Market Research and Early Promotional Work

If you’re starting up in business or deciding to go it alone as a freelancer it’s important to know who your customers will be. This is one of the foundations of your enterprise and will have an impact on your company strategy, marketing plan and promotions.

Promotional Work is a major challenge for a new business with a limited marketing budget. I’ve also listed some tips to champion yourself and amplify your communications.

Know the problem that you are solving – Once this had been highlighted at a company level ( i.e. offering accountancy services to businesses ) then break it down. Know what value you can offer and think of the specific services. Will they include book keeping, annual accounts etc? Will you be office based or travel to clients? How will you charge clients?
Establish who your customers will be – By segmenting your market you can target specific sectors effectively. What size of company would you like to service, what industry, location? How many clients will you need for the business to pay you an acceptable salary? Be as detailed as you can to help you in planning marketing and promotions.
What will be your niche? – It’s a mistake to believe you can cater for all customers and businesses as you’ll be competing with established companies with larger resources. It’s important to have a point of difference and focus on your strengths in the commercial field. If you choose wisely you can specialise successfully in a unique but lucrative market.
Note your strengths and interests – If you have an area of expertise such as working with small startups for an accountant then this can influence your choice of market. Working in a sector that you know well or in a geographical area that has fewer competitors will also be of benefit to you. Finally don’t overlook your interests, it’s not indulgent to work in a field that you enjoy such as sport or music if there is an active demand for your service.

How to Raise Awareness and Promote Yourself

Be positive – In the social media space ensure you are posting a good mix of positive stories and updates. Nobody appreciates angry rants about train delays etc and negative messages if possible shouldn’t be used for B2B messaging. Try to keep content topical and light. An informed critique now and again could be more constructive.
Take an interest in others – Keep communication two way and really make an effort to be involved with the community. Helping others solve problems or offering support illustrates empathy and ultimately helps your messages appear human and balanced.
Promote others – This needn’t be overt, a retweet or recommendation can go a long way. Coworking spaces thrive on the collaboration of their members. You never know where a kind word can go in the commercial world.
Be consistent – In terms of social media messaging you need to post daily and over regular periods. A company blog is a great idea but you need to update fortnightly to have impact and be front of mind with your potential customers.
Don’t hide – You need to be a tangible representative of your business so post a photo now and again and have a testimony and snap on your website. People like to see a face behind a company and learn of your story and motivations.

If you have any further tips then please do share them….

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