All businesses must start somewhere, and typically, that “somewhere” is pretty small. In order to grow your business, marketing is an essential step, but there is a fine line in the process as funds are typically limited at the beginning.
However, just because you cannot afford the giant blimp with your face on it or the super bowl commercial slot, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can be doing to effectively advertise your business.
Networking may seem tedious, and rarely will it offer instant results, however, do not underestimate its effectiveness. Research shows that most people value word of mouth advertising over any other form. We live in a busy culture, and people are less likely to research twenty different brands before they make a purchase. Instead, people are more willing to trust a product or service that a friend previously purchased and confirmed to work well. This kind of influence over marketing is only increasing as social media continues to be a common and effective form of connection.
Look at it this way: say you take the time to meet with five people, shake a few hands, and explain the product or service you have to offer. Three people of those five value your product enough to share it on their Facebook page. Suddenly, all 300 of their friends are viewing a positive review of your product by a trusted resource. Now, your two or three hours invested in networking becomes free advertising shared with about 900 potential customers.
Do not underestimate the power of networking.
Craft an Elevator Pitch
The process of networking is nothing without an effective elevator pitch. Most researchers agree that the average adult has an attention span of about 6-8 seconds, therefore, it is your job grab their attention in this short span of time. Once you grab them, you should still be able to condense your product down enough to sell them in the next thirty seconds to a minute.
You never know when a networking opportunity may arise. It is important that you invest time into practicing your pitch so that you will be prepared to deliver it at any time and in any place.
Finally, it is important that once you network and sell customers or clients on your elevator pitch, that they have a specific point of reference for the product. Social media is an extremely beneficial platform to create a face, spread word, and establish the brand for a new company. However, this can also backfire if you do not commit to maintaining your presence on these platforms. Spend just a few minutes a day to maintain an accurate and professional face for your company on social media.
Do not miss a chance for free advertising.
Even as your small business takes off and advertising funds begin to grow, it is important that you keep these three tools polished. No matter how big your company grows, it’ll never be too big to no longer benefit from avid networking, a solid elevator pitch, and a strong social media presence.