By Deborah Cavenaugh
Director of Marketing and Communications
Flex Office Space, Washington, DC.
June 17, 2016
Most of us are absolutely convinced that social marketing is the be-all and end-all way for small businesses to attract customers. Frankly, that is just not true. Many of the old ways of getting business are still the best ways. Good news, right? Lots of us folks feel confused and awkward and out of date when it comes to posting on social media platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat…). Those folks will be happy to know that the proven best ways to build sales does not include social posts.
The number one way that new business will walk in your door is from positive word of mouth. Happy customers, family, neighbors and the like who speak well of you/your business/your project are STILL the most likely source of all new business and that will never change. Effective marketing priority one is creating a positive sales experience and always having excellent customer service. Folks will talk and that is a good thing.
The second best source for new customers are the businesses in the neighborhood. Get a good relationship with them. Eat in their restaurants, visit their stores, drop by their offices. Educate them in what you do, how you stand out from your competition, who’s your market and ways you are special. And, find out the same things about them. Reciprocity works. I promise you…business will be forthcoming from these contacts especially when you send business their way as well. We all like to be that person who has the answer to “where can I go to find…?”
The number three way to get new business is from your email list. You should be asking everyone who comes in the door or to your web site to join your mailing list. Then, make a point to reach out to everyone on that list in a regular way. Staying in touch with the folks who like what you do is a powerful marketing tool. And, it doubles you back to the number one marketing tool: positive word of mouth from your customers to their acquaintances. Your customers will love to be on the inside track for your new products or sales or events and, hopefully, will want to forward the email their friends.
Beyond emailing sales and the like, a newsletter is the next best business winning use of a good email list. In a future article, I will write more about using a newsletter to build your business network. There is definitely a strategy for a this. More soon…
Posting on social media platforms trail behind these marketing tools. I am not saying you shouldn’t bother with the social platforms because you kind of have to as it is expected of businesses today. What I am saying, if don’t put all your power there and don’t fret too much on how to be effective with it. I’ll chat with you more about these tools, as well.