Related articles:Because September and October are historically times when many people open their first business, this week is dedicated to topics surrounding starting your own business. While this is not an end-all-be-all list of steps you must take, they’ll help you get a solid head start on your new business venture. Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Marketing Your New Business
Congratulations! You’re well on your way to getting an online business started. You’ve got products for sale, an awesome design and you’re ready to launch. The next thing you should think of is how you’re going to let people know about your company and get them to trade dollars for your goods and services. This is where Marketing comes in.
To get started, take a look at the four building blocks of marketing. Then use social media technologies to tie it together. We call the foundations of Marketing the “four P’s”: Product, Price, Place & Promotion.
The first “P,” product, is what you’re selling online. Remember that with marketing, a service is also considered to be a product. Make sure you’ve decided exactly what to sell before starting anything else. We recommend finding something that you’re passionate about. This keeps things fun and rewarding.
The second “P,” price, refers to how much you’ll be charging for the product. Thus, you’ll want to consider how much it costs to make/obtain the product, cover shipping charges, etc. and make sure you give room for profit. Take a look to see what your competition is charging for a reference point.
The third “P,” place, is where your products will be sold. You already have this one taken care of since you’re selling online. It’s also important to think about how you’ll get those products to your customers after purchase. Is it easier and more affordable to ship them through UPS or FedEx? Overnight or two day shipping? Each of these decisions is determined by the nature of the product and its price.
The final “P,” promotion, involves everything needed to tell others about your product and website. This can include sending emails and newsletters, providing discounts and coupons, exchanging links with another company providing a complimentary product, running ads in your local newspaper or even handing out flyers on the street!
Social media can also be a very powerful tool in helping promote your website. These avenues, like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, are viewed by millions of people across the globe. Also, your customers can rave about your products and customer service on their personal pages. Even better, it’s all free for you! Here are some tips on how to make the most of your social media endeavors:
- Make sure social media is appropriate. If your customer base doesn’t use social media, it may be a waste of your time.
- Have a strategy. Don’t jump on the social media bandwagon just because everyone else is. Think about how your customers want to interact with your brand and give the tools to do so.
- Don’t just post links. Many business twitter users tend to only tweet about a new sale or product. Twitter users don’t generally follow people who do nothing but that.
- Let your customers do the work. Let them write on your business’ Facebook wall or comment on your MySpace page. Then, leave it alone.
- Respond to new content. If someone “tweets” a question on your Twitter page or comments on your blog, make sure to respond. This illustrates your rapid response and care for the customer.
- Keep it fun. Social media is meant for others to interact and feel like they are a part of your brand. Don’t oversell your business or products on here. Use these avenues as a platform to make big announcements and establish personal connections with your customer base.
Happy selling and best of luck!
Matt Winn – Marketing Specialist
Starting a Business Part 1: Types Of Business
Starting a Business Part 2: Policies You Should Think About
Starting a Business Part 3: Choosing The Right Products To Sell
Starting a Business Part 4: Selecting A Dropshipper
Starting a Business Part 5: Logo Design
Starting a Business Part 6: How To Get Paid