Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tips For Small Businesses Creating A 2011 Marketing Plan

These tips may not be what you'd expect .... they are meant to help you focus, get you off your butt, and encourage thinking out of the box a bit.

* First - Be clear as to who your target market is and what you do! ..... everyone and everything is not a good answer. Go for the target and accept clients from everywhere.

* Build your database in a CRM software and keep notes

* Networking must be a large part of the plan! Both online and off

- Facebook and LinkedIn is the best way to show your expertise for free.

- Learn how to use LinkedIn to make business connections in your city.

- Write articles for your local business newspaper and /or magazine.

- Speak at local groups - prove you are an expert in what you do.

- Join local business groups and visit as many as you can afford (back to networking).

* Have a clean clear website - don't get fancy - just offer the information your prospective clients need to know to hire you.

- include testimonials

- photos of you and your bio

- Use Bullets not big blocks of text

- State your prices, terms etc

- Copy should be friendly - not stiff

* Use SBI to build your website (see the banner at the top of this page). You can get a Do-It-Yourself package if you're confident in your skills .... or they'll build a custom site for you at a very reasonable price.

* Spend time and perhaps money on SEO of the website (SBI actually already helps with this by building it into your site as it's constructed)

* Blogging is great if you like to write and you are disciplined (SBI can help with this too, or just use Blogger or WordPress) - if not just post stuff on LinkedIn and Facebook - no silly pictures on Facebook and no games. If you wouldn't want you mother to read it don't put it on the Internet

* Start an e-newsletter (hence the database)

* Read trade magazines, blogs and website of your industry and others for ideas

* Answer questions on LinkedIn Answers

* Brand your business with a Logo and use that branding everywhere!

That's a good start.