I often get asked, "Rubina, what is the one thing I can do to get clients." Or "What is the one thing I can do to get people to donate to our organization." My answer is always, There's not. There is no ONE thing you can do to get people to buy from you or give to you. Many don't want to hear this, but it's true.
Regularly, we are all consuming massive amounts of information from a variety of sources. Rarely do we run out and buy something or get compelled to give right when we consume that information. It's when we are ready to buy something or ready to give to a cause or organization, when one or two brands, or messages will stick out for us in our brains. We can recall these specific brands or images more easily. Why? Because we saw the brand and/or message enough times through various channels and they stuck with us. This is called accomplishing top of mind status. If you did just one thing, it would be very hard to achieve this status. Therefore, a variety of methods are recommended even if you are a small business or small organization.
TIP 4 : Get the word out by using a variety of marketing channels.
Here is my list of what I like to recommend to folks to do if they want to get the word out about their business or organization. You start here and you build. You build by either adding more channels, or turning up the frequency of delivery on an existing channel, like first you start off by sending one press release every quarter, but then you up the frequency of delivery by sending out one press release every month.
1. Network. There are many networking opportunities out there. The problem is trying to choose which ones to go to! Chose the ones where the people who are most suited to buy your product or give to your organization. Also, go to those events that accommodate your schedule so that you are at your best at these networking events. Also, you don't always have to go the same networking evens in town. Create your own. Get some groups of people together that share the same interests, start a book club. Get creative with this and get the word out.
2. Ask for referrals. Don't assume that because you did a great job for your client, that your client is not automatically going to tell people. You have to ask them to give you referrals. You also have to follow up with them and give them the things they need to make referring you easy.
3. Utilize social media. The people who have friended (this is now a word at least in my book thanks to Facebook!) you are your biggest fans. They've come to you with permission. Give them information about what you are doing. Don't make it a sales pitch. Genuinely share what is happening with you and with your business or organization. Engage others by commenting on their posts , etc.
4. Have business cards you are proud of. You need something to handout to people when you meet them. Every time you meet someone, they should get their business card. Your business card does not have to a standard business card. It can be the size of a postcard, or stitched onto cloth. But, always have something you leave people with. On the flip side, always leave with their information too. This way, you are not leaving it up to them to get in touch with you. You then have the ability to be proactive and reach out to them first.
5. Send press releases. Let the media know you are an expert. Send them press releases bi-weekly or even weekly of information that is pertinent to them and the section they usually write in. Start building a relationship with the right media contacts. Press releases don't have to be exactly about your business or be very sales pitchy. They can be about a great new book you read related to your field of expertise and you are offering a quick synopsis. You could write about a topic related to your field and share information. There are many ways to go with a press release that doesn't have to directly sell to people. The knowledge you are sharing is doing the selling.
6. Collaboration. Find other businesses, organizations and individuals you might be able to collaborate with in order to stretch those marketing dollars. They don't have to be businesses and organizations that do similar work as you. Pick those entities that complement you and your business. For instance I was at a used book store today and next to them is a herbs store. When I was checking out the store manager said that if I supported the herbs store then they would give me 20% off my purchase. The true was also the same at the herbs store. This is just one example of collaboration.
Focus on these few things and start documenting what works and what doesn't. Change accordingly again if necessary.