Starting a business is compelling in the best of times. You get to make your own hours, pursue your passion, and follow your dreams. And if you’re a senior entrepreneur, you know that entrepreneurship is a rewarding path – despite the hours, it’s an excellent strategy to get more work years in before retirement. But if you’ve been at the business game for a while, with no real results to show for it, chances are that you need to boost your marketing efforts. Here, we break down critical marketing advice for success.
To market successfully, you need to be fully in tune with the needs of your potential customers. Scope out the market by researching current customer behavior, likes, and dislikes. Platforms like Reddit and Twitter or community sites like Facebook or LinkedIn are great for seeing how customers are responding to the efforts of your competitors and how engaged they are. You can then use this as a metric and build your marketing efforts on top of that. This will help you get results more quickly, instead of a ‘shot in the dark’ approach where you’re testing out multiple strategies without prior research.
Over 85% of professionals report networking as being critical to success, according to LinkedIn. As a senior, you likely have years of contacts built up from various jobs and careers. Utilize these contacts to the fullest, even if they work in a different industry to yours. The best way to do this is slowly building relationships – touch base every couple of months, offer your help or services, and generally check-in. It’s important to stress that the objective shouldn’t be a favor or service – instead, approach networking as an activity you undertake to get to know someone. Once trust is established, you can explore the possibility of working together.
Every entrepreneur knows that loyalty is vital in the business landscape. Loyal customers will purchase products or services from you repeatedly, choosing your business if they genuinely love it. In addition, loyalty generates word-of-mouth spread, as customers will tell their friends to try this business they adore. This simple chain reaction of referrals is a critical tool in marketing as it generates organic spread and traffic. And you can hasten the (often slow) referral process too.
Some low-cost and easy ways to create referrals for your business include offering small discounts or freebies for every referral and offering rewards or loyalty points for each referral. You can also hand out business cards that customers can give to friends and family. It’s easy to create an eye-catching business card when you utilize an online business card maker. This tool provides pre-made templates that you can customize by adding your own images, text, colors, and font.
You can utilize referrals in both the online and in-person space. Just be sure to follow up on leads immediately so that you’re capitalizing when you’re top of mind.
Senior entrepreneurs often opt for more old-school approaches to marketing, such as flyers or door-to-door sales. But as we live in a digital world now, it’s time to adapt to the idea of content marketing. While it may seem like a no-brainer, you need to provide value to your clientele in various ways. This can be done through blogs, tutorials, videos, posts, and more. Whether it’s a how-to on using one of your products or sharing trends within your industry, every business needs a consistent content schedule. The idea here is that you provide value but also insert a plug into your services. This can be done through a ‘click to learn more’ button or a hyperlink redirecting the reader to your product page.
Search engine optimization can increase your organic traffic by 106%, Accent Interactive reports. A good grasp of SEO will be critical to ensure you rank well on Google, generate traffic and leads, and optimize your conversions. It will also ensure you get noticed in your local business landscape and help clients find you easily. However, SEO is a murky world, with constantly changing algorithms, rules, and guidelines.
Instead of eschewing SEO for this reason (as most senior entrepreneurs do), try to invest in this critical tool. If you’re working with a low budget, look up online resources to educate yourself on the basic principles and start implementing them. It’s also a good idea to include your business name, location, and phone number on each page of your website.
But if you have some wiggle room in the marketing budget, we highly suggest working with social media specialists or agencies. They will help run all your socials with a clear strategic vision, not to mention implement SEO on all your channels. Some might help with content creation too! SEO is the tool every entrepreneur needs for exponential return on investment, so be sure not to miss out.
You will likely have multiple marketing strategies on the go simultaneously. How will you know which ones are paying off and which ones aren’t without properly tracking them? Every business is different, and it can be tricky to ascertain your various marketing experiments. That’s why it’s critical to keep figuring out what works while tracking. Be sure to create a spreadsheet to measure all your marketing efforts to create a cohesive system you can look back on. Investing in a robust CRM and marketing automation system will help with this as well. Tracking results allows you to play with the iterative process and layer different strategies for the best results. The best part is, you’ll be able to look back many years down the line and see what you started with!
The older you get, the greater your chance for business success. After all, you have years of experience, networking, and strategies under your belt. However, in all your know-how, don’t neglect your marketing efforts. They’re crucial to getting your brand discovered and building your empire!
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