How Do I Get Started Advertising and Marketing My New Business?

In this article, we will discuss some methods and techniques that a new entrepreneur can use to get started in marketing and advertising their business. Of course, this information is not meant solely for brand new businesses, anyone can use them, but the article will primarily focus on a startup company.

Before we dive into the meat of this topic, let’s take a brief moment to define exactly what advertising and marketing are. For one, advertising is marketing, but marketing is not advertising. This may seem a bit strange, but let’s explore it further. For advertising, it’s simple, advertising is a direct form of marketing with a very straight forward purpose, to get people in the door, to get the phone to ring, or to get them to click to your website. Where the line becomes blurry is when we speak about marketing. Marketing is a far more ethereal concept. But since this is not the main topic of this article, let’s say in short that marketing is the management of perception. In other words, attempting to influence what people think of you, and therefore, how they feel about using your services or buying your product.

For example, the friendliness of your wait staff, or the cleanliness of your office, or the care you take in the landscaping of your hotel, all these things are marketing. And often, they are the most overlooked, because most people think of marketing only as advertising.

With this in mind, let’s begin in earnest to discuss the topic of this article, how you can advertise and market your new business. Well, as mentioned in the last paragraph, let’s start with the free stuff. What should be the simple stuff, but often is not. And this is the perception that you are giving about yourself and your company. Sit down and make a list of all the things that you can change, if need be, about your company now. Things that don’t cost you any more money or much time. For example, the neatness and atmosphere of your office or facility, if you have one. Spruce it up, put a few plants in, invest in a couple of plug-in air fresheners, and do what you can for the outside appearance, the “curbe appeal” if you will. Focus on your staff, are they well groomed, well dressed as appropriate to your customers, and are they outgoing and personable. Smiling and friendly employees, including you, go a long way in closing sales. Be sure that you and your people are quick to respond to calls, emails and the like. Keep in mind that the number one need of all people is to feel important, so if you can project that to your clients, that they are important to you, you will almost guarantee success.

Now, before we move on to another tip, let’s make it clear that this article is not meant to be an in depth exploration of this topic. That would really take a book. This is just meant to give you a few ideas and get those creative juices flowing.

The next thing to think about, and preferably before you have created any of your printed material, signage or website, is uniformity. To put it another way, your business cards should look like your signs, which should look like your flyer, which should look like your website, which should look like the side of your trucks. This is a key component of branding. And building a solid brand that people identify with quality and also with you is hugely important. So no matter what you do graphically, be sure that everything has a nice, uniform look and feel.

Now, a big area to focus on, and one that is relatively cheap, even with a complex application, is your website. Whether you are selling products online or just want to showcase your company, a quality website presence is an absolute must today. One of important reason is that now, over 97% of people do all there research into new products and services online. Even direct referrals will still want to check you out on the web, be it with their computers or their hand held devices. But equally, if not more, important than this is that the internet offers a huge amount of marketing opportunities that can expose you to new customers like never before. With the use of search engine optimization, blogging, social media, video marketing, article marketing, and link building, just to name a few methods, your website can be put in front of a large number of targeted eyeballs at a fraction of the cost of more traditional marketing and advertising methods.

As for advertising, this is a bit more difficult to pin down. Different businesses have different techniques that work for them. What works for a restaurant may not work for a lawn care company. What draws attention for a furniture store may not be as effective for a bar. The thing to do is to do some research into your particular type of business and see what is working for others like you. Also, if you know your target audience, then you can devise some cost-effective methods for reaching them directly, be it through radio or TV ads, direct mail, street level marketing, shows, billboards and so on.

Keep in mind the old marketing creed of AIDA, Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. This is what any advertising and / or marketing campaign should be built around. So no matter what you do, plan it out before hand with these four steps.

Now, not to be too vague, although it’s hard not to be with such a huge and diverse topic, here are a couple of starter points. First, tweak those elements in your business you can control without spending money. Then create a series of visual pieces, a business card for you and anyone else who may come in contact with customers, a brochure, a flyer, vehicle lettering and of course, a quality logo. Put up a good website. Not a cheap do it yourself thing, but a real, professionally created application and tie all yoru other material to it. Promote that site as much as possible, both on and offline. Invest in some internet marketing, both pay per click and in someone to do the organic work of promoting you. You can get quite a lot on a small budget here.

Do not be afraid to consult a professional. A good advertising and marketing firm can help you with all of these things, and with other more expensive methods, such as creating videos, filming your TV commercials, writing and producing your radio spots, strategizing mailing and other campaigns, and more. Promoting your company is a lot like being lost in a dense forest, and sometimes having a guide who knows the way can be of immense benefit, and is often the best use of your marketing budget.

The Hard Truth About Direct Response Copywriting

Direct response copywriters tend to talk about direct response copywriting as though it’s magic or a miracle… like it could turn an otherwise uninterested person into a fiend just jonesin’ for your product or service.

