Everyone who is trying to make it on their own runs into the same problem sooner or later: getting the word out about themselves. If you provide a service, you need the people who need your service to learn who you are and remember your name. If you sell something, you know there are people who need your product…but not enough of them have heard about you. Without advertising and announcing who you are, you can’t get sales.
In today’s world of social media, mass communication, smartphones, and instant news, one might think that solving this problem would be easy. Well, different tools are indeed available these days but the problem is the same as it ever was. You have some technological advantages over people in past decades, but you need to do many of the same things. Here are three of the most important.
Make a Good Website
There’s no excuse for not placing a landing page online. It takes no more than a couple of hours at most, and it serves not only as your online presence but also as your base of operations. How will people contact you? Via your site. How will they find you online? By finding your site on a search engine. How will you capture leads? By your prospects signing up at your site. It’s a necessary basis for building the rest of your promo methodology.
Don’t waste time designing and coding a site right away. Buy decent hosting, install WordPress, and put up a ready-made template. A portfolio or landing page template will work well. (This one is a good example. And this is a great temporary launch theme. Get the idea?) High quality, stylish templates aren’t expensive – usually they cost between $25 and $40.
Get Some Awesome Business Cards
You don’t need to be a designer (or even have a title) to make business cards. Many online card printers provide some very nice designs (Moo.com, I’m thinking of you!) that are ready for you to use just as they are. Put your name, your website, your cell number, and maybe your PO box on the card…and you’re good to go. I got some cards from moo.com last month, and not only were they cheap but the order process was absolutely painless. The best part? Everyone seems to actually like the cards – they were impressed. (And not just my mom.)
Have Something to Give Away
This depends not only on the nature of your business (and your budget) but who your potential customers are. For most businesses, you can’t go wrong with some cheap promotional items like pens. (They can be expensive or very affordable, depending on what kind you want.) I’ve seen more creative giveaways as well – like small crocheted characters given away by an Etsy seller. If you sold pies, I’d tell you to give away samples…you get the idea. Pick something that your customers can take away, use, or experience and you’ll be remembered.
So those are the three things I recommend. Do you have any additional ideas? Please share your thoughts!