In the 2010s, it’s starting to feel like everyone is opening a personal business. There’s a wonderful line in the movie The Social Network that speaks to entrepreneurial spirit by suggesting that Harvard graduates would rather create jobs than find jobs. That’s a mentality that was present at the nation’s best university earlier this century when the creators of Facebook were undergraduates, but it seems to have since caught on with a great deal of young Americans. As one article put it, a new generation of entrepreneurs has arrived in the form of millennials, or “millennipreneurs.”
This is potentially a wonderful thing for the future of American industry. But it’s also worth noting that a lot of personal entrepreneurs don’t fully know what they’re doing. Many of them have terrific ideas or spectacular ambition but limited experience executing ideas. And one area in particular in which a lot of budding companies fall short is in marketing. Brand exposure is everything for most new businesses, and unfortunately it’s something that often falls by the wayside, either due to a lack of experience, a lack of time, or both. So in this article we wanted to talk about a few simple but effective ways to get the word out if you happen to be starting a new company of your own.
Design Your Own Site
It doesn’t really matter what kind of business you have; if you don’t have a website, you’re basically operating in the stone ages. That’s a slight exaggeration, but you probably get the idea. The good news is that it’s easier than ever for people to build their own websites, even with very limited coding knowledge or none at all. Companies like Wix and Squarespace, though they have many differences, facilitate easy and attractive design. You can set up a site in a single day, and make it beautiful with a little bit more experience tinkering and trying new things. Ideally you should also optimize it for mobile viewing (this is a particularly nice feature at Wix) and/or build an accompanying app. But the website is an essential first step. You need a place to direct anyone who might be interested in what your business is selling or providing.
Embrace Social Media
This one almost goes without saying these days, but the point of designing a site or app is to be able to direct traffic there. You can do this through a lot of different means, but the first priority should be establishing a consistent and informative social media presence. Through Facebook, Twitter, and other channels you can gather followers and let them know about new products or services, special promotions, or any other updates. This keeps your brand on people’s radar pretty effectively.
Explore Direct Response Marketing
Brand marketing is a more intuitive process. But it’s arguable that direct response marketing ultimately makes your company more appealing to first-time customers. This is basically the idea of pairing a problem with a solution. In other words, you explain through concise explanations how your product or service is making something better for the customer. There are different ways to do this, but keep the general strategy in mind when you’re building up the marketing side of your company.
Wear It On Your Sleeve
This is a literal approach. Company merchandise might seem like something to address later on after you’ve achieved some success, but in reality it’s something that can help get the word out pretty early. And it can actually be pretty cheap. You can order things like bumper stickers or other forms of signage pretty easily online. But you can also throw your brand name or logo onto customizable hats or a box full of T-Shirts for friends. It doesn’t mean everyone on the street is going to see these hats and shirts and immediately visit your website, but the exposure certainly doesn’t hurt, and it’s affordable.
Altogether, the tips above actually don’t make for that much effort or upkeep. And they can make all the difference in taking your business to a respectable level.