When you are considering how to promote your business, consider the following factors:

  1. What is your TARGET MARKET? (i.e. Who are the people or businesses who are most likely to buy your products and/or services). If you try to promote to anyone and everyone, you will waste a lot of time and money and get much lower results than if you narrow down your audience.
  2. Is takes an AVERAGE of 5-7 TIMES or a person to see, hear or otherwise experience something that educates them and reminds them about your business before they DECIDE TO either BUY your products and/or services or to take action to investigate the product or service more thoroughly, such as booking an appointment to speak about the details more or to take a tour of your facility if you have one.
  3. For RELATIONSHIP-BASED BUSINESSES, it is not enough to rely on passive advertising methods to generate the kind of revenue you want from your business. PASSIVE ADVERTISING, such as having a Linkedin profile/LinkedIn company page, a Facebook business page, print media, a website, social media ads and other social media profiles in not enough. They are very important though, so people can look you and your business up if they want to learn more about you and see if you are a legitimate business, and to at least be a bit aware of your business and what you offer.
    1. SOCIAL MEDIA ADS – Do they work? They may or may not. I have found that they work best for product sales rather than service sales, except in certain cases. If the service is for an event hosted by a well-known presenter, such as Tony Robins or Kevin O’Leary for example, you will probably get more traction. But, for smaller, less known service businesses it might not be worth the money. If you are just starting out in your business, I do not recommend paying any money for social media ads, like Google, Facebook or others. They can be very expensive and your advertising dollars can get eaten up very quickly.
  4. For these types of businesses, it is especially important that you have PERSONAL CONNECTIONS with your target market, as the feeling of having more of an emotional connection with a service provider is more likely to tip the scales towards them wanting to become a bit more invested with you and what you offer.
  5. What kind of personal connections am I talking about?
    1. The old-fashioned phone call
    2. Personalized emails or messages on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media platforms which allow for direct interaction between the service provider and their prospects and clients
    3. In-person meetings, such as networking events and coffee, meal appointments or office appointments
    4. Phone or video call appointments
    5. Referrals.
  6. The #1 most inexpensive and least time consuming way to generate new business is through REFERRALS. Half the battle when it comes to selling anything is having people who are already interested in buying someone’s products and/services, as they don’t need to be educated on the type of products and/or services you provide and why it would be beneficial for them to buy it. They already want it and are looking for someone they can trust to give it to them and when they learn that someone they know or have been acquainted with tells them that they know someone who is a great service provider and who could help them out, most of the work has been done for you, you just need to bring them over the finish line.
  7. NETWORKING EVENTS Attending these is the second least time-consuming way to make these personalized connections is by attending  At these kinds of events, everyone is open to listening to what you have to say about your business. Everyone is of course there to also share with others what they do for their business, but, they know that they need to be open to others as well.
    1. The GREAT THING about Networking Events is that you can personally connect with a LARGE group of people in a VERY SHORT period of time. Of course, you still need to follow up as a one-time meeting doesn’t typically result in a new client immediately. But, you’ve made a very important connection with them which may increase the likelihood for further communications. They see you in person that you are a REAL person with a REAL business and they get a sense of your personality and authenticity.
    2. Not all networking events are created equal though! There are numerous networking events out there, all with slightly different formats and costs.
    3. When you are looking at the available events, look at the details of what will be happening at the events, the potential benefits to you and your business and the cost.
    4. NOTE: Most “FREE event’s are NOT FREE! Most often, events that are listed as “FREE” require that you PURCHASE food and/or beverages at the establishment where the event will be taking place. Restaurants, pubs, and event centres have to make money and they can’t allow patrons to take up space in their venue and not make any money from it. Every table and chair in a restaurant or pub is worth a certain dollar amount to the restaurant, and if you are paying them anything, they are losing money.
    5. Consider this, the average price for an appetizer at a restaurant, is around $9.00. You get a beverage with that for another $4.00 and you are at, $13.00. When you add on HST, that’s $13.00 + 13% = $14.69. When you add on a tip it comes to $14.69 + 15% = $17.00. If you order a full meal, the lowest price is likely around $15.00, plus a beverage at $4.00 = $19.00 + tax and tip = $24.69. In other words, FREE events might not actually be FREE!
    6. Then there are events that you pay a fee for. Consider this, what will you get for your money? What is the structure of the events and how do they differ from the free events? Do they provide FOOD and BEVERAGES? If they do, then consider the cost of the event with the food and beverages that you will get and the other features. It might be worth it to pay for the paid event if you will be getting MORE at than would might get at the “free” events.
  8. Next, there are PERSONAL EMAILS/SOCIAL MEDIA MESSAGES. These also work great, but, you may have to wait until the person checks their email account or social media pages to see your message and then they have to find it enough of a priority to read and reply to your message. Even then, if you have a wait a bit, it’s ok, just go for volume. Increase the number of messages you send.
    1. What you say in your message is critical, and it would be best to keep it short. To be most effective, make your goal to get an agreement to further contact with the person, not to sell them on the spot. If you do this right, you might get a phone appointment, a coffee appointment or an offer to let you send them some more information by email. If you get any of those agreements, consider it a VICTORY, and feel confident that you are on the way to potentially making a sale in the future. If you are not getting very many responses to your messages, consider revising your message, and see if it gets a better response. Ask others for their opinions.
    2. If your business provides a service that is not as well known or which might be perceived as not necessary, relevant or needed, this method might not be the best, as prospects will likely need more education about your services before they consider having any individual connection with you.
  9. PHONE CALLS – There are pros and cons of phone calls. First, it works better for some businesses than others. Second, the person might not be available to take your call. Third, it can take some extra emotional courage to call up someone you don’t know or don’t know well to have a conversation about what you can offer them.
    1. Will it work for your business? It will first depend on the type of business you have, but, more importantly what you say during the phone call. Most people don’t like to be called randomly by sales people.
    2. I recommend taking a more subtle approach. Call someone and let them know your name and what you do and ask if they would be interested in having you send them some and email information about a particular topic. You can also tell them that you are not interested in “spamming” them and that they can opt out of receiving any more emails from you at any time. At first, they might be skeptical, but, if you don’t ask them for a sale, you just offer to send them some information and how it might benefit them and they agree, you just got your foot into the proverbial door. Take it slow, one step at a time and it could lead to a sale in the future and/or a referral.
  10. EXCLUSIVE REFERRAL GROUPS – These types of groups have been proven to be EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE at generating new business for members. They do require a significant UPFRONT INVESTMENT; however, most people who join find that they are worth it. They tend to make money money off of the new clients

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