Getting your clients to help you with your small business marketing

Running a small business is never easy, and one of the biggest issues around running a small business is being able to market it effectively. This takes a lot of work, but because you are working so hard to keep the business afloat and running well, all the work that is required to market it sometimes falls by the wayside.

However, often the answer is on your own doorstep. There are ways to market your business effectively as long as you look for the key people that are able to bring you value in your marketing. These are your current clients. If you use their opinions and their perceptions well, they can become marketing agents for you.

All you have to do is contact 5 to 10 clients and ask them if they wouldn’t mind being part of a formal phone interview. In this phone interview you will gather information that you can use in your marketing efforts. It doesn’t take long to do, and it is relatively inexpensive compared to other marketing efforts. Here is what you have to do to make sure that it works well for you.

Get that letter out there first

First of all send out a letter to your current clients asking if it’s okay for someone from your company to contact them for a phone interview. It’s always important to ask for permission first, otherwise it could be a problem as people get annoyed with the contact.

Then, choose an interviewer from your company, even yourself, and get them to ask the following questions. The answers to these questions should help you to make changes in marketing.

Get your interviewer to ask, for example, what problem was it that the client had that they felt your company could solve? By identifying the problems that your company solved for them, you can use these in your marketing efforts in the future. You obviously solved the problems for a client, and you can do this again. By being able to articulate the problem carefully through this contact with the client, you have a much better value proposition.

Where is the value?

Ask your current clients to identify what they valued most about your work. If they are able to do this, then this means that you can show this value in your marketing efforts. Whether it’s putting a message on the lanyard that your employees wear to a company event, or even the content of an email marketing campaign. With the value clearly articulated, it is much more effective.

Then ask these clients if there is any aspect of your service that they think could be improved to make it much more valuable and attractive as an offering. This is the crucial question, because it means that they are able to articulate to you how you can improve your service. And obviously, a great part of marketing for any small business is a consistent improvement of the service you bring.

Don’t underestimate the power of your current client base for marketing ideas and extra support in your marketing overall. They can provide you with plenty of ideas and contributions as regards how you can improve your service, and they can also tell you what you are doing well at the moment.

You can express those ideas in your marketing, and therefore continue to improve the service that you offer overall. At the same time, you’ll be attracting new clients through marketing that clearly outlines and illustrates just what you can do for those clients. It’ll work wonders for your future marketing efforts, and add to the revenue that you bring into the company.

How to win business at trade shows and events

When it comes to winning new business and getting the attention of prospective clients and customers, attending industry trade shows and events as an exhibitor is a tried and tested method that many companies have used with great success. Whilst it’s very possible to use this tactic to make revolutionary changes to the fortunes of your business, it’s not enough to just turn up and hope for the best. You need to have some techniques up your sleeve to ensure you really get the most out of your investment in terms of both time and money. In this guide, we share top tips for winning new business at your upcoming trade shows and events.

Pick the events where your prospects will be in attendance

Okay, so it may seem glaringly obvious that you need to choose an event where your prospects will actually be, but it can be all to easy to make some bad decisions in this respect when you’re just getting started with marketing your business in this way. Event organisers can be really persuasive, and before you know it, you’ve decided to take them up on a ‘special deal’ that isn’t necessarily going to benefit your business. Think about the audience that various events are likely to attract, and consider how many people you’ll get in front of who might actually buy from you.

Have a talking point at your stand to initiate conversations

Once you’ve chosen the best trade show or event for your business, you’ll need a way to stand out from the crowd. You’ll be up against other companies and if you want to get the most out of the opportunity, it pays to consider how you’ll start up conversations with your prospects and get them interested in what you have to say. The options are pretty much endless – you could give away promotional wristbands or branded lanyards, you could have a selection of sweet treats displayed on your stall, or you could do something else entirely. Don’t be scared to get creative.

Collect email addresses from attendees so you can continue to market to them

If you’re selling B2B services or items with a high price tag, you’re probably not going to make lots of sales at the actual event. Your strategy should be to introduce your business, share a little about what you have to offer, and then have a plan in place so you can continue to nurture the relationships that you’ve started, and ultimately, convert them into paying business. One of the most effective ways to do this is to collect their email addresses and embark on a great email marketing campaign. It’s cost effective, and it can have phenomenal results. Obviously, you’ll need to give your prospects a reason to leave their details with you. You might decide to offer a free e-book that you have created that will add value for your prospects and help them to solve a problem that they often experience, or you could offer entry to a competition to win something like a bottle of champagne, or one of your very own high-end products.

Winning business at trade shows and events isn’t always as easy as many people will have you believe, but with the right advice and forward planning, it can be something that you can use to really maximise your impact ramp up your revenue. Before you even consider turning up at the next much-anticipated industry event, make sure that you’ve given some careful consideration to each of the points outlined above.