When it comes to your business, you have a lot of challenges. Sales, time management, generating traffic, and more. For many of you growing your business is a key challenge. You have a great product or service, but you need to get the message out. Marketing is how you do that.
In this post, I share 12 simple things that you can do to market your solopreneur business. You will get the message out and your business will start to grow.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link. For more information, see my full disclaimer here.
1. Attend a networking event
Networking events are great places to meet potential customers. Your local Chamber of Commerce will offer some kind of networking that you can attend in person. They may even have a variety of event options. Be prepared to tell people what you do, quickly and succinctly (aka share your elevator speech). Keep your business cards handy – people will ask for them.
Does the thought of an in-person event make your introvert heart stop beating? No problem. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Twitter chats that take place every day of the week. There is sure to be one that fits your niche and you can stay safely behind the keyboard while still connecting with prospects.
2. Send a thank-you note to your customers
Write a personal email or send a handwritten card to thank some of your recent customers. Depending on the size of your customer base, you might send a thank-you note to everyone. Or you could just choose a few people to reach out to. Make it personal and sincere. You could mention the bracelet they bought in your Etsy shop. Or ask if they have questions about the website you just designed for them.
They will remember the personal touch and may hire you for something new or buy another product.
Write a personal email or send a handwritten card to thank some of your recent customers. They will remember the personal touch and may hire you for something new or buy another product.
3. Share testimonials
Testimonials are the ultimate social proof. You can share testimonials on your website, in your brochure, in your media kit, on sales pages – the sky is the limit.
Don’t have any testimonials? I bet someone has tweeted something nice about you and your business or left a nice comment on Instagram or Facebook. Reach out to that person and ask if you can use their comment as a testimonial (let them know where it will be displayed – online or offline). For extra oomph, use their picture alongside the quote. You could even grab a screenshot of the whole tweet or comment to include on your website.
4. Ask your customers for referrals
Another tactic that you can pursue both online and offline is to ask for referrals. Asking readers to share your blog content is a way of asking for referrals online. Make sure that your blog has a social share bar to make it easy for readers to share your content through social media. I use Social Warfare Pro, which is a premium share bar, but Social Warfare also has a free version. You can also use share buttons on sales pages so that customers can share their purchases with their friends.
The best time to ask for referrals is immediately after delivering great results. When I worked in banking, we gave two business cards to every client who received a loan or opened an account. We would then ask them to share one card with a friend who might be looking for a new bank.
You can do something similar on a large or small scale. If you have a few clients, then ask each one personally to refer you to two friends. If you have a large online customer base, then you could include a line in your thank-you email asking them to forward the email to a friend or to share on social media.
5. Bundle your products and services together
People like to feel that they are getting more value, so create bundles (aka packages) where you group products or services together. If you sell jewelry, you could bundle a necklace and bracelet together. A website designer could include installation and setup as part of a package. A day spa could have a package that includes a massage, facial, and pedicure.
If you only offer one product or service, then team up with other solopreneurs to create a bundle that includes all your services. For example, if you have an ebook, then you could collaborate with two other ebook authors and offer a three-book package.
6. Join a Facebook group whose members are in your target market
Participating in a Facebook group with members of your target market will build your reputation as an expert in your field. To find relevant groups, do a search on one or both of the following options in the Facebook search bar, then click on “Groups” in the menu bar:
- People interested in [topic]
- People who like [a competitor’s name or similar business]
For example, I typed in “people interested in marketing,” which resulted in a page of potential groups that I could join.
Once you join a group, then start participating. That doesn’t mean slamming the group with product pitches (which is spammy). It does mean introducing yourself, answering questions, contributing to any daily threads, and engaging with others. As you build relationships and establish yourself as a go-to authority on the topic, opportunities will arise.
Related: If Facebook groups aren’t revealing the right types of people, then you may need to back up and work finding your niche market. Once you get crystal clear on exactly who is in your target market, it will be much easier to connect with those people.
7. Link to your business Facebook page on your personal Facebook profile
This goes hand-in-hand with #6. You want the other members of Facebook Groups to be able to find your Facebook Page.
- On your personal Facebook account, click on Update Info.
- Under Work and Education, click Add a Workplace.
- For “Company,” type in the name of your Facebook page. As you type, your Facebook page should auto-populate, allowing you to select your page.
- Under “Position,” type in “Please visit my business page.”
- Click “Save Changes.”
Now, when people mouse over your profile photo from your posts in Facebook Groups, they will be able to click a direct link to your Facebook page. And, since you’ve added a clear call-to-action, it’s more likely that they will.
8. Go old-school with flyers and posters
Put up flyers and posters on the bulletin boards of local businesses where your target market might hang out. Coffee shops, libraries, sandwich shops, office supply stores – these could all be good options. Even if you market primarily to online customers, this low-cost marketing method could bring in business from local prospects.
9. Send notes or emails to past customers
Check in on your existing or former customers via email or snail mail. Thank them for their prior business and ask if they need any further services. If you have a special offer, this is a great time to mention it.
You’ll be surprised at how many of your customers have been thinking of buying something that you offer, but who haven’t gotten around to making contact. Even if they don’t have a need right now, they will appreciate that you cared enough to check and they will remember you for doing so.
10. Create & schedule 12 social media messages promoting a product or service
Pick your preferred social channel and create 12 social media messages specifically promoting a product or service that you offer. Pre-schedule them now using a service such as Buffer or Hootsuite. Spread the messages out to suit the channel that you choose. For example, on Twitter, you could easily schedule one message a week. For Instagram or Facebook, scheduling one message per month might be more appropriate.
Repeat this for each product or service that you offer and your social media will become an automated promotion machine.
11. Promote a Pin
Promoting a pin on Pinterest can be a great way to increase awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website, or promote engagement. Make sure that you focus on your target market and think about the goal you want to achieve. And since pins live forever, you’ll continue to see engagement after your campaign ends, as people continue to repin.
You can use up to 150 keywords with each promoted pin, so be creative and think in terms of how people search on Pinterest. With 150 keywords you can use a mix of very specific and very general words.
Decide how much you want to spend. You’ll choose a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) amount, a start date and optional end date, and a daily campaign budget. For example, you might choose a maximum CPC of $0.25, run your campaign for 3 days, and have a daily campaign budget of $1.00, for a total cost of $3.00.
Promoting a pin on Pinterest can be a great way to increase awareness of your brand, drive traffic to your website, or promote engagement.
12. Take action every day
I think the last tip is the most important. Do something to promote your business every day. If you are not comfortable with sales and marketing, it’s easy to become overwhelmed or to get caught in analysis paralysis trying to decide on the “right” marketing tactic. Done is better than perfect. If you wait until you know everything, then you’ll never get started.
Experiment. Try things out. Take action.