When you start a new business a big challenge is to get new leads which you hope will become customers, and therefore produce income for you.
You hopefully already know that you have a great product or service, and you have set the price to be acceptable for both you and your customers.
So the first step would seem to be getting the leads.
But where can you get leads from without spending too much?
I have written this post to explain some of the ways to promote a new business and pointed out what I believe are the advantages and disadvantages of each method. You may not agree and some of these methods may not suit your business or your personal or financial situation; however it never hurts to listen to someone’s opinion.
How To Promote A New Business
There are a number of ways to promote a business, a service or a product and here I have focused on those that suit small businesses on limited budgets. I have not considered more expensive options such as television.
So here are some ways to promote a new business.
Traditionally newspaper’s were a great place to advertise. In Auckland the major papers like NZ Herald were too expensive for the small businesses, but Suburban Newspapers had and still do have the ‘local rags’ which are the localised papers, and then there are some smaller and more local papers too.
But times have changed and many of us would now read the news online rather than on newsprint and while they do have online versions I would doubt that you get results like you used too.
PROS: The advertisements can stay around for some time and if you have links included online it can help the SEO for your business websites.
CONS: Cost is the biggest negative, but it’s also questionable how much people read newspapers these days.
Websites & Blogs
It is now expected that every business has a website.
At one point businesses could get away without having a website, or by having what we would consider an online brochure; however this is really no longer acceptable.
I am also a believer of having a personal blog like this one. The main reason being is that any person even if not a business owner has an opportunity to promote themselves and build a following (list / client base) that will help them in their next venture and potentially make them a more valuable candidate for any role.
PROS: Having a good website provides a profile for your business, and can often make your business look bigger than it actually is. For this reason alone it can be a good idea for small businesses to create professional websites. A website with a blog is also a great place to provide information (like this) so it is available to the public and also to the search engines so people that are searching for specific information will find your website and therefore see you as the expert that they need to speak to.
CONS: Websites only work if they have an audience, so the real question is how to create an audience. There is some good SEO training available and linking to social media is a good idea if your social media marketing is working.
There are also some very average websites which can make businesses look bad.
You can say a lot with video in a limited time. They say if a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?
It’s reported that seventy-five million people watch videos online each month and we know that websites and search results with video are automatically ranked higher on Google. So it is a marketing technique that should not be ignored.
But you need to ensure that your video’s get seen and this is where we suggest Vidcredible the Video Marketing Software.
PROS: You can say a lot in a short marketing video and as mentioned we know that websites and search results with video are automatically ranked higher on Google so it is worth making an effort.
CONS: A professional video can cost quite a bit to put together, and some people don’t know how to create video’s for themselves.
Of course we do suggest that you try to make original videos butt at times like with the video above showing Vidcredible the Video Marketing Software then we felt it easier to use an existing video but reload it onto our YouTube channel with our own text and affiliate links. YouTube have made it hard to download videos so we use VDYoutube which is a free web service that allows you to download video and audio files (mp3, mp4, flv, webm, etc…) from different websites like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, SoundCloud, OK.ru, and many more.
Most people use social media personally and for business, but many are very amateur with how they use social media for business.
Done right it can be a very powerful way to promote business or a product, but done badly and it can have a negative impact.
PROS: Social media is free.
CONS: Posts on social media can be commented on by others which can often dilute the impact. There is often a lot of rubbish talked about on social media so it can take considerable effort to get seen and stay current.
Trade Me (for Products)
Trade Me is New Zealand’s version of e-Bay and these are great marketplaces to sell products but not really designed to sell services.
There are plenty of New Zealander’s that sell products on Trade Me. Some of those people are selling their own products while others will be selling products that they have sourced at wholesale prices to then on-sell at a profit. There is good opportunity to make money online this way and for those that really want to build a goon online income many are turning to drop shipping on e-Bay as the scale is larger with e-Bay yet the cost to get involved is minimal when you use drop shipping. Read about SaleHoo here to learn more.
PROS: The big advantage is that these marketplaces like Trade Me and e-Bay are already created with buyers searching for products.
CONS: One of the major problems with these types of market places is they are very price focused. It’s hard to ‘sell’ benefits as you are limited by space etc. You also can have your membership restricted by the administrators and therefore you need to be careful not to get too reliant on a single marketplace.
Belonging to a good business networking group can be a great way to meet people and I personally believe that Business Network International (BNI) is one of the best groups.
The key to the success of any business networking group is the people (including you) and how motivated they are to network. Many ‘so called’ business networking groups are more like coffee groups where people get together for a coffee and chat which is quite nice but rarely will this be effective and add value to your business.
BNI is the group that I belong to and visit each week.
PROS: Referrals are a great source of business leads as there is already an element of trust so the sales process is easier and price is rarely the focus. It’s a really good way to get business leads and also as you are meeting regularly you have the opportunity to train the other group members on the types of leads that you want – you can be very specific.
Business networking will be one of the cheapest marketing strategies for any small business.
CONS: It takes time to build trust within a business networking group and in some business networking groups there will be members that you do not get on with.
Has This Been Helpful?
We hope that this has been helpful and has given you some ideas on how to promote a new business.
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