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How To Advertise Your New Business in Four Easy Steps
by Kevin Nunley.
Are you starting a new business? Congratulations! Millions like you are putting up their signs and welcoming customers for the first time. With the economy swinging upward and even the smallest business empowered by the Internet, there has never been a better time to get started in your own venture.
However, without solid advertising and marketing, you won't get customers. Even worse, you can spend a fortune on advertising in the wrong places and you STILL won't get customers.
Here are four must-do things to remember when you start to promote your new business.
1. First, decide who your best customers are. Are they home owners in a particular part of town? Are they certain sized business in your industry?
Unless you have billions in investment capital, you can't afford to advertise to everyone. Even if you sell something that ANYONE would want, a limited budget means you must focus only on your best potential customers.
After all, that only makes sense. Just twenty percent of your customers will usually account for eighty percent of your sales. So focus on that special twenty percent.
2. Find out what media your customers use. If you run a nightclub, your customers probably find out about a business like yours from radio commercials and local entertainment newspaper listings. If you build web sites, your customers probably find someone like you with search engines, in email newsletters, or from referrals on popular sites.
Now focus only on media you can afford to use again and again. People will need to see your ad several times before they decide to buy. Far too often I see new businesses blow their entire ad budget one big newspaper ad, TV commercial, or live radio spot. They may get a flood of people in the store the first few days, but then people stop coming. Now, the business doesn't have enough money left to continue advertising, and they eventually close their doors for good.
The nightclub owner above could advertise with cheap commercials late at night on pop stations that closely target the age group and lifestyle that comes to his club. The web designer might limit his ads to a few popular ezines that provide web design tips.
3. Sell the main benefit of your product, service, or idea. Sure, people want to know how you started the business and how shiny your new gizmo 2000 is, but mostly they want to know how your product or service can SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS.
Start your ad, sales letter, commercial, or web page out by briefly explaining a common problem you can solve. The web designer might start: "Website not making any sales?" or, "Is your site just a little ugly and embarrassing?"
Now she has the attention of LOTS of people who WANT and NEED her web design skills. Next, she can list the features of her service and connect them with the problems she solves or the benefit the customer gets:
* Attractive graphics that get attention and load quickly, so your customers don't click away.
* Professional copy to get prospects excited and ready to buy.
* A more logical flow from page to page, leading customers directly to your shopping cart for more orders.
4. Get FREE publicity and FREE word of mouth. Nothing brings in new business like an editor or broadcaster saying, "I checked this out and thought is was important for you to know about it."
Send your press release to your local media and to trade publications that cover your industry. Call radio talk shows when they venture onto a topic related to your business. You can be the expert that calls in with some advice... often slipping your company name in during the call.
Offer media people free samples, free product to give away as prizes, and even free donuts or pies (it's amazing how well free food works).
And now about the FREE word of mouth. Nothing is as powerful. When one person tells another, "I found this great place with cool stuff you should try," it far more powerful than any ad you could ever buy.
Work like crazy to get free word of mouth. It usually comes when you provide more than the customer expected. Give some extra free advice. Take a bit more time after the sale to make sure the service is done just right. Encourage the customer. Give them 13 when they only ordered 12.
Don't make advertising your new business too complicated. You've got too many other things to worry about. Do these four simple steps over and over until you find a combination that works, then keep your plan in place consistently for a year or two. You will watch as your customer list and sales grow steadily.
About the Author
Kevin Nunley provides marketing advice, copy writing, and popular promotion packages. See his big All-Out Marketing Program that combines a press release with your own ezine article, ezine ads, and sizzling sales copy at http://DrNunley.com/123.htm Reach Kevin at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-249-9519.