Once you’ve gotten your idea off the planning table and into action, you need to create a buzz about what you’re offering. Traditional Social Media and advertising outlets can be VERY expensive, particularly for a first time entrepreneur. Here is where startups and small business’ have a bit of an advantage. Both these types of businesses have to constantly rely on their imagination and personal branding in order to get their ideas off the ground. Marketing and/or advertising is no different.
First, consider directly marketing yourself to the big players in your market niche creating the perception of coordination with the top companies. Local Bigwig, a New York based business for executive temporary housing, used this method to grow. They contacted the big players in their industry including Homes.com and Zillow and offered a way of providing them with clean inventory and content that streamed to Local Bigwig’s website when clicked. They were then able to tout their working partnership with the big guys in their field as well as gain credibility on prominent websites with tons of existing traffic.
Another avenue is more of an organic growth through social media. Use games or sweepstakes to get yourself “Liked” on Facebook or to gain more Twitter followers by giving away free services or products. Communicate with bloggers and online news sources about your product or service showing off your expertise and knowledge and letting them know you offer something that will benefit their readers and, by connection, benefit their blog or news site.
Finally, don’t skip steps by trying to promote your business as bigger than you are. I’m not saying to underestimate your potential, but if you are a new business, embrace the stage of business and opportunities and expectations of a young start up. Starting a business is a lot like raising a child. From conception to baby steps to planning and organizing the direction of their growth to the sleepless nights worrying about what’s going on when you’re not looking – watch your business grow into self sufficiency, enjoy every step and mis-step and remember each stage comes with its own benefits. The levels of forgiveness at a start up or small business stage are often far greater than at higher stages of company growth. You’ll miss opportunities – both with growth and direction – if you fail to embrace the stage of business that you are in. And you will lose the opportunity to create a flexible roadmap of where you want to go if you skip the growth and discovery phases.Susan@susanjamesandassociates.com” target=”blank”>
One of the joys of being a business owner, is that you typically only have to work with people you like. I was referred to Susan by my friend and colleague Arich B. of Live Nation … and she has been great.
For me … she has been patient, funny and warm and obviously generous … as she exercises her good corporate citizenship and supports Team Vanity Girl Hollywood in our quest to beat breast cancer. Thanks Susan!