When you are launching a product or a service, you have got to figure out how to promote them effectively. You cannot build your product first and expect that your customers might come. It never happens that way. And even if they come, they will not come in numbers to justify the effort you put in the first place.
So, if you are launching your business, make sure you know how to hustle. A hustler is someone who is out there continuously building an awesome product/service, talking and networking with people and building a brand simultaneously. Here is an interesting diagram by Joey Roth
A charlatan is someone who only talks but does not put in the work. A martyr is someone who only focusses on his work, but will not talk about it. A Hustler is someone who has the right balance of working and talking. Both these qualities are extremely important to build a successful business. Neither can you be all fluff without a good product, nor can you build a product and not get the word out.
Here are the 8 steps necessary to promote your business:
- Email People you know
List down all your contacts; for e.g., your ex-colleagues, people in your social circle, college friends, acquaintances etc. How will your product benefit them? Send out an email letting them know about your business. Don’t try to force sell. Rather, take this opportunity to introduce your offering and how it might be of interest to them. Ask them to check it out and provide feedback if necessary. Also ask them a favor to pass this to their contacts.
- Be giving to people
Sometimes, by giving something for free or helping people out without any expectation, is the best way to get your first loyal customers. And these people help in word of mouth marketing for you. For example; if you want to start a consulting business, start off by offering free consulting to those who will benefit from it. If you are starting a product in the nutrition space, give free tips to people on nutrition. By giving it away for free, without expecting money up-front, you are doing 2 things:
- You are getting better at what you do. Every experience makes you better, at least initially.
- You are winning a loyal customer who can spread the word out.
- Contests and Giveaways
A lot of business owners organize contests and giveaways to encourage participation and engagement from their audience. Social Media gives you the power to connect to your audience. Create engagement by asking a quiz, or a contest or a giveaway. Contests/giveaways tend to get lot of engagement. People engage in numbers as it gives then social proof and a chance to win something interesting.
You can also offer valuable information in the form of an e-book or pdf for free download and collect email ids of people. Hubspot does a great job at this.
- Use Paid Ads to be in front of the right people
Paid channels such as Google and Facebook are great ways to reach targeted audience. Since organic reach of Facebook posts have gone down significantly, using targeted Facebook ads can do wonders for your business. You can micro-target your audience based on age, demography, geography, behaviors, interests, work profile, relationship status etc. You should be good a creating a compelling image and write a succinct copy that should get people to click on the ad.
- Do Joint Venture
This is the least utilized yet one of the most effective methods for promoting your business. All smart business owners, do join venture to promote their businesses. So what is a joint venture? Let’s say, you know someone who has an active audience of 10,000 people. You partner with him and he helps you promote your new product to his list. He helps you build the hype with his audience. When you launch your offer, these people from his list will be the ones who will make the initial purchase as well as spread this to people they know. You in turn split your revenue with him. Joint Ventures work extremely well, when you have a solid product/service to sell and you can find someone, who has an active subscriber list.
- Write Guest Posts
If you are selling a product in the real estate space, and your guest article gets featured in the real estate section of Economic Times, what do you think will happen? Within the next few days, you will get loads of website visitors and enquiries. Guest posts serve 2 purposes:
- Establishes you as an authority in your field
- Helps you reach a wide pool of audience
So make sure, you research and hustle around to find editors of popular magazines in your niche that allow guest posting. And if they agree, don’t let them down with a substandard article. Your article should be awesome.
- Nurture a Community of People
The most successful businesses are the ones who have a strong community of people. A community helps you not only connect with people but also people spread the word out to other people at Zero cost. You can organize meetups, twitter chats, hangouts to nurture and create a thriving community. You can use Facebook to connect to more people. Your community will provide feedback of your products as well as be your biggest evangelist.
- Press Release
This is a more traditional method than some of the others in the list, but it still works none the less. If you have someone in Journalism who can help you with a press release, go ahead and get the word out. A mention in a leading magazine can give you a big jump in sales during your initial days which will justify all the hard work and effort you have put in.
When you are launching your business, be prepared to be a hustler. You need to keep hustling every day, and every moment because that is what business is all about. Keep building awesome stuff and let the world know about it. Offer value for free to some people, connect to people you know and reach out to those who can help you reach a wide audience of people.
What are some of the other steps which you have done to promote your business? Let us know below