Promoting your new startup is a must. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in business for years, these proven marketing strategies will help your business find new customers, without you spending a fortune.

1: Have A Plan

Define who your best prospects are, and then determine the best way to reach them. Be as specific as possible. Of your prospective clients, who are the decision makers; is it the CTO of the company, the director of human resources, or a 37-year-old working mom? Where can you easily find them; on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or Facebook? What about in-person networking at local business meetings? Will they be searching for your type of product on Google, Bing or Yahoo? Do you want to start promoting your business to them at the start of their buying cycle, or when they’re about ready to pull out their credit card and make the purchase? Write your answers down, and refer to them before you start any new marketing tactic.

2: Build A Website

Get a good website developer to put together your business website – this is very important, as your website is your 24/7 shop that never closes. And make sure it is regularly updated. Customers can confidently do business with you based on what they have seen on your website and how informative and well developed it is.

3: Set Up Social Media Accounts For Your Business – LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

 Be sure your business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don’t spam them with constant promos for what you sell.

4: Sign Up For An email Service

Subscribe to an email service and send an email newsletter and/or promotional offers to customers and prospects for your business. Be sure you ask for permission to send the email before putting any person’s email name on your list. One good way to build a permission-based email list of people who want your mailings is to give something away.

It could be a free eBook or even a free tip-sheet on how to do something related to your business. If you’re a health coach, for instance, you might offer people who sign up for your free newsletter a tip sheet with “10 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Without Going on a Diet.”

5: Share Your Business Cards To Anyone Who Can Help You

Call your contacts, friends and relatives and tell them you have started a business. Visit them and leave a small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.

6: Talk To All The Vendors From Whom You Buy Products or Services

Give them your business card, and ask if they can use your products or service, or if they know anyone who can. If they have bulletin boards where business cards are displayed (printers often do, and so do some supermarkets, hairdressers, etc.), ask if yours can be added to the board.

7: Join and Attend Meetings of Professional Groups

Join groups such as Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Club, or civic associations, and attend the meetings regularly. Such platforms are great for networking. Have your business cards in a pocket where they are easily reachable. Don’t forget to ask what the people you speak with do, and to really listen to them. They’ll be flattered by your interest, and better remember you because of it.

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