Money-Making Marketing Tips

Marketing is the crucial ingredient for any business, whether you're a newcomer or a veteran entrepreneur. It's required constantly?and forever. Yet where do you find the time? Here are just five of the 307 guaranteed strategies from the bold new book "Shameless Marketing for Brazen Hussies". Use these ideas to supercharge your sales from cyberspace to storefront space to client base.

Form strategic alliances. Think about who is already reaching your client or customer base, then forge a win/win partnership with them. Why spend thousands of dollars and countless hours reinventing the wheel when you can team up with other companies, organizations, Web sites, and individuals to build market share?

Create a reason to be "news." Free publicity is the lifeblood of many enterprising entrepreneurs. You can do many things to catch the attention of the media: Conduct a survey. Hold a contest. Present an award. Comment on a timely controversial issue. A simple news release about your imaginative endeavors can open doors to print, radio, TV, and the Internet.

Recycle your media exposure. Often what you do with your publicity afterward is more important than the original publicity itself! When you get print exposure, include copies in client proposals; send it to your banker, venture capitalists, or angels you?re wooing; impress your current customers by mailing it to them; put reprints out on the counter; frame and mat a copy for your wall. Leverage your PR by spreading it everywhere!

Cultivate testimonials and referrals. It?s always more impressive when someone other than yourself says you?re good. When people compliment you, do you ask that they put it in writing on their letterhead? Sharing this with prospects is powerful stuff. And do you encourage current and past clients or customers to recommend you to their friends, loved ones, colleagues, neighbors, (enemies)? A satisfied customer can be your best salesperson. Tap into this remarkable river of revenue.

Brand yourself to stand apart from the herd. In today?s competitive environment, we need to seek ways to differentiate ourselves and our companies. Branding is the act of creating specific impressions that contribute to overall attitude among a target group of prospects. Build an image that is uniquely you. Martha Stewart did it. So have Madonna and Oprah. Create your distinctive brand with imagination and uniformity: in colors, signage and logos, value offered, customer expectations.

Create a sell statement. Define your product or service in 25 words or less. Mention who your customers/clients are and quantify what benefit they will receive. There?s no business that isn?t show business, so don?t be modest. You?ll use this statement over and over in a myriad of different situations. It?s a wonderful introduction when you do follow-up calls to the media and must be brief. You can use it at networking events or when explaining your business to others.

Develop a list of key contacts. It is vital to identify your most important customers, prospects, and media people. The list may run several hundred names. These people hold your future in the palm of their hands. You want to favorably impress them?over and over and over again. By honing in on the most important, you can establish personal contact with them, build real relationships. Use any excuse to get in front of them?not "in their face" but tactfully. Of course, as your business develops, this list will evolve.

Remember that persistence pays off. Those who expect to make one contact and be over whelmed with interest, have lost touch with reality. If you are not diligent, your efforts will sink like a stone. It takes ongoing contact to get results. With today?s voice mail, you?ll probably need to leave several messages before you connect with a live human being. Be perpetually upbeat; letting your frustration show in your voice is the sign of an amateur. Follow-up needn?t be confined to phone calls, however. Mail a postcard. Use e-mail. Fax. Tenacity is an incredible quality. Don?t give up too early!

Marilyn Ross is a consultant, professional speaker, and the award-winning author of 12 books. This article is excerpted from her latest, "Shameless Marketing for Brazen Hussies" © 2000 Marilyn Ross. Used with permission of Communication Creativity. All rights reserved. To contact her or order the book, call 1-800-331-8355 or visit BrazenHussiesNetwork.com.

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