Marketing a business today is no easy task. The old outbound marketing playbook most of us grew up with is broken and most small businesses simply don’t have the money to afford these big interruption-based advertising campaigns.
Inbound Marketing on the other hand is a new marketing method that’s about getting found online by people looking for your products and services. As a small business, you need to setup your business and your marketing properly so you get found by the people already looking for what you have.
If you’re starting a new project or a new business, here is simple checklist of 15 marketing tips to get you started.
1) Pick a business name that works. It should be easy to remember and not too long. When choosing a name, make sure you can get the domain name as well. If you can get a .com domain with your industry keywords in it, this is preferable but not mandatory.
2) Get a nice logo designed. Your logo should be simple and look professional. You can get a logo designed using 99designs.com or sites like Elance.com. Make sure to get the vector files from the designer so you can use these on your social media profiles and your website.
3) Put up a simple website. You can use WordPress but make sure you use your own domain name not yourcompany.wordpress.com. You need to start building up a reputation with Google for your business/domain name. This will help you get found on search engines.
4) Get links to your website. Just one link from another website will help Google find you and add you to its search results. Don’t go overboard and sites in your industry are better links than just any old website.
5) Setup a Twitter account. The name should match your domain name. Even if you are not convinced of the value of Twitter yet, get your account setup now and add a link in your profile back to your website.
6) Setup an email subscription on your website to start collecting subscribers. You can do this with Mailchimp. Add this to the sidebar beside your blog posts so people can easily subscribe when they are reading your blog.
7) Setup a Facebook Page. Add a simple description for your business and link back to your website. You can also setup your vanity web address such as Facebook.com/YOURCOMPANY
8) Setup a LinkedIn company page and link back to your website.
9) Find relevant Twitter users in your industry. Start following them and building relationships with these people. Don’t just follow randomly. Be targeted and find people in your industry or your target market.
10) Setup a blog on your website. If you installed WordPress for your website, you already have a blog.
11) Write a remarkable blog article about your industry. It’s remarkable content that will help people find you on the search engines. The more relevant, useful content you create about your industry and your knowledge, the better search engines will be able to find you and the more people will want to read and come back to your blog to learn more.
12) Find bloggers talking about your market. Subscribe to their blogs and comment on their blog posts when you have something relevant to add. Don’t spam them; the purpose is about building relationships, not selling.
13) Promote your promoters. When someone links to your blog or retweets one of your tweets, thank them and help them get more traffic too. In the long run, helping them helps you. Other people will see this behavior and will return the favor when you are posting remarkable content of your own.
14) Make a list of the top people in your industry and write a blog post about them. List the people and why you think they are great. Link to their website or online profiles.
15) Setup Google Analytics on your website – Like the old saying goes, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Google Analytics can provide you with insights as to what pages on your website get the most traffic and what keywords people are typing into Google to find your page. Analysis of this information can help you improve your website and your blog posts.
These 15 marketing tips should get you started on your way to getting found by prospective customers.