With the beginning of the year comes new goals and dreams for small business owners like me. Part of the work I do involves mentoring other small business owners and helping to make their businesses grow. As we start of a fresh year, here are 3 of my marketing tips for growing your business right now…
Give out samples. There’s a reason that grocery stores give out samples of their new or seasonal products. Because once you get a taste, you buy the whole thing! That’s what you often need to do when you’re starting a new business or offering something new. This “sample” could include charging a reduced rate for your design work to build your portfolio or giving away a few free sessions of your services to build up your client list. When I first started my business as a graphic design freelancer, I traded my design services with other small business owners and designed someone’s logo in exchange for pilates lessons. It allowed us both to grow our experience and clients together! If you have a product-based business, giving our samples or gifting influencers is always a great way to spread word of mouth (or word of mouse when it’s virtual :P).
Pitch please. All of my Oh Joy Academy students know how big I am on pitching—I even teach a class on how to do it! The kind of pitch I’m talking about isn’t the ad exec style pitch where you’re presenting your full-on ideas in hopes that you get hired as the agency for the job. This is the idea of putting yourself and your skills/services/business in front of those who you want to work with. You’re researching who to get in touch with, putting together material that will tell them who you are, and presenting yourself in the best way possible so they know who you are and why they should work with you. Putting together a pitch is different for everyone and requires some prep work to make it impactful and get their attention. But if you never do it in the first place, then you’ll never increase your chances of getting the work, clients, projects, or accounts you really want!
Ask happy customers for feedback. The idea of a testimonial is nothing new, but they still work well especially if you have a client-based business. If you know you’ve done a good job and your client is happy, ask them for a short blurb on why they enjoyed working with you and ask their permission to use the quote for your marketing needs. These quotes can go on your website, social media, or in your future pitches. And, even if you don’t have a need for their feedback right now, save those nice words in a folder on your computer. You should always ask for the testimonial while the job is fresh on their minds!
Photo by Lily Glass