Starting your own business can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, but it also requires more work than almost anything else you’ve done in your life so far. Marketing your business effectively helps people find out about what you do and creates an incentive for them to actually try your products or services. The 5 Essential Marketing Tips for Startups below are simple but effective ways to help build up a customer base, which will lay the groundwork for success for years to come.
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1) Create a social media presence
Even though you might not have a website or a physical storefront yet, it’s still important to have an online presence. Make sure your business is listed on Google Maps and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Once you create a profile, make sure to update it with professional-looking photos that portray your business accurately. You can then link these profiles to your website when it goes live.
2) Claim your business name
Before you can do anything else, you’ll need to register your business name with your state and federal governments. Most states allow you to do so online—simply plug in your chosen business name (and verify that it hasn’t already been taken), and voila. You’re a registered business! This will involve sending information like your business address, contact person, and other relevant details. In many cases, you will also have to pay a fee when registering.
3) Reach out to influencers in your industry
In order to spread your brand, you’ll need to get in front of people who care about what you have to say. Influencers—those with a big social media following, who are considered experts in their field—can help amplify your startup message. Find influencers whose work aligns with your brand and target them on social media or through email. Develop a relationship with them by sharing their content and adding value where possible before asking them to help share or promote your business startup.
4) Use hashtags on social media
Hashtags are a great way to connect with others. There’s no need to be too promotional, just tweet about what you’re doing (or about your business), and include hashtags that are relevant to your industry and location. This is a simple, easy way to get more eyes on your profile, as well as meet potential clients or partners. Take advantage of social media!
5) Run an online ad campaign
If you have a well-defined target audience (for example, Millennials who live in NYC and are interested in startups), setting up an ad campaign is a great way to raise awareness of your startup. Some platforms are better than others, so do your research! Facebook and LinkedIn ads tend to be popular with startups because they can customize their messaging.
Starting a business is no small task. Understanding the basic marketing tips can help you get your startup off on the right foot, but there’s plenty more to learn as you go along. With time and perseverance, your business will grow and develop into a strong brand that stands out from competitors. You can also use these tips to market yourself as an individual, whether you run a business or not.