your Business.
Here is how to do it.
1. Establish Distribution Partnerships.
– Offer Equity: Partner with large players who have a complimentary audience. If the need be you can offer equity to your potential partner like JamesAltucher did when he offered thestreet.com equity for partnership with StockPickr.com
– Affiliate Partnerships: These partnerships can help you spread your products far and wide. But it is good to start with a small affiliate group first and then scale.
– Partner with Deal Sites: If you make digital products then try out a site like Appsumo, Deallotto and Mightydeals. These sites take a part of your revenues but get your products to a wider audience. Better than no revenues.
2. Develop a free tool: Develop a free tool which will help your potential customers.
3. Make a celebrity your partner.
There are two ways to market your product one is better than other. Let us see what they are.
Interruption Marketing vs Permission Marketing.
All forms of marketing are not created equal.
Permission marketing is better way to market then interruption marketing. Let us see what they are.
All mass media advertising that you see around – billboard, TV, popups on the web is interrupt driven marketing.
Interruption marketing is not ineffective but it is costly for marketer and annoying for customers. Because of high costs – this form of marketing is better suited to businesses with deep pockets.
If you are just starting out, have a small budget and more importantly do not want to annoy customers. You should go for permission based marketing.
In permission based marketing, a business owner gets customer’s permission before sending her updates about products.
Email marketing: Get email address or contact info from customer or an exhibition booth or a website. Send them newsletter on a regular basis.
Inbound marketing or pull marketing is also a part of it.
Here you focus on creating useful information and put it on your website – so that people find you via search. Traffic coming via search (users searching for information on the web and coming to a page on the web) have already experienced your brand in form of your information. It makes sense to provide high quality information so that customers trust you at first contact and come back for more later.
Permission marketing is simple and can get more revenue per dollar and hour invested.
Important: Neither permission based nor interruption marketing works for a lousy product. You may sell it once but customers will never come back.
Action for the day: Make a list of activities from above that you plan to do for your product in next month and also break it into weekly action.
Very informative. Leaves me thinking forward… A very clear and simplified explanation of Interruption & Permission Marketing.
However, Establishing Distribution Partnerships sounds like a difficult deal for small start-ups? I am thinking on how to choose the affiliate partners?
Affiliate partnerships work better for software companies or for productized services. As for distribution partnerships, it be challenging in beginning but once you get going you will know how it works. It is just repeating the process what got you the first partner. So aim to get first partner – in a month or so, and repeat after that.