No matter what product or service you are selling, you need ways to market your offerings and expand your business. Whether you offer an online store, have a rolling kiosk, or have a sticks and bricks location, you will need new customers to expand. Marketing does not have to be slick or feel false to be effective.
Create a Timeline
If your business has grown from the craft table in the corner of your basement into a boutique, show it off! For example, if you sell unique gift baskets, create a timeline on your website or shop wall with photos of that shelf unit that held all the ribbons, wrap, crinkle paper, and other raw goods. Compare it to the offerings you now display proudly in your boutique.
Starting your own business is scary, but the initial investment does not have to be huge. You have expertise and experience in starting small. Share your story. Show off what you have built and invite potential customers in on your progress.
Offer Referral Freebies or Discounts
When a new customer comes to your site and makes a purchase, make sure you at least try to find out where they heard about you. If you got a referral from an existing client, do your best to show your gratitude by offering that existing client something unique.
If you have a bakery, send your existing client a special treat. The same holds true for crafters. Keep products that you do not ordinarily market and offer them as gifts to your clients that offer referrals. Find a space to display them near your register and give them to existing customers that bring a friend into your shop, even just to browse.
Look for Social Media Support
There are many shoppers that follow social media influencers on Instagram and Facebook, or on video sites including Tik Tok and YouTube. If your particular product catches the eye of an influencer, you may find that your marketing options take off when you send an influencer a free sample to try.
To make sure that your feelers are going out to the right market, discover influencers that participate in causes that you support. For example, if you always have a fundraiser for cancer research, heart disease, or your local animal shelter, an influencer that also participates in these causes may be just the contact that your business needs to grow.
On the Ground Options
Make sure you also have connections within your community that will share your logo. While you are selling local, make sure you also shop local. Share the story of your neighbors and celebrate their expertise while growing your offerings and sales.
To this end, make sure you have a logo that will look terrific on tees, tote bags, lip balm, and water bottles. If your community is hosting a marathon, volunteer at a water table and make sure you have some swag for your fellow volunteers and runners to take home. A free water bottle with your logo on the front can turn into a walking marketing campaign.
Offer Your Expertise
Teach what you know. If you know flower arranging, offer demos at a Bridal Fair. If you know how to modify a garment, create a demo on how to turn boot-cut pants into something a bit more trim. Should you have mad organizational skills, create an infographic about how to align drawer organizers for best effect. Whether your marketable product is a skill or a tangible item, be willing to share what you know how to do.
This may feel like a bit of a giveaway. However, your expertise is constantly growing and expanding. By giving your customers and potential customers just a bit of a reminder of how much you know and how easily you can access that information, you can draw them in to check out the rest of your offerings and skills.
Your skills and expertise can make you money over time. Getting what you know and what you can do in front of your potential clients is an additional step in getting your business to grow. Let your current customers help you expand. Show off where you started and celebrate where you are now.