Ten Simple Marketing Strategies for Micro-Entrepreneurs
Everything in your micro business boils down to marketing. As a micro-entrepreneur, your business centers on two basic phases: the set-up phase, which is the easy part (although many beginning micro-entrepreneurs may not realize it when it’s happening), and the marketing phase, which is the truly challenging part. If you want to turbo-charge your marketing efforts, check out the following ten strategies.
Marketing through articles you write
One easy way to market your business or your product or service is by writing a free article and including some links to your website or whatever you’re offering.
Make sure the article has solid content and offers real value to the reader. If the reader finds value in the article, it increases the likelihood that he will click on the link to view what else you have to offer. With a free article, you can reach hundreds or even thousands of people who can potentially read what you’ve written. Article marketing is both a great form of direct marketing (readers can immediately go to where you direct them) and also a great form of indirect marketing (because it builds your credibility and your status as an expert), all for free!
Guest blogging as art of your marketing plan
You can also use your writing abilities to guest blog and post an article to someone’s blog. Guest blogging is a simple strategy. You find a popular and active blog (one relevant to your business and customers) and get permission from the blog owner to write an article for the blog (your guest blog). Your published article gives you great exposure.
When approaching another blog to submit your guest blog idea, remember that other blog owners will be more open to your proposition if you can deliver them a credible, well-written blog entry for their readers to read. One well-written blog entry on a well-known website can give you hundreds of new visitors to your website.
Typically you won’t get paid for writing the guest blog, but in exchange for your great content, the blog owner usually allows you to include your bio and a mention of your website, a link, or what you offer in your post.
To find blogs for guest blogging opportunities, head to websites such as Technorati.
Leaving comments on blogs and websites
You can usually comment on a particular article on active blogs or websites. A popular article with lots of comments provides you with a marketing opportunity.
To use this strategy, keep tracking the most popular blogs and websites involved with your topic. As soon as the blog or website posts an article, immediately read it and post a comment as soon as possible. You don’t have to do it with every blog; just the ones relevant to the business. Make it a habit of being an early commentator.
To become well known and a respected commenter on a well-trafficked blog or website, post regularly in a professional manner. You can then gently and adroitly mention your own site, blog, or offering. Doing so in a courteous and regular manner can be great marketing that doesn’t cost you a dime (just your time and effort, but it’s worth it).
Exploring joint ventures as marketing tools
If you have a product or service and you don’t have a market, then you may want to find someone who has a market but doesn’t have your product or service. In that type of situation, you can work together (a joint venture) and split the profits — a great win-win situation for you both.
Think of those firms and individuals that reach your target market but that don’t compete with you. If you’re interested, approach them and propose a joint venture. Say you have a great small business product or service. You can find those marketers that already have a large small business audience. You can do a joint venture with websites, blogs, and ezines that reach your target market. Finding those individuals and businesses that reach your target market isn’t difficult.
Participating in forums
The Internet has many forums. A forum is basically a gathering place for folks to express opinions and viewpoints and share information on a particular topic. Some forums are small, whereas some are very large. If you’re selling, say gardening products, become active and visible in forums with large gatherings of folks interested in gardening.
Most forums are free and are a great way to meet potential customers and ultimately grow your business. In addition, forums may be opportunities to do some market research or find joint venture opportunities.
Using Facebook to market your business
What better place to do some marketing that on Facebook, a site that boasts having 1 billion members (give or take 100 million). Registering on Facebook is free, and setting up a web page (fan page) is free. You can also add keywords (and other techniques) to boost your visibility. Spend some time on the site to build your connections to friends, family, and work associates.
After you have built your network on Facebook, start informing those members about your business activities. For instance, you can tell them you wrote an article or set up a blog, or you can make an announcement about a product that you’re offering. In the world of marketing, you don’t usually have success when you do one big thing; it’s usually when you do 100 little things that you’re more successful.
Making videos for YouTube
Millions of people view videos every day on YouTube. To market your business, consider putting together your own free YouTube channel.
Make the videos compelling and interesting where possible. To do so, comment on a hot topic that is popular or controversial (just be careful because you don’t want to upset any potential prospects or business partners with your comments). Doing so can help build the viewership (your audience, ideally your prospects). Make sure your video is accompanied by a description. In that description, you have the opportunity to include some sales copy marketing to encourage viewers to click on the available link you added.
That link, of course, sends them to your website, blog, affiliate link, landing page, or whatever you’re offering. Find out more about how you can include YouTube in your marketing by visiting the YouTube website.
Looking at low-cost marketing with Fiverr
Fiverr can be good for either making some money or getting some services done on the cheap (usually only five bucks). However, one of its greatest strengths is as a low-cost marketing tool. Fiverr is considered the leading micro-tasking (minor or small services performed for small amounts of money) website. Here you can find lots of buyers and sellers of small or minor tasks that may be profitable for you.
If you need to get a group of people to very quickly notice you or what you’re currently offering, then consider Fiverr. On the site, you see gigs (the word that the site uses for offerings of products and services) where the seller is offering services such as I will tweet what you offer to my 5,000 Twitter followers, I will get 2,000 people to view your YouTube video, or I will get my 3,000 contacts on Facebook to view your fan page.
Tapping into the power of Twitter
Twitter is free to sign up and free to use. Twitter is a form of instant micro blogging where people get short, succinct messages (usually a 140-character limit, called tweets) for all sorts of news, opinions, and alerts. Some of these messages are uninteresting or literally meaningless, whereas others can be significant and effective. In any case, you can use Twitter as an opportunity to alert people to new products or services, promotions, interesting posts, and new business developments.
You can build your Twitter following with messages that are compelling and interesting. In due course, the messages can make a pitch for a product or service made available through your website, blog, or other venue.
If you don’t have a Twitter following to market to, you can get involved in a joint venture with someone who does have a significant Twitter following and (more importantly) someone who has a following that is part of your target market.
Go to Twitter to find people, companies, and other organizations that are your target market or that reach your target market indirectly (joint marketing).
Teaching a class to expand your marketing efforts
Adult education is a superb way to market your business. You give attendees a few hours of your wonderful knowledge and information. You can teach a class, and many adult education places typically pay you for your time as an instructor. In addition, you’re there in a room filled with qualified prospects, which is also a great opportunity to let them know what you offer. Contact your local board of education or community college for opportunities.