1. A strong value proposition
As we have mentioned in previous articles, your value proposition plays an essential role in the success of your company. By writing the value of your idea down on paper you will know what you are selling, who you are selling to and why they should buy from you. It is what will define your business and distinguish you from your competitors.
If you haven’t developed your value proposition yet make sure you do that first (before reading the rest of this article) because you’ll be wasting your money on Advertising and PR without this in place.
You can find out how to write one here in five simple steps
With your value proposition in place you will have a crystal clear understanding of who your target buyer is, the problem you are going to solve, and the reason you’re the best person for the job. This will form the basis of your sales, marketing and product development efforts.
2. Attract more target customers online
Wherever you sell your product or service, having information available online is essential to generate new leads and boost sales. If potential customers are interested in a specific product or service the first place they’re going to start looking is online, It would be the same scenario if they were interested in your product and wanted to find out more. Don’t rely on “Hope Marketing” to get your product out there, you’ll need to put the time and effort in if you want to see real wins come to life.
You can create something as simple as a landing page to provide online information about your product, or you could invest a bit more time and create a blog offering valuable content that’s related to your product and target audience to attract more customers.
Get active on social media channels. Social Media is the easiest way to spread the word about your product and mission, and it doesn’t cost a penny to sign up! It is a great way to show relevant content, engage with your customers, generate new customers and show your human side.
Reaching out to communities in online forums on platforms like Reddit, or Facebook groups are also a great way to get your brand name out there and show your customers you know your stuff by helping people answer their questions. These are all very effective, cheap ways to increase sales.
3. Direct marketing
When you are first starting out and your marketing budget is limited a smart approach to boost sales would be to focus your efforts towards direct marketing. It’s an ideal way for small businesses to market their product or service because it’s cost-effective and extremely powerful at increasing sales.
Direct Marketing is all about making direct contact with your potential and existing customers. By contacting targeted customers you’re much more likely to get results. Direct Marketing can also be evaluated and measured in great detail, so you can monitor your campaigns very closely and see what is, and isn’t, working well. Don’t wait for new customers to come to you, instead focus your efforts on prospective customers and getting them on board by reaching out to them personally.
Remember to ask early adopters for positive testimonials, people respond very well to testimonials and reviews. This feedback will help establish your startups’ reputation.
Another feature you can implement into your direct marketing strategy to increase sales volume is a referral programme. Word of mouth is an incredibly powerful form of advertising, and if your customers have had a great experience with you and they love your product, they’re going to tell their friends about it. Why not incentivise these happy customers and give them some money off their next purchase? They’ll be even more likely to spread the word about your company, and try to convince their friends to make a purchase.
4. Leverage your network
Find partners, influencers and other experts in your market who can promote your product and start building strong relationships with them. If they already have a large following then it’s a great way to expand your reach. Give them a freebie to try. Perhaps they will review your product or service and publish it for their viewers to see. It’s a fantastic opportunity to create interest in your product or service and is a sure way to boost sales.
Always be ready to network, whether you’re at a conference, wedding, party or even just going out for a few drinks. You never know when you might be able to identify with a business and help them out with your product or service, so keep some business cards at hand just in case. With this in mind mastering your elevator pitch is also well worth your time and effort. Practice it, and learn it by heart. This way you’ll always be ready to wow potential investors, customers, influencers and experts in your market.
Starting out can feel incredibly difficult when you have a limited cash flow but remember your time can be just as effective and valuable, sometimes it just takes a little creativity, passion and organisation. Use these cheap methods to increase sales, improve customer relationships and grow your business. If you use these methods to their fullest potential, everything else will follow suit.