The goal of marketing is to attract customers who want to buy your service or product. In your case, that’s probably a book, but it could be freelance editing, coaching, and even book layout or illustration.
Small businesses frequently fail if they can’t figure out how to market what they are selling or what they do. However, small businesses can move toward ensuring their success by implementing the following strategies:
1. Create a product or service that is needed by the public and stands out from the others in the same category. For example, if you are writing a book to help others learn to write, make sure your how-to guide is different from all the others. You’ll have to distinguish yourself by providing information that is different and better than the others. Create your own style that sets you apart. At times, this will be a risk, but if you deliver quality information, you will develop your own niche of the market.
2. Develop a name for your business and a motto that will identify you easily. To attract customers and to facilitate their referring you to others, choose a name that it easy to remember and has something to do with the product or service you are offering. Many experts say that writers should always use their own name as the name of the company. This will help build your writing platform.
3. Create printed materials, including a business card, brochure, and website, with a uniform look, so when people see it, they don’t even have to read it. They’ll recognize the look of it as yours.
4. Don’t distribute anything about your company or service that is not professional. Every piece of paper and every communication from you reflects your business, so make each communication count. This is especially true on the Internet. Social media sites give writers a wonderful voice, but they also can turn people against you in a minute. For example, it’s probably not good to voice your opinions on politics, religion, and hot-button issues. In one swoop, if you express vehement thoughts representative of the right or the left, you can certainly lose 50% of your audience. Keep that in mind when you’re tweeting or commenting on Facebook.
5. Keep your name in front of your customers. Don’t let long periods go by without letting your customers hear from you. And, set up a good system to keep track of communication with your customers.
6. Don’t advertise. Send information instead. By this I mean that people often throw away advertisements without reading them, but they rarely throw away an information booklet or newsletter. So instead of sending out a flyer that just advertises your product, write an article or two about what you do or write informative text about your product’s use and send it out as a newsletter. Always include information on topics other than your product, so your readers will learn to look through the newsletter carefully because you’re providing them with interesting text.
7. Sponsor some type of event to bring in the customers. A talk about your product or an open house for old and new customers is a good idea. With events such as these, you can send out a press release to various media outlets and you just might gain the interest of a writer for the local paper or supplement. If no one wants to publish an article about your event, you can at least have it listed in the calendar of events in the paper and on local radio shows. If your marketing is on line, you can host a giveaway of some sort to gain the attention of readers or a discount event to increase your editing business.
8. The most important thing that a small business owner can do to market their business is to stay alert for opportunities. Frequently, you hear about events that would have been a perfect opportunity to market your business. To know about these opportunities in time to take advantage of them be sure to read local papers and magazines cover to cover and visit other websites and blogs on line to keep up with what’s going on. You never know when an opportunity might arise.