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How In the World Do I Market My Start-Up?


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As the owner of a public relations firm, this is a question I grappled with in the early days of starting my business. The day that I put action behind the idea of starting my own business, my goal was to be successful. That meant that everything that I did was a step toward that goal. I was consumed with finding ways to connect with people. I attended every business mixer, I stayed up late nights designing business cards, tried to muddle my way through getting a domain name and website built. Like politicians, I kissed the babies, shook the hands, looked people squarely in the eyes, sent follow-up emails and requested that friends and family share the word of what I was doing. I did it all. Over the years and even recently, I've discovered some keys to effectively marketing a start-up. I believe everything that I did made sense and had some level of impact. Marketing a small business is not a one shot in the arm cure all, instead it is a series of systematic moves, learnings and evolutions that will bring you closer to your desired goal of success. So, in this blog, I am going to share some things that I have learned along the way.


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HAVE A MARKETING PLAN, LEARN YOUR AUDIENCE & UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPETITORS...

My very first tip in marketing a start-up small business is to have a marketing plan in place. Don't go in blindly and just say I'm just going to do social media or I'm just gonna call up mom and dad and my friends. No... that's not the way to go. Instead start off with your marketing goal in mind, make sure that you've established a SMART goal and then break it down into actionable steps. Next on the list, learn your audience. Get a good understanding of what they like, where they go---because you'll need to be there. Find out how they consume services like yours and who they are. Then, decide how much they are willing to spend on your business. A little nugget---while you are studying your potential client or consumer, find out what your competitors are doing, understand why they are doing it that way and figure out how you can do it better and more efficiently. All of that intel is the perfect stew for your marketing plan.


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GIVE THINGS AWAY FOR FREE...

Take it from a person in public relations, free stuff can turn even an angry giant into a cuddly and sweet teddy bear. The way to a person's heart is through offering things at the price of free-99. When I started my business. I did an absurd number of things for free...just to get my business' name out there. I volunteered at church, community organizations, and my daughter's school. You name it. I gave away and never thought a second about what it cost me, because I knew that I was developing a reputation and creating leads. Giving things away to peak people's interest has worked since the days of cave men who started the first fire and cooked the first dodo bird and then gave the cooked bird to a neighbor. Free works! It also helps to establish trust.


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GET ON THE GROUPON TRAIN...

Add your business to Groupon. It is a perfect place to put your business service to get more people to see what you do and for sales. People often think that Groupon is just for getting coupons on their favorite events, but Groupon is great to post your service with discounts that gets tongues wagging. People are always looking for new things to get into. Give Groupon.com a try.



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PARTNER WITH OTHERS & INFLUENCERS IN YOUR SPACE...

No man is an island. You need collaborators in your business journey. You need people with different skills who are willing to partner with you and share their knowledge and help you develop your audience. It may look like a Facebook, IG, or TikTok live collab or it could mean a live/hybrid event where you bring your influence and business and combine it with influence of another. The goal here is build community, expand your knowledge base and of course---market your business.



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DO A POP-UP SHOWCASE...

COVID had us scared of being around each other, but now that restrictions are relaxing and people are becoming more comfortable with the idea of coming out to public events, seize the opportunity to be among the first in your line of business to fearlessly host a pop-up event. Remember, combining a pop-up with the marketing strategy of giving things away will get people in the door. If you are a real boss and your products and services are great, you can create a members-only event that gives people free perks and access to exclusive insights, products or services every few weeks---that will also do the trick. And by the way, while they are arriving at your event collect email and contact information to further your email marketing strategy.


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CREATE A BLOG & FEATURE PRODUCTS & SERVICES USED IN YOUR INDUSTRY.

So, this very headline was the inspiration for my blog. I wanted to share what I know and help people in their quest for more attention and sales. For example, I constantly use the blog feature on my Wix.com hosted website. The blog feature is VERY user friendly, easy for technophobes and gives options on style and layout. I love it! It helps me to connect more deeply with my followers and provide greater details in what I share on social media. Wix even has an option to monetize which is enticing if your goal is to gain extra income from your blog...did you see what I just did there? Featuring other products and services will help your blog show up in searches where potential clients are looking and open you up to making more money. Now, who can say no to that? Not me...


Try one, two or all of these ideas featured in this blog and follow me @MissPRandMarketing on Facebook, TikTok and Instagram. You are now officially part of my #MissPRandMarketing squad. Stay connected for more tips and tricks to market your small business to succeed.



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