Congratulations!! You’ve chosen a name for your business, printed up business cards, and your website is up and running. To top it all off, you just got your first client! Your dreams of entrepreneurship have been realized!
If you haven’t laid out a plan for financial practices, now is the time. For some, this can be thought of as a daunting and nerve-racking task, right up there with having to deal with the IRS. But following a few simple (yet important) steps can make a difference between running a successful business, or struggling to keep operations afloat.
One of the most important aspects of tying all your marketing efforts together is to provide rich and dynamic content. This deepens the sense of "validity" of your brand. You seem more legit, like you aren't just some sketchy pop-up company nobody really knows anything about. Custom slides are great for your website header, and as cover images for social media platforms. Videos are another awesome way to funnel visitors, and can serve as cost-effective alternatives to TV commercials. The problem we keep running into in our local markets is that most of the people offering these services seem to be struggling with cost efficiency so that it can actually be affordable for clients. Sure, lots of big named corporations don’t have any problems shelling out a few grand for a professional photo shoot and custom video editing.
If a well-meaning sales guy comes to your office and tells you that print marketing is dead… DO take it easy on him. DON'T listen to him. Why? Because tangibility is the number one way to create an imprint of something in our rote memory, for all the same reasons why we remember things better when we physically write them down. T-shirts, banners, brochures, business cards, storefront signage, and postcards are all highly relevant to your business branding efforts. Even though marketing is evolving from TV, Radio, and Billboard advertising, that doesn't mean that printed materials aren't still relevant in today's market.
Once upon a time we heard an awesome question: “What is the best place to hide a dead body?” The answer? “Page 2 of Google, because nobody goes there.” We died laughing. So does any business that only makes it to page 2. We all want to hit the front page, though nobody seems to really know how to do it. Except, we do. In layman’s terms, Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing your website for when automated “crawlers” come to check you out and decide if you are worthy enough to show up in their search results.
When you take the time to teach your buyers about the problems they are having (that they might not even understand yet), that's building brand trust. Blogging is one absolutely phenomenal way to do that. It is also a great way to increase your SEO (so that you are found on Google). This is something that we like to call “rich content,” and including it on your website and interconnected social media platforms is one big way you can boost sales.
Your logo is your first impression in “buyer psychology.” It embodies what your customers see when they think of your name, it is the first thing that comes to mind when customers need your services later down the road, and it defines who you are. Just ask that plumber guy! Every available marketing strategy starts here, and ends here. Many businesses that have been around for a while have outdated logos, websites, and marketing materials. Don't let that be you. Today's market is more attracted to companies who present a fresh and unique face to their prospective customers. And millennials don't want to visit some stuffy doctor's office with an old choppy website that looks like it was created before they were born. Don't be "that guy."