The Blog

04/11/16

How to Spread the Word About Your Business

You’ve started your business and are excited that you’re ready to offer your services/products to the world – but how do you let people know you’re there to help them? Business promotion and marketing are the very important ways in which you spread the word about your business. Here are some key ways to get that process started for yourself! (Or jump-start your current process!)

How to Spread the Word About Your Business

Spread the word through giving

This is so important that I could spend most of this post talking about it! What is going to make people see, notice, and come to you? How can you make your presence known, and make that presence so desirable that people will pay you money for what you offer? You do it by giving to them. Give to your audience without reservation, without catches, and they will love you for it! As humans we love it when others give us gifts, or help us out for nothing in return. It’s a gesture of kindness that touches every heart. As creative entrepreneurs it should be our goal to advance our businesses through the hearts of people. We should exist to serve them.

As creative entrepreneurs it should be our goal to advance our businesses through the hearts of people. We should exist to serve them.
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What does that look like in marketing? Well, it depends on where your target market is and what you’re selling! As a graphic designer that offers branding, I market myself by giving free advice and tips on this blog, outputting photos and graphics on social media that I know my followers will enjoy, and maintaining an active Pinterest account where I present carefully-curated graphics. I also will post inspirational tips and advice on social media that’s purely designed to encourage and help those who read it.

By doing this I make my business presence about others, not myself. I could spend all my time posting online about what I offer and why it’s so valuable, but what kind of a heart connection would a potential client have with that? The chance of a connection happening is very low. So I try to devote the majority of my online presence to helping my target market (and ideal clients) – not just to get their business, but to truly be a help and encouragement to them! This way they benefit in a real way, I become appreciated by them, and then in the future I may secure their business. But more importantly, I’m giving to them in such a way that they are helped!

I strongly believe that giving to others is the best marketing tactic that a business can employ – and it’s within that context that I’ll list off some specific ways that you can successfully market your business!

01 Spread the word through people

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the strongest assets any business can have. Again, everything is based on people, their hearts, and their relationships. So when you have a previous client recommend you to one of their friends, they have just made a marketing move for you that nothing else could make more effective. The friend already has a trusting relationship with your previous client, and because of that they will be very likely to take that recommendation and work with you! Not only that, but they will probably already have a very positive and trusting view of their business, since your previous client had the same feelings that they shared with their friend.

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the strongest assets any business can have.
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It only takes a handful of clients to begin the word-of-mouth marketing. When I began my business I did free and low-priced work for friends, they told their friends about it, and soon enough I had plenty of work! Never underestimate the power of doing excellent work for a client. It can lead to amazing opportunities!

Don’t hesitate to ask former clients to consider giving your name out to their friends who might need the same service or product. They will normally be more than happy to do so, if they aren’t already doing it on their own! You can also ask for a a couple lines from them about what they thought about the whole process of working with you, and you can then use that endorsement on your website, media kit, etc.

02 Spread the word through social media

Social media is one of the biggest marketing tools a creative entrepreneur has at their disposal. Almost everyone is online and involved with some social media platform – and it’s your job as a freelancer and business owner to take advantage of that fact! Figure out where your ideal clients congregate online, and then use that platform.

Social media is one of the biggest marketing tools a creative entrepreneur has at their disposal.
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– Facebook

Facebook is probably the single most popular social media platform, because almost everyone is on it! It ultimately is a community of people who are connected to each other through families, friendships, and common goals and interests. What better place to market? A great way to spread the word about your business on Facebook is to post previous work for clients (or products that you have sold); offer helpful and free articles, goods, advice, etc. to your followers and their friends that pertain to your business and their interests; and share your own passion for helping people fix their problems through your product or service.

– Instagram

I love Instagram because it’s all about images. You can quickly scroll through your feed and like all the photos you think are appealing, or take your time and read each caption and maybe comment on posts that stand out to you. It isn’t hard to give to your Instagram followers this way! Just posting a beautiful photo is a way to give to them – no caption is needed! If you’re the kind of person who loves to write out their thoughts and talk to their followers, you can take that time to add meaningful captions to photos. Either way your followers will love your content.

– Pinterest

Out of all the popular social media platforms, Pinterest is my absolute favorite. You aren’t required to output a lot of your own content – the majority of the time you’re promoting others work. This is great for two reasons – there isn’t pressure to constantly create and promote your own work, and you can give to others by promoting their work. Plus seeing what other people have created is so inspiring! I have over twenty thousand followers on Pinterest simply because I’ve made my feed something that’s very curated and specific. I have very little of my own work on my boards. And yet I’ve found that at least half of my website traffic and client inquiries come from Pinterest!

03 Spread the word through your website

Your website is a powerful part of the marketing process. It is your online home, and it is normally the first “face” of your business that potential clients see. That means that it needs to properly represent you and your brand, and invite viewers to learn more, to the point where they decide they need what you’re selling. Getting people to become interested in your business through personal recommendations and social media posts is one thing – but to help them decide they need your services or products is quite another thing.

Your website needs to first express care and consideration for your potential client’s needs, and then it needs to provide the solution for those needs in a way that shows how much you want to help them! Once your potential client has decided they want your solution, make sure it’s easy for them to know what to do next. You should have a whole process for inquiring clients, from your contact form capabilities to your contact page wording to your response to the information you supply.

Another aspect of spreading the word through your website is having a blog. To be able to write relevant and helpful blog posts about topics related to what you sell goes very far in marketing! Someone might read a helpful blog post, share it online where a large number of people will see it and possibly read it, and the process continues. Within the group of readers you will probably have a number of future clients!