The small business space in India is an exciting and creative one. I enjoy spending time checking out what online creators and small businesses have to offer. Some entrepreneurs have approached me to discuss their pain/ problem points. Here, I am sharing some suggestions on how they can promote their small business, for free.
Highlight your key differentiator in your messaging
A basic thing that many people get wrong. Your differentiator or your unique selling proposition (USP) is the attribute that makes you stand out from the crowd.
Why be generic when you have something unique to offer? Recently, I had a small business, a café, approach me for help with their promotion. They kept putting up photos of their food on social media. The bigger story there was that they made their own sausages. Imagine using artisanal sausages with unique spice mixes, in their food but, not talking about it! The world is embracing artisanal products, and these sausages tell a story that is interesting enough to share across channels. However, their social media platforms and their offline collaterals did not mention it at all. It was truly a missed opportunity.
Ask for testimonials
It is known that people are more likely to leave negative feedback than positive. It is good to remind them that positive feedback could do a much good to promote a small business. The value of a credible third-party endorsing you positively cannot be underestimated. Ask your customers to share positive feedback on your social media pages if they liked your products or services. You could consider giving your regular customers discounts to incentivize them to keep purchasing. Positive reviews that show up on Google also go a long way in building your brand.
Make friends and family your first champions (supporters)
If you have influencers in the family, make them the first people you tap to endorse your products or services. Celebrities (even the small ones) have a fan base that can translate to leads for your business. The same café I mentioned earlier had a number of famous customers owing to their location and yet, they didn’t feature them on their social media.
It’s time for your siblings or cousins to pay up for all the trouble they put you through while growing up!
Tweak your content to add value
Only talking about your brand can make for boring content. There is much you can use to showcase your expertise and establish a differentiator and highlight brand values to attract potential customers: articles, infographics, eBooks and even videos.
If you are a small business that creates DIY products, consider doing a video on a simple DIY idea to do at home. If you make soaps at home, talk about the ingredients and why organic ingredients are better for the skin. It’s necessary to give as many angles as possible, so that different people can connect to your brand story. A one-dimensional angle for your product will not engage customers.
Market using a partner
Working with another company that has either a similar or complementary target audience can help you increase reach and sales. A tea brand approached a friend of mine who owns a granola brand to be part of their Christmas hamper. This allowed both parties to access each other’s database and reach out to new customers: a win-win situation. Other than offering complimentary products you can even share email lists, feature them on your blog and vice versa, or even have co-branding programmes.
Sharing ideas is always a good way to increase knowledge. What are some of the cost-effective suggestions you have to offer to help promote small business?
I look forward to your thoughts and suggestions on this topic in the comments below.
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