As small businesses, marketing is always on our mind. We are always thinking of new ways that we can grow our business and land more clients, sales, etc.
Marketing is typically how we achieve this. Marketing is how we get new business and how we grow our businesses. With the advances in technology the way we go about marketing has started to change.
- Instead of YellowPage Ads we put ads on Google
- Instead of Commercials we post our videos on Youtube
- Instead of Newspaper Ads we Blog
- Instead of Cold-calling we use Social Media
- and the list goes on
The days of traditional marketing are starting to fade. There is a large shift being made towards Inbound Marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound marketing refers to marketing to people that are already looking for you. For example: Your website showing up when someone searches for one of your services on Google. This tends to perform much better then a newspaper ad which is being shown to more people but most of which don’t notice or don’t care.
Times are Changing
There is a large shift towards Online Marketing such as Social Media, Search Engine Optimization, Conversion Rate Optimization, etc. Many of us have been doing this for a while but many of us still are not.
We cannot forgot Face to Face Marketing.
Face to Face Marketing is really where it all began. Even today I believe it is the most powerful form of Marketing your business. Nothing will ever be able to beat or replicate a face to face conversation, the connection you make and the relationship you build.
So let’s take a step back for a minute and evaluate how businesses typically grow.
The root of generating new businesses is through referrals. I think most business owners would agree that the best way to grow your business is, organically, through positive word of mouth (referrals). A referral comes when someone recommends your business to someone else.
Before we get a referral, we need to build a relationship with someone to give us the referral. Relationships, like Rome, are not built in a day. They take time. Relationships can be made in various ways such as with people you meet frequently, people you do business with, or clients you have worked for. But in each scenario, you have built a relationship on some level.
In order to build new relationships we need to meet new people. In the industry we typically do this through networking. Networking can take various forms. For example in Edmonton, there are always industry events, mixers, charity events, etc. all which provide a fantastic atmosphere for meeting new people. There are also networking groups that meet monthly, some even weekly, some are free some aren’t. These are also effective as you have the opportunity to build a relationship, establish a connection and build trust.
Putting it all Together
When you take a look at the big picture you need to incorporate all facets of marketing for your business. It’s important to market your business both on and offline. Meeting people face to face offers a great opportunity to make a connection, one that cannot be made through email.
We take this “mixed” approach to building our business. We market our business online through Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Search Engine Optimization, the works. However, we attend industry events and we also are a part of BoB Club. We meet with a great group of people every 2 weeks. It is very relaxed, we mix, mingle and build relationships. We don’t not expect work from these people. But our goal is to make connections. Over time as we the relationship grows, we become a company they can refer, and likewise, we refer them.
How do you market your business?