When you first start to market your business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to tell absolutely everyone about yourself and not thinking first about who will really benefit most from what you are selling. For example, if you are starting a small retail website, you may not wish to spend $1000’s on advertising in glossy magazines until you have built yourself up a bit (or a lot).
Most small businesses have a limited budget when it comes to marketing and one of the best ways to stick to that budget is to refine who you are selling to.
So sit down and think about it.
Who do you think will be most interested in what you sell? Are they young or old; well off, or cash strapped; white or blue collar; HSC or Tertiary educated?
Try and imagine them.
What do you think they like, what turns them off? While we know it’s not a good idea to pigeonhole people too much, you can certainly save a lot of time and money by identifying and targeting the sort of customers who are more likely to be seeking what you are selling.
Once you’ve got an idea of who your business is best going to serve, think about where they are and what they’re doing.
Are they reading fancy magazines? Are they trawling the net? On Facebook perhaps? What sites might they like? What keywords might they use to search for you (aaah the million billion dollar question).
Even if you haven’t got it 100% right, you should now be able to think of a few ways to best reach your potential customers.
Perhaps sponsored links instead of classifieds. Maybe not a national paper but a local one. A letterbox drop in your area or a visit to your local shopping centre with some brochures. Get busy on some relevant forums, tweet about what you do, write a series of relevant blog posts (yep, you’ve found me out).
It’s all about saving your energy, so marketing doesn’t take up all your time, and you get the most bang for your buck, whether it’s time or money spent.
Good luck with your marketing target practice… next week: How social media has finally hit me over head with a big saucepan and forced me to take notice.