There are tons of different articles on the internet about effective marketing ideas, and how to grow your business. After being in business for nearly two decades, I’ve narrowed down the 5 which I think are the most effective, and they are the suggestions I make to my clients to help them grow their own businesses.
Starting and growing a business is a lot of hard work and hustle, but these 5 tips will help you achieve your goals faster, as long as you are consistent in your efforts.
1. Word of Mouth
The #1 way to grow your business is to talk about it, and provide excellent service. Tell everyone you know about your business. Ask your family and friends to tell everyone they know, as well. Do your best work, every time, and encourage your customers to share about your business. A referral offers customers and incentive to share about your business. Reach out to old clients and ask them to spread the word. Most will be happy to tell others about their good experience.
2. Social Media
You don’t need to have a presence on every social media platform (really, who has time for that?), but you should be active in at least one or two. My preferred platforms are Facebook and Instagram, but Pinterest is also a great one to use, because it helps improve your SEO. Be consistent, plan what you want to publish, and curate your feed (especially on Instagram) so that your brand is clearly showcased. Research the times when you have the most traffic, and use a tool like Hoot Suite or Planoly to schedule your posts to publish during that time.
Direct mail is still an effective way to bring in clients. You need to do some research, though, before putting together a piece to mail out. Decide who your target audience is, and then research what is important to them. Are you targeting fitness retail shops targeting men 18-45? Find out what sports they focus on, where they take place, what their average customer does for a living, etc. Then create a piece that is specific to that audience to send to them. If your targeting women’s clothing boutiques for women ages 25-45, you may want to send out a custom postcard, in a thick cardstock with a velvety feel, in soft hues. Whatever you send out, be sure it is clean, expresses your message clearly, and has a call to action. Don’t list every single thing you offer-instead give a brief overview and then invite them to reach out to you. Don’t forget your contact info!
If you are like me – an introvert-the idea of networking makes you want to hide in a corner. The results, though, can’t be denied. Networking is one of the best ways to increase your potential client base, and bring your business in to the spotlight. So do something to relax before going, strike up conversations, and just treat it as a way to expand your horizons and meet some new people. Eventually, it becomes less uncomfortable, and you start to enjoy the process!
5. Email Newsletter
A well-crafted and thought out email newsletter can be highly effective. The key to a good newsletter, though, is to provide quality content. Don’t just talk about what you’ve been doing, offer something of use to your clients. A freebie of some sort. For example, I might send them a link to this article. A shop owner might offer a discount of some sort. Send them out consistently, make sure your brand identity is strong throughout, and include a freebie of some kind. Talk about your business, of course, but also give them a reason to get in touch with you.
I hope these tips help you in growing your business, and taking it to the next level. When applied consistently, you should see growth within just a few months! If I can help you with any of these steps, let me know. I can design anything from social media graphics, to ads, to email newsletters. Just email me and we can set up a time to chat!
People always ask me what my process is for creating logo. How can a client know that the logo I design is something they’ll like? They are concerned that their investment will be in vain.
After working as a graphic designer for over 17 years, I have been able to tailor my process, and have learned which questions to ask my client in order to guarantee their satisfaction with the outcome of their logo. If you can answer these questions honestly, and share this info with your graphic designer, you will be much happier with the final product.
1) Who is your audience? Identify who you’re trying to attract. If you sell children's items, don’t create a logo that looks very modern and corporate. You want something that makes people think of children when they look at your logo. If you are trying to attract corporate clients, keep the logo clean and simple. Flowery, cutesy logos will turn them off.
2) What are some of your favorite logos? This will help your designer know which way to lean. If your favorite logos are, for example, the Apple Logo, Nike and AT&T, you trend towards simpler, cleaner looks. Give the designer a visual, because WE are visual, and that’s how we learn best.
3) How will the logo be used? You want to be sure that the logo you end up with is one that fits all your needs. From a small label to a billboard, it needs to be readable. So be sure to know what your end use will be.
4) What are your business goals? This doesn’t necessarily help with designing the logo, but does give the designer a clearer picture of where you want your business to go, which ultimately will affect how s/he approaches the design of your logo.
5) What are YOUR thoughts about how the logo should look? Most people have an idea in mind. The same way you tell your hairdresser how you’d like your hair cut, give your designer an idea what you are looking for. The more information you provide them, the happier you will be with the final result. Once you do that, though, step back and let them work their magic. They are the artist and they will be able to execute your vision.
I promise that if you follow these 5 points, you will end up with a logo that embodies the essence of your business.