So much to do, so little time. If that is true in your world, then here is a list of the 10 things you can do to promote your business.
- Networking. Tell anyone and everyone what you are doing. Tell relatives because they love to “talk up” their family members who are doing something on their own. Tell former coworkers and bosses in case they ever need your services. Make yourself a walking, talking billboard for your business.
- URL. Make your website URL like your middle name. When you’re on calls and asked to introduce yourself, give your name and your web site address. Do the same at meetings or business functions. Make it part of your “blurb” about yourself.
- Press Release. Formally announce what you’re doing via a press release. Send it out to local online media or anywhere else you think the information can be valuable. For example, if you’re offering a local service catering to consumers who grocery shop, put it up on the free billboards they offer.
- Write articles. Share your knowledge. It is the best way to show others what you know and well as what you can do. And, if you’re reading this, then you know that EzineArticles is a good example of where you might place these articles. Do your research about article submission sites and get those articles posted.
- Got Blog? If no, then you should. They are easy to create, easy to manage, and as long as you update them frequently, they help to get your message out there. For every entry, be sure to use the keywords you associate with your business throughout the article.
- Spread the Ezine. Here is another deliverable to offer. Yes: you have to have an email list to do this but you will be building that as you go. At least have a sample Ezine created that you can show to others who might ask.
- Tweet. There is a TV commercial that says only 26% of the people watching the commercial even know about tweeting (or Twitter.com). You better not be part of that 26%. You need to get online and start sharing what you do with others. If you’re not sure how to Tweet, Felicia Slattery ( www.communicationtransformation.com ) offers the best program I have found on this subject.
- Merge Forces. Bartering is very big now and there are probably lots of people that you can find who are willing to cross-promote your business and theirs. Search out these people, simply ask if you can do some things together, and go from there. There was a commercial in the 70’s (I think I watch too much TV) for a hair product that coined a phrase about “telling a friend and she’ll tell a friend and so on and so on.” That’s 100% true. It’s strange how someone may remember what you do in the middle of a conversation with someone else.
- Rewards. Let people know that if they send you business, they’ll get something in return. Come up with something that does not cost you money: e.g., a free one-month membership in your program or a small discount based upon the amount of business you receive from the referral. Make everyone in the world your own little sales force. (In the online world, these people are called, “affiliates.”)
- Announcements. Similar to a press release, send out announcements about what you are doing to people who either don’t have email or live out of area that you cannot see face-to-face. Remember: everyone knows someone who lives somewhere else so that college friend who lives 3000 miles away may have a friend who lives in your immediate area.
As a solo professional, your #1 job is to promote you and what you do. Every contact is a potential customer or knows a potential customer. So toot your own horn, loud and often.