You have established a business. Maybe you have founded a brand new company or worked your way up from the trenches of a niche market. Regardless of how you got here, you have decided to make your mark on the world and make a living doing what you love. Congrats!
You now need to figure out how to market your business. Fortunately, the digital age has made it easier than ever to find success as an entrepreneur. Thanks to the advent of online marketing, entrepreneurs can now build a following and gain credibility fast.
In this article, we will discuss how to market your business online. We will cover everything from optimizing your website to gaining media coverage to attracting investors.
Find Your Niche
When establishing a business, the first thing you need to do is identify a niche for your product or service. Believe it or not, there are actually a few different ways you can go about doing this.
If you have a specific product that you plan on peddling (e.g., a pill, a potion, or a silicone wristband), then you can simply look for the most in demand product within your niche. For example, let’s say you are the maker of magic pills and you notice that thousands of people are searching for “magic pills” every month. That’s your niche. Alternatively, you can look to see which topics are driving the most organic traffic to your site (or Facebook page, Google Plus page, etc.).
Once you identify your niche, you can use tools like Google Trends to easily find the in demand products or topics within your niche.
Build A Following
Once you have found your niche, it’s time to build a following. Simply put, to build a following, you have to engage with your audience. This means that you need to provide value to your followers by sharing helpful information, teaching them something new, or encouraging them to take some action.
To get started, simply begin engaging with your audience. For example, let’s say you have found a niche related to beauty and you decide to create a blog post about the best waterproof makeup for women with sensitive skin or you write a guide on how to style your hair like Justin Bieber.
The important thing to remember about building a following is to always be providing value to your audience. If you are doing this online, you will want to make sure that you are using platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to connect with people who have an interest in your niche.
Grow A List Of People You Want To Connect With
Now that you have a following, it’s time to grow your list of people you want to connect with. This is where things can get a bit tricky. You definitely do not want to spam your followers with endless emails, because that will turn off your potential customers. At the same time, you want to make sure that you are not giving out your email address to complete strangers either.
To combat this, you can either use free tools like MailChimp to create an email list, or you can create a list of every single person you have met or engaged with on social media. In either case, make sure that you are only giving out your email address to trusted contacts.
Remember that a key part of marketing is establishing credibility. When you are providing value and connecting with people who are interested in your niche, you are demonstrating that you are a trusted expert in your field. And in turn, that will gain you credibility with your target audience.
Find The Right Media To Publish Your Content
Once you have a following, it’s time to find the right media to publish your content. In short, you need to find a way to get your content in front of as many people as possible. Fortunately, the digital age has made this quite easy.
If you have a blog, for example, you can simply look to see who your target audience is and then find a way to get your content in front of them. If you are looking for an authoritative voice in your niche, then you can always turn to media like books, magazines, and online websites. Social media is also a great place to find media that is relevant to your niche. For example, if you run a blog about fashion, you can find online fashion magazines, fashion blogs, or even a fashion Twitter account to connect with.
Additionally, if you have a product or service that you plan on selling, then you can find online directories, review websites, or even social media accounts of people who have tried out or bought your product to connect with them.
Create Marketing Materials
Now that you have found the right publications, it’s time to create marketing materials. Simply put, marketing materials are all the materials necessary to promote your business (e.g., a business card, a flyer, a magazine article, a product review, etc.) The materials you will create will depend on how you plan on marketing your business.
For example, if you are simply looking to establish your brand and you do not have any products to sell, then you can simply create a business card to identify your brand. If you are looking to attract customers to your store, then you can create a flyer to promote your brand and the grand opening of your store. If you are looking for an authoritative voice in your niche, then you can find an article in a relevant magazine or you can write a blog post to gain credibility.
What’s important about these materials is that you must be consistent. It is easy to get distracted by shiny objects when working on your business, but that will only get you so far. By creating materials that are relevant to your niche, you will be able to promote your business to the right audience.
Distribute Your Materials
Once you have your business card, flyer, or magazine article, it’s time to distribute them. Simply put, you need to get the word out there about your business. To do this, you can use a number of different methods.
If you have a physical store, then you can simply hand out your business card to prospective customers. Alternatively, you can put up flyers in high-traffic areas (e.g., near the cash registers at a retail store or near the front door of a hotel) or you can distribute magazines and other relevant literature in hopes of gaining some form of attention.
In addition to these traditional methods, you can also take advantage of the digital age and use social media to gain attention and expand your reach. If you are looking for an authoritative voice in your niche, then you can create a blog and use platforms like Medium to gain credibility and distribute your work to the right audience.
The important thing to remember about marketing your business is that it is a long-term process. Simply choosing a niche and building a following will not ensure that you will automatically become the go-to source for your chosen field. To truly establish yourself as an expert in your niche, you will need to continue to provide value to your audience by regularly publishing fresh content and connecting with other people.