When you set up a new small business, you need to kick off your marketing somewhere… but where do you start?
Here’s my top 10 practical marketing initiatives to tackle when you first start in business:
Make sure your website is in place and fully functioning, filled with the information people need to make sensible, informed buying decisions. Include full contact details too; contact name, street address, landline, mobile and email plus Registered Ltd Company details (if you are one) and number, and your VAT number if you have one, to comply with EU Distance Selling regulations
Be prepared with general physical communications materials in place; letters, invoices, business cards and so on
Put a full suite of basic marketing materials in place for launch including an e-newsletter template, email marketing and autoresponder messages, ways to handle confirmations and queries, complaints and product enquiries
Build a database of hot prospects to launch your business to – either by direct mail postcard or email
If you’ve got a blog on your site, which is an excellent idea for all sorts of business reasons, populate it with at least ten posts pre-launch so it’s lively and interesting up front
Create a special offer for your launch to get people’s juices running.
Send a press release to relevant local and national press, radio, magazines and trade publications
Buy something from your site yourself to test your sales and delivery process works smoothly without any hitches or glitches
Make a detailed marketing plan covering at least the next six months, complete with projections and goals… and stick to it! Marketing is a journey not a destination. The more you do the more you’ll promote your brand out there in the wilds of the internet!
Learn something new every week. Absorb the basics of on-site natural search engine optimisation, link building and pay per click. Get a Google account and keep an eye on your stats, identify your best key phrases and set up AdSense campaigns. Learn how to write a killer press release, craft an informative online article and create winning blog posts that are so good people will happily link back to your site unasked. Dream up a new promotional idea each month. Find ways to keep your site fresh and alive. And explore social media marketing. In short, become your own marketing expert.