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Small businesses must come up with innovative marketing strategies if they want to stay ahead of competitors. Although, the conventional ways of marketing a product or service are still relevant, try using new ideas to reach out to your target market. Listed below are 18 of the best marketing strategies for small businesses.

Get out of the Store

Establishing a presence on the internet, even if you have a physical store, is critical. Create an interactive, regularly updated site or blog and build informative yet informal profiles on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Share your Expertise Freely

Let the public know what you’re an expert in and use that to boost your reliability and value. Publish tips, share your expertise through public speaking, and even try pitching to the media. Make it super easy for people to associate you and your business with excellence and expertise in your field.

Never Stop Growing your Network

Expand your network of contacts and potential clients. Ask your best, most powerful, influential friends or business associates to introduce you to the five people they think you should meet to expand your business.

Twitter Giveaways

Give away your product or promotional item on Twitter.

Network your Networks

Network with friends who then network with their friends. There’s power in numbers. Don’t spam, of course, but utilize your network to get the word out to your people who know people who know people.

Maintain Relationships with Clients

The difference between a successful company and a mediocre one often boils down to an owner’s commitment to building (and sustaining) relationships with clients and prospects.

Listen. Tweet. Listen. Listen Again.

Identify your ideal clients and find them on Twitter. Then start following them! Spend weeks listening to them; you’ll be amazed what they will tell you about their concerns, their ideal products, and their current frustrations with their vendors. It’s a great way to get open and honest market research.

Leverage Linked-In

Join as many Linked-In groups as you can that are related to what you sell and post a question or tips on a regular basis.

Facebook It!

Your Facebook friends can be your greatest free marketing tools so enlist their help! On Facebook, use the NOTES application to create a special, limited-time “friends and family”promotion.

Tweet It!

Twitter is a great place to share photos, host contests, shout out to loyal customers, have scavenger hunts, and promote events.

Blog Tour

Blog tours are like book tours, but without all the flying, cheap hotels, and fast food temptations. They’re a great way to get seen and discovered outside your usual niche, all from the comfort of your own office or home.

Inspire Customers to Call You

Do something really different. Send a monthly postcard instead of a hard copy newsletter.

Be Generous

To keep customers loyal to you, instead of a frequent buyer program, send your customers small “surprise” gifts.

Low Hanging Fruit

Turn to those in your field for the low hanging fruit. Find larger companies or older, more experienced businesses and invite them to lunch. Ask them to consider referring their smaller cases, or business they don’t have time to handle, to you.

Feed them and They Will Come

Anything involving food gets attention. Partner up with local neighborhood businesses and a restaurant (or other service providers in a complementary but non-competing industry if that’s your gig) to throw a special event.

Help Other Employees

Offer employee incentives to various big businesses or to smaller businesses in your hometown.

Online-Map Listings

Online map listings are essential for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. They are the first thing people see on search engines.

Small Groups

It only takes one person to start a movement. So don’t hesitate to start an informal group that can provide something of value to the market in which you specialize.

 Conclusion:

To conclude, these marketing ideas will surely help you in promoting your products or services among your target consumers. You must devote time and money to reap benefits out of these strategies.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Angry tax inspector looking serious and determined, adult businessperson with glasses
The question of why attorneys hate marketing has been around for a while now and has attracted many heated debates by various professionals and lawyers. One of the most interesting points to be revealed in these debates is that most people seem to agree that lawyers are antipathetic towards advertising and even lawyers are privy to it.

Often you would hear statements like ‘Advertising is unethical’ and ‘If I make 4 calls every week, I’d be out of people to call after a month’ from lawyers. Though it appears that they might have a point, without marketing, your firm is bound to fall into oblivion. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for attorneys to hate advertising and what we can do to alter their views.

Ethical Dilemma

Lawyers have this negative perception about advertising that its basic function is to trick customers into making a buying decision. They consider it to be plainly unethical and unprofessional to indulge in promotional practices. However, that is not entirely true as advertising has developed from only being a source to lure customers to helping them make informed and better decisions.

Solution

The state bar ethics office can play a vital role in altering this perception by conducting seminars and defining the ethical boundaries of marketing. Involve everyone in the discussion and ask for their opinions about ways to market ethically and set definitive parameters about when and how to advertise.

Clients don’t like Being Approached by Attorneys

Lawyers tend to object that it is invasive to approach clients as they don’t like being marketed to. They base this assumption on the fact that they themselves don’t like it so others will not be impressed by it either. Because lawyers are aware of the privacy rights of individuals, which have been reinforced in their academics and practice, they tend to firmly believe and act upon them.

Solution

Advanced marketing approaches are far more refined and take into account the consent of the clients. Lawyers can ask their clients and conduct surveys about the kind of advertising they would prefer. The core of marketing is to find the needs of your clients and fulfilling them by offering them their desired services, which eventually makes them happy. This will also help you understand what they don’t like so you can abstain from those practices in the future.

We are Attorneys, not Marketers

Lawyers believe that advertising is a profession of its own and requires a real know-how to be truly effective. They view things through a lens of their own and think of someone who is not a professional. The outcome, surely, won’t be favorable as lawyers have to be continuously part of the whole process and need to be aware of the little technicalities.

Solution

Marketing doesn’t have anything to do with this and it works on its own, without any legal boundaries. As your firm grows, you will need to cater to different sorts of target audiences and that takes a real branding effort. Just because you are not an advertising professional, it does not mean you cannot hire an expert to do the job for you. Investing in advertising could be one of the most significant decisions in the success of your law firm.

Nothing Solid to Sell

This objection is often raised by the attorneys who do not believe in marketing for services. They believe that it is just a waste of resources and will not yield any significant outcome. They also believe that their services are quite limited and they are better off reaching out to their clients through conventional sources. This claim is right to a certain extent as Return on Investment for services generally tends to be on the lower side than it is for actual products.

Solution

However, this does not mean that you must totally abandon advertising. A well-structured advertising campaign can give you significant insights into the client’s preferences and what they require from you as their legal counsel. This kind of information is important because it can help you perform better at your job. Having access to pertinent data about the needs of your clients is still a good enough reason to invest in branding campaigns.  

Marketing is a Waste of Money

Lawyers argue that most of their clients come through referrals from friends, family and acquaintances. This is because lawyers spend most of their time in conferences and meetings so they constantly engage with other lawyers and sometimes with people from another profession. Most attorneys seem content with this approach and consider advertising to be a waste of money and resources. However, to answer why some conversations lead to referrals and others do not, you would probably need the help of advertising.

Solution

Showing lawyers that marketing will expand their network of connections, rather than replace it, is one of the solutions. Explain it to them through examples of other businesses and, specifically, law firms that have been able to brand themselves to success. Lawyers must be able to think of advertising as a means to an end, rather than the end itself, for them to really profit from it.

I am Smarter than Marketers

There is always a tendency to have a bias about the understanding of your business. For attorneys, the bias is even extreme as they have to rely on their own intuition and skill to run their law firm. The increased dependency on oneself tricks them into believing that they are the sole bearers of their business. It is possible that some of them are bright enough to do really well but, usually, the outcome is unwanted.

Solution

You need to start small with these people. Start with a small marketing campaign and show them the results. They need facts and figures to grasp the ideology behind advertising. Build trust and eventually unleash the perks of branding on them.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.