Start social media pages
Starting a small business can be expensive, and marketing can take a large portion of your profits during your first few years. One of the easiest ways to make your brand visible is through social media. Think Instagram, Facebook and YouTube videos!
It's essentially free advertising, makes your business seem more trustworthy and keeps customers in touch. If you have a website, you can share blog posts, links to check-out for items or an album of your favourite products.
Aim for 2-3 posts a week and make use of Facebook Insights to learn more about your followers! Keep the look and feel of your Instagram posts consistent, aesthetic and authentic. If there's spare £20-£50 in the budget, a post boost will give you extra reach and awareness with more sale potential.
Write content for your website
It's simple: the more relevant content your website has, the higher it will rank on Google. Adding blogs, product descriptions, extra pages containing helpful information relevant to your customer base will bring more traffic to your website.
Dedicate a few hours a week to researching your competition and draw up a few ideas for what could be interesting to your customers. Keep articles short, with plenty of pictures and links to other parts of your business that could direct people to making a sale with you. Don't forget to share them on your social media pages!
A popular way to keep in touch with your customer base is to start sending newsletters. With many small businesses wanting to become more sustainable, e-Newsletters received by email alone will cut down on posting and printing costs, this also gives customers a quick link to purchase your products and find out more about you. Post about this on your social media with a special offer to increase sign-ups!
Don't have a website yet? Get inventive and set up a sign-up at your local village markets, approach local newspapers or magazines for opportunities.
Make sure you read up about GDPR compliance for happy customers!
An easy way to give your brand more visibility is to link up with other local businesses. In exchange for a feature in their newsletter, a tagged link to their customers on social media, it might cost you a few coupons or discount codes, or a promise to feature their products as well!
This also opens up more opportunities to interact with customers you would not ordinarily have access to.
Conferences, village markets, trade shows - there are hundreds of free or reasonably priced events your business can attend to showcase what you can offer!
Sometimes, the most effect way of connecting with loyal customers is the most traditional: a good, old-fashioned conversation. This gives a face to your business and is a great way to articulate your brand with real people, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and place orders on the spot. It's a fantastic way to add to your customer base, as well - just make sure you store personal data in the correct way.