Running a business is a lot of work. Fortunately, even if you’re a solo business owner, it’s not something that you have to do entirely on your own. And now that your business has grown a bit, you’ve got a marketing budget that is much more capable of helping you out. Too often, companies focus on the PR side of marketing and try to let the publicity do its job, but there are a lot of other efforts that you can invest in to get clients coming in the door.
You’re always going to be working on marketing and outreach campaigns to attract new clients. As long as the market stays competitive, you’re also going to have to work hard to stay ahead of your competitors and make moves that set your business apart. If you do it well, you’ll be able to set up strategies that get results and leave you with less work to do at the end of the day. Here are five tactics to get you started.
Cost: Free, unless you pay for networking events, etc.
As a solo business owner, networking is an invaluable tool. You can use it to build your reputation and help draw in new clients, so make sure that you nurture your professional network well. Make connections with related businesses, share your information on industry forums and directories, and build a strong backlink strategy that proves that your business is worth people’s time and effort.
Look for professional organizations and associations that you can join, local marketing events and trade shows, etc. Any way that you can build your network while helping create a stronger name for your brand will be worth the money. You can do this on your own and even if you don’t want to invest a lot of the marketing budget, you don’t have to. Just put in the effort and make sure that you’re building the right relationships.
It’s not enough to have optimized, well-crafted social media profiles. That’s the first step, but now you actually have to use those accounts. People want to connect with businesses in the forums where they spend their time and right now, that is on social media. You have to find ways to engage with people. You can share your own content and promote your business, of course, but you should also look at other ways you can engage on social media.
Share industry news. Start a conversation with your followers. Use Instagram or Facebook to show off your company’s skills and entice new business. Connect with other industry businesses and professional associations so that you can build your professional network here, too. All this will help you connect with people in a better way so that you can utilize social media to get those new clients that you seek.
Cost: $250-$2,500, depending on what you have done
Local SEO is critical to the success of local businesses today. If your solo business also has a brick-and-mortar location or if you work in a specific city/state/region, you need to market to those people specifically. Make sure that you’re using location-based keywords that you’ve researched carefully, but know that there’s more to local SEO than just the keywords. Mobile optimization, for example, is a big part of local optimization efforts.
When you hire someone to help, they will be able to go through and check your website, your off-page content, and other elements to ensure that your local SEO is in order. They will check things like reviews and referrals (more on that next), your business citation, NAP (name, address, phone number), and other elements. When they’re done, you will have a fully-optimized local presence that will help your solo business attract those new clients that you need.
Cost: Free, unless you offer incentives
People talk, and that’s going to be integral to your business's success. Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the most valuable tools out there and today there are a lot more ways that you can put it to work. Get reviews on your website, as well as sites like Google, Yelp!, and other third-party sites. You can ask for these reviews, as well as for referrals from existing clients.
You can also create incentive programs and offer people rewards for referring new clients. If you do this, make sure that both parties get in on the referral perks. You’ll also want to monitor your reviews to make sure that there aren’t any negative ones and that if they do crop up, you address them immediately. Despite all the great tools and resources available today, there’s still nothing as effective as word of mouth when it comes to getting your business name out there.
Cost: $250-$5,000, depending on what you outsource
A solo business is great, but you’re also limited on resources compared to large corporations or other companies that have more people running them. Fortunately, you don’t have to feel like you’re short on resources, thanks to outsourcing. You can get a lot done for a lot less when you partner with third-party providers, including for things like lead intake and admin tasks.
At Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists are available to act as your 24/7 answering service so that you never miss another opportunity. At the same time, we can also provide solutions for lead intake, appointment scheduling, and live website chat. Plus, if you’re still working on client acquisition, ask how we can help with outreach campaigns, too.
Plus, everything that we do comes with a custom strategy to manage all the details, and we can grow with your business and scale when you need us to. If you want to learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.