As an entrepreneur, marketing is critical to the growth of your business. It is one of the most powerful instruments to get your company up and running as it provides the platform to introduce your brand to the world. This is what is known as marketing/promotion and though we know that it may sometimes take a huge chunk of your budget, it is important to know that the result is always worth the expenses. Here are 10 major marketing tips that are extremely useful for promoting your brand, irrespective of your financial position:

  1. The first rule, know your clientele: When you know your target audience, it is easier to devise marketing strategies that create a real connection between your brand and customers. Therefore, it is vital to know your potential clientele and the message you are trying to pass across to them so as not to lose their attention.
  2. Social media marketing: Just like it is possible to feel like you know someone after 10 minutes of scrolling through their Instagram page, so also, it is very likely that your potential clients will quickly form an opinion about your brand based on your social media posts without ever being exposed to your team, services or products. That said, engage a social media expert who understands how you want to portray your brand and who knows the best way to grow your network of customers.
  3. Do not be afraid to change strategy: Be honest about what is working or not. Not every business model has to advertise via regular social media channels. Whilst Instagram may work very well for marketing one product, radio jingles may be more useful for another product. If you have tried a strategy and it keeps failing, do not be afraid to try something different, including billboard adverts, flyers, radio/TV adverts. Remember, your target market will determine the best marketing strategy.
  4. E-mail marketing: This is an alternative marketing strategy. Your database is a gold mine and what you do with your record of phone numbers/emails can possibly skyrocket your progress into success. You can choose to send periodic updates, newsletters, discount codes, etc. to the contacts you have accumulated over the years. You must however be careful not to infringe on applicable data privacy regulations. You must ensure that the numbers/emails are only used for intended and agreed-upon purposes.
  5. Connect emotionally: Most great brands have built up their image using compelling stories to drive connection with their clients. No one is saying you should make up stories or tell untrue tales, but there is nothing wrong with giving your customers a brand that they can easily connect with. A business can use real-life day-to-day experiences as a marketing strategy to connect with its potential customers.
  6. Socialize: It is important to make out time to attend networking events, seminars, workshops, religious and political engagements that are relevant to the line of your business. You have the opportunity to market your business to every person you meet. Therefore, always be prepared for impromptu conversations. At such events be clear in terms of your outcome and act on your goal; initiate a conversation, exchange cards, target potential customers, distribute free branded gift items to attendees, etc.
  7. Follow-up: It is not enough to attend events. After interacting with a prospective client or customer, it is also very important to immediately follow up with a call, email, or text message; while the memory of your meeting and interaction is still fresh in the mind of the other person. During a follow-up interaction, use formal greetings, speak clearly, listen, be respectful, suggestive, and not imposing. Be resilient and interested in getting positive feedback.
  8. Build products that clients can trust: There is nothing greater than having returning users who recommend your products to their friends/families because they were satisfied with your product. Referrals have proven to be one of the most effective and resourceful marketing tools for businesses. It is therefore very important for a business to focus on earning the trust of its customers. Your customers will only recommend a product they trust.
  9. Build a client referral system: Word of mouth referrals have proven to be a useful key in influencing purchasing decisions especially for emerging businesses. Therefore, strategically build a system whereby existing clients trust your product and are inspired to let people in on your fantastic product/services. You can take the further step of rewarding those who recommend your product by creating a bonus/point earning system.
  10. Form strategic partnerships with other brands: This is one of the easiest ways to build your reputation as a startup. Many small businesses have sparked public interest within a few hours of announcing their partnership with bigger brands. While it may be impossible to collaborate with the biggest brands yet, there are always other brands you can strategically connect with to improve sales and visibility.