There are people searching every day through hundreds of online dating networks to find the perfect match. The objective is to find someone with the same interests and common threads to form a lasting relationship. Some of these relationships will forever be virtual, and others will grow towards face-to-face. A perfect match takes time and requires some studying, searching, experimenting, and eliminating… and – finally – pairing.
When marketing your business, it’s important to spend quality time doing some matchmaking of your own. Your business needs customers who have something in common or share a similar interest. They’re out there, don’t worry. They’re just waiting to be found! Your perfect matches are just clicks away. Instead of seeking a matchmaker, it’s up to you to take the steps to get yourself in the market.
- Blog It! Meaning, after setting up your blog – get blogging! This is the only way it’ll work in your favor. The actual act of blogging (posting on a regular basis) will increase your online visibility, improve your search engine rankings, and establish your expertise.
- Get an Ezine – an online magazine that gives you the ability to reach your entire market with one publication. It reaches your existing customers, reminding them that you are still at their service, as well as your potential customers. An Ezine gives you the chance to brand yourself as an expert in the field, offering your community education on industry news, products, and events.
- Create a Resource Box, which is basically an “author bio” which will appear at the end of your articles and includes your name, website address, your elevator pitch (1-3 sentences that sum up you and what you have to offer), and a link for more articles.
- Develop an article portfolio so that your readers can easily find your other articles on related materials. Make it easy for them to get to know you!
- Join forces. Find other businesses that would compliment yours. Contact them and introduce yourself. Form relationships and work together on ezines, blogs, and advertising. Swap articles, photos, and video.
- Pick your friends wisely! When developing a social PR campaign, know that there are hundreds of networks… and they just keep growing! Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are only three. Spend some time to find out what’s the best match for your product or service.
- Keep on changing. If you’re a small business, you probably have more flexibility to change than a large company. You can change with the trends. Successful businesses are able to see what is wanted by the customer and find ways to offer it. As the seasons change, as you educate your customers, and as the economy changes, you too need to change. Keep it fresh!
- Branding. While number 7 says keep on changing, some things must remain the same! Your brand is a combination of your name, a sign, and symbol, and it identifies your service. Creating an effective brand will create a clear and credible message to a potential customer. This is the first visual and first impression many of your customers will see and hopefully lock in on.
- Get moving with video. Surveys have proven that more people are drawn to video than text when both are offered on the same page. If your market is geared at the 40 and under age group, they think nothing of watching a video, however if you’re aiming at the 50 plus age group, there is great resistance to video. Know your target market.
- Outsource! Get help. Remember to do what you’re good at and then let the professionals do the rest of the hard work. Don’t be afraid to get marketing advice and use tools, many for free (such as http://www.pitchrate.com), to help you create your brand and your direction towards marketing.
As with any relationship, it’s a time investment but will come easy if the right components are in place. As hard as it seems to develop good working relationships in a virtual world, it is just as easy. You will see once you’ve opened a couple of doors, the people and information will begin to flow and you’ll find yourself being introduced to others that will be drawn specifically to you, just because of your unique product.