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Marketing a small business on a shoe-string with Rhubarb Fool Part II

Follow Rhubarb Fool‘s top tips on marketing a small business

2. Look local

Sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the trees for the wood. You don’t always have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Look around you at what’s in front of your nose. Find out what’s going on in your community. Sponsor your local under elevens football team, participate in a fun run, or sponsored swim. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Think about your ideal customer and where they might want to spend their time. Then identify the opportunities to bring your marketing message to their attention.

3. Collaborate

Establish links with local, non-competitive businesses and establish joint purpose by cross promoting. You can use coupons, joined up website links, shared promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with other businesses in your community, you can extend your customer base by allowing your company to travel new pathways to the market place.

4. It’s nice to Network

There’s a lot to be said for just getting out there. Shake people’s hands, share a coffee and establish some acquaintance. Personal networking can be a resource heavy activity and the results it can deliver will probably be better measured over the longer term. But personal relationships still have an important role to play in the fabric of commerce. Moreover, a strong commercial network can help any business person deal with the commercial peaks and troughs that are a factor of any business’s development.

5. Put yourself at the lectern.

Public speaking is something that a lot of people will endeavour to avoid. But in

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starting your business, you’ve already stuck your head well and truly above the trench. Look a little in your community and you’ll find no shortage of organisations that offer opportunities to qualified, subject-matter experts, who are able and willing to deliver talks and lectures. So leave that comfort zone behind you and volunteer.

And remember. No-one is going to expect you to

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deliver something from the after dinner circuit. You just need to be clear, informative and helpful. And there’s one important fringe benefit. Like many things in life, the more you do it, the better you’ll get and the easier it will become. Before you know it, you’ll be the local authority in your field.

6. Turn some heads

The public relations sector has changed markedly over recent years, largely as a result of technological advancements. It’s now far easier than it was to interact with the different forms of media around you. Look and you’ll find that there are plenty of media outlets around you that are looking for a story. Find out how such a story could help your company and make it happen.

Marketing a small business on a shoe-string with Rhubarb Fool Part I

 

Before engaging the marketing services of Rhubarb Fool think about steps that you can take

It was the celebrated writer (and Rhubarb Fool

favourite) Mark Twain who observed: “Many a small thing has been made large, by

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the right kind of advertising.”

But please don’t all rush down to the nearest advertising agency just yet. Advertising your company’s products or services can make a dent in the deepest pocket. In times of economic uncertainty small companies often find it easiest to cut their marketing budgets. The results that this activity yields are sometimes not immediately apparent. As such, it’s hardly surprising that activities more closely linked to cash flow can be deemed a higher priority.

At Rhubarb Fool our clearest belief is that the issue of whether you’re operating in markets that are forgiving or unforgiving is ultimately academic to your ongoing need to keep pushing your brand to centre stage.

Recent years have seen small companies operating in tougher market places, as customers (and let’s face it we’re all customers) have had less money to spend. As such, it seems to us imperative that when customers are ready to unburden themselves of their hard-earned, your brand should have a strong presence in their consciousness.

At Rhubarb Fool we believe that social media offers a highly effective and affordable means of engaging your customers and maintaining your brand at the forefront of consumer consciousness. But there’s more to business than social media. Let Rhubarb Fool share ten tried and tested marketing strategies that will enable you to market yourself and your brand in a way that won’t cause your bank manager any unnecessary vexation.

1. Create an “elevator pitch”

Marketing is a full-time activity that shouldn’t be constrained by where you happen to be or what time you happen to be there. Nothing will help you more in doing this than a short and snappy elevator pitch. According to research, the average adult’s attention span is about seven seconds. This isn’t long to grab someone’s attention and mark their consciousness. But if you can get over this first hurdle and engage your target, research also suggests that you then earn a little over a minute to really pitch your product or service. So time spent crafting a compelling and clear elevator pitch represents a canny investment that could yield considerable returns in terms of creating commercial opportunities for your company.