September’s meeting of Mayfield Business Forum centred around an interesting discussion on advertising with examples of what had worked and had not. For me, two important points came out of the discussion.
Firstly, target your users: the best success stories came from those had been able to identify precisely who their prospective customers were and then had found a type of advertising that reached them effectively. Often this is easier said than done, but with hard work and perseverance you can do it for yourself. Talk to your customers (or your prospects if you are just starting up) and find out why they are buying from you (or your competitors); ask them where they look for information when buying products or services such as yours; look for advertising that reaches the right people effectively and then test it out before committing yourself. Make sure you engrain the habit of always asking enquirers where they heard about you.
The other point is that there are numerous opportunities to advertise yourself – from talking about yourself (or asking friends and family to do so) to putting your business details on your sweatshirt, your car, boards outside where you are working or on giveaways such as pens or calendars (and don’t forget the humble business card). You may not feel comfortable with all of these so chose the ones that feel right to you and check that you are not being seen as too pushy.
But we are often too shy – a few short, hopefully interesting, words about what we do could be of value to people we meet or people they know. Now, did I mention that I can help companies with their marketing?