Every business spends time and/or money on marketing in one form or another. So how should you market your Business?
We’ve listed several things you should consider and then we outline some more specific ideas you’ve probably already tried or probably should try.
You are your best marketing tool. Make sure you always look and act the part. Your business premises, business website and anything else directly associated with your business, including your staff, are also very important parts of your marketing effort. Sit down and ensure they are presenting you and your brand in the best light. Better yet, ask a friend or someone you trust, to do it for you and make sure they’re brutally honest.
Make a List
Essentially this means get organised. Marketing is an ongoing process. There should always be things to do. Make a list and keep the list current. If you already use a system to organise your business ensure your marketing list somehow fits into this. If you don’t have a list and you don’t know what you should be focusing your time on your chances of being effective is significantly reduced.
This simply means setting aside time in your schedule to focus on Marketing. That is, get it in your diary. The real trick is to not only make time but be consistent. One way to do this is to involve one or more of your team. If more than one person is involved it’s much more likely that things will happen. As an example you might say something like: “Every Thursday at 10am we sit down for 1 hour and review/action the marketing effort”. Pick a time that works, make yourself accountable, and don’t get distracted.
Whatever you decide to do you should always be trying to understand what impact it has. How do you do this? It greatly depends on what it you do but the best way generally involves two things. First, understanding your number of clients and your number of new clients. Second, asking your clients and getting their direct feedback. These two things should help you understand what is and isn’t working. Remember it’s a learning process.
Get Expert Help
Need a poster, engage a designer. Want to get a story written about yourself in a major paper, talk to a public relations company (or a friend in that field). Need new signage, engage a sign company. You get the idea. Most things are not hard if you engage the right experts. But like anything, ask around, get recommendations.
The budget you have for marketing might be big or very small. First, make sure you know what that budget is and then plan your spending. If you want to run an advert in a local magazine find out what all the options are and start small, work out if it works, and then decide if going bigger or for a longer period makes sense.
Word of Mouth
Clients bringing new clients is your most powerful form of advertising. Be aware of that and make sure you capitalise on it. You might offer an incentive (but be careful with this) or you might simply thank people after the fact. Sometimes a simple thankyou can go a long way. Obviously the better your service the more likely people are to recommend you.
Lots of Options
Hopefully the above list helps but you may still be wondering what actual physical marketing efforts you could be doing. Here are a quick sample:
1. Signage. Is it visible, does it catch the eye, does it look good? If you answered no to any of these you should seriously consider getting your signage improved.
2. Local Papers, Magazines, Websites. Are your target clients likely to be reading or seeing these? Contact them and find out the details of advertising. All of these types of publications make their money through advertising so they’ll be keen to talk with you. Try to negotiate and don’t over commit or overspend. If you can, run a trial.
3. Promotions. Ideally you want to combine this with other forms of advertising. There are countless examples of promotions that have been run for various fitness or related businesses. Have a look around and work out what type might suit your business. Be careful though some businesses make promotions that are so good that it actually puts the business under stress so ensure you have limits in place.
4. Flyers. Often your most likely clients will live or work very close to your physical location. Make sure they know who you are and where you are. Flyers can be very effective for this. Ensure all you key information is on them and either deliver them yourself or ask other local businesses to display them.
5. Online. If potential clients wanted to find your business online, how would they do it? And if they did find it would they be impressed and get the information they need? If you’re not sure about this ask someone. Often some simple and inexpensive steps can get you a long way.
So there you have it. A number of things to consider and a brief list of options you can action. Obviously these lists can nearly be endless and if you’ve got any other great ideas please share them below.