Marketing Your Small Business - The Top 10 Brilliant Ideas

A Brilliant Marketing Idea... sounds great but what is it? Is it the idea that results in the mailman ringing your doorbell, signaling in a caravan of postal workers with mounds of letters (all in response to your latest advertisement)? Is it the idea that brings a 20% response rate on your direct mail campaign?

Surely these ideas would be considered brilliant marketing ideas...right? Well, maybe. It depends on the costs incurred generating the response. If the cost of the marketing was greater than the income it generated, it doesn't matter how great the response, it's not very brilliant.

The following ideas will get you started marketing brilliantly in no time!

BUSINESS CARDS

Print (or stamp) something on your business card that will prompt the holder to contact you (and/or to keep the card). Examples: "Return this card for a FREE loaf of bread" (baker), "10% off on next purchase" (retail store), "Send for your FREE copy of our Special Report: Brilliant Ideas for Marketing Your Small Business" (small business marketing specialist).

VALUE-ADDED SERVICES

Success means standing apart from the competition. This is done by developing (and promoting) your value-added services. If you don't think you have any, think again...and then if you still don't, develop some! (Sometimes it is something you are already doing/offering, but you just haven't recognized it as a value-added service or product.) Example: With each printing order, you also get free design consultation services.

BUSINESS FORMS AND STATIONERY

Use all company forms to promote your business--it costs no more to design them with promotions than it does to design them without! Examples: On your stationery, list your services or products, your value-added features, and/or the benefits of doing business with your company.

ENVELOPES

Use the left-hand side of the envelope to motivate the reader to open it and to read what's inside. Example: What's inside for YOU? 10 Tips for Marketing Your Business!

FAX COVER SHEETS

Design and create a FAX coversheet that not only identifies the person who is to receive the FAX, but also promotes your business. One brilliant idea is to include your current promotion. Example: A hotel could promote a "$66 Weekend Ski Package."

VOICE MESSAGE

Your voice mail recording should market your business. Example: "Thank you for calling The Rocking Chair ? Mountain View's largest antique and collectables shop. At the corner of Main and Sylamore, we're open 10-6 seven days a week. Please leave a message, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can."

INTRODUCTION

Business professionals are frequently asked "what do you do?" Practice your 10 second answer to this question; be sure it includes the benefits your business provides to your customers. It should also identify the customers you are looking for. Example: "I work with small businesses, sales professionals, and entrepreneurs. I provide them with inexpensive ideas for promoting their businesses and for serving their customers so they promote their business too. I do this through workshops and through my website http://www.brilliant-marketing-for-small-business.com."

DATABASE UPDATE

On a regular basis (every 6-12 months), contact "old" customers. Let them know you are updating your database and need to confirm the information you have. Although this is not a sales call, it is common for lost customers to begin doing business with you again simply because you contacted them.

24-HOURS VOICE MAIL... for your convenience

If you have 24-hour voice mail (or an answering machine that is not also your home line), advertise that it is available 24 hours for your customers and prospects; include for your convenience. This is especially effective since many people review the mail and newspapers early in the morning, late in the evening, or on weekends!

STORIES SELL!

When telling people what you do, use examples. Example: "I help people protect their property; I'm an insurance agent. In fact, last week I wrote policies for newly married couples needing renters insurance."

Anyone can promote a business with an unlimited marketing budget, but it takes specialized knowledge and commitment to get the same (or better) results on a shoestring. These brilliant ideas are only a fraction of the thousands available in the Brilliant Marketing! ? System. Look for future editions of this e-zine for more Brilliant Marketing Ideas!

Alex Barrington, developer of the Brilliant Marketing! System, has worked with thousands of small businesses providing them with low-or-no-cost marketing ideas for maximizing respone and minimizing results. The entire Brilliant Marketing! tutorial is online on Alex's site: http://www.brilliant-marketing-for-smal l-business.com

In The News:

Small Business Lifeline  University of Georgia
A guide to getting a small business loan  http://smallbusiness.co.uk
Business briefs  The Hutchinson News

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