Getting your marketing in order as an entrepreneur can be daunting. Read on for the official (ish) guide to good entrepreneur marketing.
We asked Buzzbar Co-Founder, Anna Downey, for her top marketing tips for entrepreneurs:
Simple as it may sound, but conducting market research is one of the most important things you can do for your product or brand. It’s amazing how many people skip this section. Perhaps it sounds like a lot of work? The good news is, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Sure, there are third-party companies who can produce reports for you, but there’s no reason why you can’t do a little digging yourself. In fact, getting to know your customer is one of the best time investments you’ll ever make!
But here’s the thing about marketing: you cannot create demand. Surveys, interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires are fantastic, low-cost ways to tap into market sentiment and find out what makes your (future) audience tick. By tailoring your product to their unique frustrations and desires, you’ll build a stronger brand with a relevant and eye-catching USP.
In the beginning, it’s tempting to see your target audience as simply ‘anyone who is willing to pay for your product’, but that’s not a sustainable long-term plan. Trying to speak to everyone out there is inefficient and—sorry to be the bearer of bad news—impossible. Early audience segmentation is vitally important. By splitting potential customers up into categories, it becomes easier to focus your time (and budget) on well-defined groups.
The main characteristics to look out for may change dependent on industry, but features such as location, age, gender, occupation, and disposable income levels are key to any good audience segmentation strategy.
An elevator pitch is exactly what it sounds like—a quick, intriguing summary of your business that can be rattled off during a routine lift encounter. You’re probably used to people asking what you do, but are you using that opportunity to make a convincing sales pitch? If not, it’s a good idea to start now. After all, you never know who might be listening...
So get practising. It’s called an elevator pitch for a reason, so start timing yourself—you don’t need to literally be in a lift, but start running through your business as quickly, concisely and efficiently as possible. A fun, memorable description of your product will absolutely travel further than a disjointed story about self-employment, as your listener is much more likely to pass on a newsworthy business idea to friends and family. At the very least, you’re laying the foundation for future investment rounds!
An effective brand is so much more than a logo—it’s a reflection of who your audience desires to be, and it’s one of the main reasons that a customer is drawn to your product over a competitor’s. Consistency, quality, and relatable messaging are the pillars of your brand’s reputation, so it’s unwise to neglect these.
Good branding is consistent across all channels, from website to email and social media, to facilitate a sense of trust between business and customer. When the way you present yourself is reliable, it makes your product seem more reliable by extension. You might save money by not hiring professionals, but it won’t be enough to stave off inevitable rebrand confusion a few months down the line.
This one sounds obvious, but it’s surprising how many people neglect their personal networks when it comes to starting a business. Pride, fear and a sense of not wanting to “bother” people with our problems often comes into play. In reality, every idea needs a community—whether it’s for testing, feedback, or just general cheerleading. Bigger companies just happen to pay for the privilege.
Reviews and first-hand testimonials speak volumes, so don’t be afraid to get in touch with old friends, colleagues, and customers to ask for their help. Use your contacts wisely by attending a variety of networking events—even those outside of your usual niche—and make the most out of your social sphere. Your social media profiles will thank you for it!
Yes, you’ve probably got a Twitter account that you started two years ago and a Facebook page that you’ve shared with your friends, but are you really using the internet to its full potential? Statistically speaking, probably not. And that’s fine—it’s not uncommon for small business owners to feel overwhelmed with the pace of digital marketing, with many too busy to sit down and figure the whole thing out. Fortunately, a slick online presence really does pay dividends.
A well-made, responsive website, crisp logo, solid copy, and a consistent colour palette are the bare necessities when it comes to reliable branding, giving your audience the impression that their needs are in good hands. Once you start advertising (and spending real money), you’ll see the importance of brand visibility and recognition; after all, it’s all about building a presence that instantly clicks, persuades, and converts.
Reckon you still need a hand with your brand? Drop into Buzzbar (on Shoreditch High Street) and speak to one of our marketing strategists when you book onto a free 30-minute consultation. Looking for more digital marketing insights? Head on over to the Buzzbar blog.
15 Nov 2019