Marketing Ideas: 10 Best Ways to Market Your Business

In the past 10 years I've tried a lot of ways to promote our business and what we do. Here are ten ways in which you can increase market share, mind share, and improve your bottom line.

  1. Public Speaking. Nothing generates qualified leads faster than getting up in front of a group of prospects and establishing your expertise. Just make sure you leverage this face time by having some sort of giveaway (PowerPoint handouts, a white paper) and asking for business cards so that you can send the audience members the collateral. Bonus points if you let them know that you'll also be adding them to your email newsletter…which they can unsubscribe to at any time.
  2. Blogging. I know, you're sick of me talking about this one. However, if you like to write, (and even if you don't,) blogging is an amazing way to establish your expertise, get more search engine traffic, and generate online leads.
  3. Website. Not a surprise, I know. Create a website that is a conversion machine, turning visitors into prospects or customers.
  4. Writing. Contact your local paper's business section and pitch a story that you can write on your area of expertise, whether it's Web marketing, real estate, or animal training.
  5. Email marketing. No one's going to remember to return to your Web site to see if you've posted new information or updated your products. Give them a compelling reason to subscribe to your email list, however, and you can slip new Web pages into their inboxes at your discretion.
  6. The Yellow Pages. No, not advertising in them…this isn't the 1980's after all. Use them to find partners who will generate more leads for you. When I moved to Portland in the late 90's I called everyone listed under “Graphic Designers” and said I was a Web designer with very little skill. If they got clients looking for Web sites, we could partner. They'd design 'em, I'd build 'em. Worked out well for both of us, and I got a lot of jobs early that I wouldn't have gotten otherwise.
  7. Search Engine Optimization. It all starts here. If you're building a Web site or writing a business blog and you've ignored SEO, than you're wasting your company resources. If you believe in your products or services, it's your duty to present the information in such a way that people or businesses in need can find you through Google or Yahoo.
  8. Networking. Argh, my least favorite. However, when you're just starting out, and maybe even when you're established, it helps to go to those chamber-sponsored after-hour parties, BNI get-togethers, and other events where you can mix and mingle with other business people who may turn out to be customers, partners or vendors.
  9. Signage. When we hung our first sign out a few years ago, it was all about ego. However, as I was in discussions with people (often at networking events) and they heard that I worked at flyte, they almost always knew us through our sign. It gave us complete credibility.
  10. Join Professional Organizations. When I first started out I couldn't see the benefit of joining the chamber, or MEBSR, MESDA or any other local business group. It was expensive for a start-up, and where was the benefits? However, now that I've joined these groups I have opportunities for networking, for speaking, for sponsoring events, for supplying giveaways, and becoming a member of the community. I even get fed leads through some of these organizations. Well worth the price of admission.

Rich Brooks
Maine Web Designer