Not true.

The copy isn’t the only factor here. Nor is it even the most important factor.

Here are some factors that are just as important as, if not more important than, the copy:

1) The List. Who are you sending that email or letter to? Who are these people? Have they bought a similar product before? A good list is probably the most important factor of all. Even mediocre copy will sell product to a relevant list. Superior copy sent to a superior list will certainly produce the best results, but a stellar list will trump stellar copy, all else being equal.

2) Passion. What’s the passion level for what you’re offering? Direct response copywriting works best on high-passion products and services, especially ones involving instant gratification. Can the product make people thin? Or relieve an ailment? Or inform them of something vital to their well-being? Or offer them an amazing business opportunity or way to make money? These are the kinds of passionate subjects that direct response copywriting works best with.

3) Frequency. It often takes multiple exposures to a new product or service to make an impact. Not to say that direct response copywriting can’t sell on the first go; it certainly can (and has)… but generally, frequency trumps reach. Assuming a good list, you want to increase the frequency as far as you can economically. Seth Godin compares marketing to planting seeds. Better to water 100 seeds five times than to water 500 seeds once. Wise advice.

4) The Mechanics. Consider something like having a call-to-action (CTA) “above the fold” (what’s first visible on a website or in an email… above the point where the audience would scroll). Having a powerful CTA is a big part of direct response copywriting in the first place–but make sure there’s one above the fold (for lead generation, at least). Or else a lot of your audience is going to miss it.

5) The Economics. Maybe a particular medium would be a great way to reach your audience… but that medium might be so expensive that it would put you out of business. Perhaps a particular audience would be great to sell to, but you can’t reach them in an economically viable way. The economics of your situation is going to dictate a lot of how you go about it.

Now when you have these factors already, the copy is the variable that will get you even better results. And it takes a good direct response copywriter to do it right and provide the edge you need.

Why Marketing Your Business is So Important

Multi-Level Marketing and the Direct Sales industry are not generally considered to be a part of the Advertising Industry, but why not? Yes, the specific concentration is in sales and networking, but isn’t the success of both strictly dependent on the ability for a Direct Sales company to market itself?

In your business, one of the keys to being successful is to gain a following. With an enthusiastic, informed and confident distributor base, a company will literally sell itself. But getting that dedicated downline isn’t easy, and sometimes impossible if you don’t have the proper tools. Your greatest and most accessible tool is advertising, or more specifically, your marketing website.

We are now fully invested in the internet generation. Our laptops are smaller than the text books we carried around in College. Our cars tell us to turn left at the next light, and our cell phones are used first to manage our lives and last to actually make phone calls. We’re in an “in the moment” era where the motto seems to be “If it can’t be found on Google, it’s not worth the effort.”

With that said, one of the most efficient ways to market your business is on the internet. Not only does it give your business visibility to the entire world, information about your company can be accessed anywhere.

Knowing you need a good marketing site is essential, but what then? How do you get one? Once you find a vendor, how do you know if their product is a good one? Even more importantly, once you have one, what do you need to do to keep it new and fresh? This article should provide you with some valuable information about building and maintaining a successful marketing site.

1.) Who should I have build my site?

There is a common misconception that anyone can create a good website. Your nephew is likely a very intelligent, creative boy, and the site he made for your business works well enough. But the truth of the matter is, the image format he used isn’t compatible with some Internet browers, and it seems like every other day, there’s a broken link or page error. As a general rule of thumb, if you want a professional looking site, you will need to have a professional make it.

2.) What should I look for in deciding on a Designer/Developer?

There are a number of things you should do when selecting a Web Designer. Look at the Designer’s portfolio. Request URLs for sites the Designer has built and take the time to visit those sites. Look for broken links and consistency of design. Most importantly, see if you like the Designer’s style.

You want your marketing site to speak for your company. It is a visitor’s first impression of your business, so you want the site’s style to not only be professional, easy to navigate, and pleasing to the eye, but also to make an artistic statement about your company. Also, check your potential Developer’s site. If they don’t have one, or the site is poorly built or maintained, scratch them off the list and keep looking!

3.) Should I hire a Developer or a Designer? What is the difference?

It is vital to have a clear understanding of the difference between a Developer and a Designer. A Web Designer is a professional who focuses on a website’s aesthetics. Most good Designers have experience in development, but their main focus is the layout, coloring, and visual components of the site.

If you think of your marketing site as a house, the Designer plays the role of interior decorator and landscaper. The Developer, on the other hand, is your contractor. Developers focus on the functionality of your site. Links, functions and processes that your site is required to perform are all part of a Developer’s area of expertise.

If something on the site breaks, or if visitors are receiving page errors, a Developer would be the one who would go in a fix the broken code. Your best bet is to find a Web Design vendor that has both Designers and Developers on staff. This way, you can be sure that your site design is produced by a specialist and if there are functional issues, a development programmer is on staff as well.

