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Friday, June 13, 2008

Build a Marketing Strategy for Success: 3 Tips for the Small Business Owner Tip 3

Publishing: Again, establish yourself as an expert! That is how you increase business. Post a blog, post on others blogs, and write articles for your local papers, or newsletters that attract your niche market.
Three tips to maximize ROI with Publishing:
1- Write powerful articles that you can use in multiple areas (paper, Web, and more) and keep them short.
2- Always make sure your contact info is included.
3- Keep your articles and post them to your Web site, or use them in your portfolio to increase credibility.
These three marketing strategies have been the most powerful, as I have grown a business that now has a team of five who have helped me survive the dot-bomb crash, September 11th, and our current economy issues. Even with cancellations and clients not returning, which happened in early 2008, I am still scheduled to have my best year ever, using these strategies. Try them! I am sure they will work for you, too!

Ann Evanston independently operates the San Francisco and San Ramon chapters of eWomenNetwork. Through AME-zing Woman she personally coaches women online to improve their marketing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Build a Marketing Strategy for Success: 3 Tips for the Small Business Owner - Tip 2

Speaking/Presenting: This is a great way to expose what you do to potential customers, especially if you provide a service. Set a goal to speak pro bono at several engagements a year. This was a HUGE win when I first started my leadership consulting business!
Three tips to maximize ROI with Speaking/Presenting:
1- Pick the right groups that have an interest in your product or service.
2- In exchange for speaking for free, make sure you get a contact list of attendees. And always have a handout with a special offer on it.
3- Make sure you are a GREAT speaker. I meet many small business owners who want to speak in front of my groups, but they have not yet developed great speaking skills, which would negatively impact your ROI.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Build a Marketing Strategy for Success: 3 Tips for the Small Business Owner - Tip 1

Networking and direct contact: This has been proven to be the FASTEST way to get business results. It will achieve the greatest ROI if you do it well. I have a good friend, Ruth. We met at her FIRST networking meeting for her business (she didn’t even have business cards yet!). Two years later, she has an actual storefront and two staff members! When you network, you must realize it is about putting others first, not you and your business. People help you faster when you help them! Also, beware of “FREE” networking events. You want to show up at events where people can afford your product or service.
Three tips to maximize ROI with Networking:
1- Show up regularly; occasional participation does not work, since you cannot build relationships if you aren’t consistent.
2- Show interest in others; remember that people like to talk about themselves.
3- Follow up after the meeting. This is so critical – it is respectful and helps close the deal and refer business faster.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Build a Marketing Strategy for Success: 3 Tips for the Small Business Owner

Understanding levels of marketing and building a strategy for marketing are critical for your success as an entrepreneur. Marketing plans will have costs and profits, and each type of marketing has different levels of return on investment (ROI). I run two chapters of eWomenNetwork, the #1 resource for connecting women and their businesses worldwide. We teach women about marketing. I frequently find myself saying to women business owners, “You started your business because you have a passion for it, which does not mean you know how to market it.” I watch their faces, and so many in the group nod in agreement!

There are many marketing strategies you might consider. I will share three, plus some insights as to why they may be good (or not so good) for you and your business goals. In the last 11 years as a business owner, I have used all three strategies. Stay tuned!