4.) What about Replicated websites?

You should always discuss replicated site creation before you decide on a potential Web Developer. Their ability to replicate your marketing site will be a key indicator of whether or not they are properly staffed to provide web development as well as web design. Also, if you discuss replication from the start, it can be integrated into your initial design contract. This will help you avoid being surprised later by excessive development fees tacked on for replication once you are invested in the company.

5.) What should I focus on during the development of my website?

Showcasing your product or service is the obvious answer, but there are other key factors to consider when planning your site. You should have a target market in mind. A target market is, specifically, the people your inventory or service is most likely to attract. If you’re selling environmentally friendly alternatives to baby-related merchandise, your target market is going to include parents and environmentally concerned consumers.

You want your site to be open enough to speak to your non-market specific visitors, but you also want it to really catch the attention of those customers who are most likely to seek out your type of product. You want your site to be educational. Most people don’t want to have to call or visit your office to learn about your business, so your site should give them as much information as possible, but it’s important to find a healthy balance of simple and detailed.

If visitors are overwhelmed by huge excerpts of unorganized text, they may feel more intimidated than informed. Keeping things simple, organized and easy to find is often better. Avoid excessively long passages right on your main page. Focus on short, concise summaries and provide links to more detailed pages. Website viewers tend to scan, not read, as they want the information quickly and easily. The easier that information is to find and understand the better.

6.) Once my website is up and running is there anything I need to do to maintain it?

Your marketing site is like any advertisement. No matter how catchy and effective it is, eventually it will get a little old. Consider TV commercials. When a new one comes out that catches your interest, every time it comes on you watch it with full focus.

But after seeing the same commercial 15 times, it becomes predictable and stale, and sometimes even annoying. The same can be said of marketing sites. You want your site to be catchy, interesting and effective every time someone visits it. This requires that you switch things up every so often to keep your site fresh.

Change your homepage images. Modify your introduction text. Add links to new pages. Your marketing site should be a living, virtual document. Someone who visited your site last month and wasn’t captured immediately, but is interested enough to return for a second look, might see your business in a new light and decide to join or shop.

7.) Any Web Developer/Designer recommendations?

ByDesign! ByDesign has launched ByDesign Creative, a marketing services department, and now provides website design, development and site replication. Headed by Art Director Jason Rivers, our Marketing Team offers years of industry experience. With a talented group of programmers, ByDesign can help you manage the creation, creative layout and maintenance of your marketing site.

The marketing team focuses on aesthetics and usability in creating contemporary, user-friendly, well-designed websites, branding, packaging and marketing materials. With web design experience spanning from the early commercialization of the internet to today’s Web 2.0 environment, your website is in good hands with ByDesign’s Creative team.

Using the latest standards and tools, solid design skills and no small amount of common sense, they’ll make sure your new site or redesign is what you’re looking for. Why should you choose ByDesign Creative over a 3rd-party designer? Here are a few reasons why we may be your perfect fit:

Search Engine Optimization

Though we can’t promise your site will appear first when someone Googles “Direct Sales”, we can promise your site will be built to be search engine friendly. We use standard compliant code and keyword tagging to flag your site for consideration when searches are made. Also, during your site development, our experts will provide you with advice and recommendations on how to optimize your site’s “search-ability”.

Traffic Tracking

It can sometimes be difficult to see how much visitor traffic your site gets. If you want to know if your site is pulling in visitors, we can implement site tracking add-ons like Google Analytics to assist you in determining your site’s success.

Extras and Add-ons

We have a number of marketing packages available at reasonable prices to help you get what you need within a budget. In addition to what is provided within those packages, ByDesign Creative also offers add-ons and extras priced per project. We’re also willing to negotiate our packages. If you don’t require replicated sites, but want to include a representative locator, we can discuss swapping out package features for other options that better suit your needs.

From blogs to video links, we have you covered. We also offer the unique ability to maintain your site content yourself through our Content Management System. You can login to your marketing site directly from the Freedom Corporate Back Office and actually edit the text and images yourself, without having to submit a change request!

Replicated Site URL Format Options

With ByDesign Creative programmers, you have the option of selecting from two standard formats for your replicate site URLs. ByDesign’s team provides a unique alternative to the typical by allowing your reps to place their site name first in the URL. imaginarycompanyname.com/JohnSmith is also available as JohnSmith.imaginarycompanyname.com.

A Provider You Trust

ByDesign has an intimate understanding of your company and how it works through the support we already provide you in using your Freedom Software. You put your trust in us to keep your business running smoothly. It simply seems logical to let us help market your organization as well.

Whether you choose to go with ByDesign Creative for your marketing site design or another vendor, know that marketing your business effectively is the first key to success. Once the public knows who you are, what you do, and gains confidence in your product or service, recruiting those top sellers will be easy… well… easier!