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Marketing is the life blood of every small business, particularly those that are creative and service based! It is vital to make marketing a real part of everyday business activities. Here are five cost effective, time efficient, and proven successful ways to market your business daily.
The Power of Thank You
When I began my business, I wrote thank you notes to every client for every call. These were short, handwritten on note cards and clients regularly commented on them. It built my business. Don’t email it, handwrite it. Keep it short and use it as a reminder of what you discussed or reviewed. Keep a copy in your client file. Do this at the close of each day for every client or prospect you met with. Nothing is more powerful than a hand written note in this age of high tech and low tech. This will help you make your business high touch!
Forward with Feeling
I’m not generally a big fan of forwarding in email as too often I get so much JUNK! However, there are resources online that have great content, relevant content, content your clients would appreciate. Be selective in what you send; this can be as effective as sending an old fashioned newspaper clipping. You can make it easy by using Google Reader or even Google Alerts for keywords or topics that will appeal the most. I also like doing this with magazine articles from publications I read regularly. Does your client collect porcelain? Stamps? A particular artist? Are they a dog lover or a cat fanatic? Maybe they are a gourmet cook and love unique recipes? Touch them with something personal that you saw that you thought they’d enjoy!
Greetings from Afar
Whenever I travel, I take a couple of pages of mailing labels with my client list and upon arrival, pick up postcards for easy mailing. I get these out in the first two days of any trip, domestic or foreign. I’ve often returned to comments from clients, and my cards posted conspicuously. Mailing labels isn’t impersonal, it is practical! Do write a short personal note on each card before mailing. This lets them know that they are always top of mind, and that you are getting new ideas, inspiration, and will be out of touch due to travel. This keeps clients connected even when you have disconnected!
Connect Your Clients
I have found that one of the most effective ways to stay top of mind with my clients is to be their one-stop lifestyle resource. This means that I am the source of referrals for their needs including financial advisors, pharmacists, doctors, caterers, florists, trainers, maids and more. I am very free with my referrals and often provide more than one so they can make their own decision as to who is their best fit. Being such a go-to resource means that they always think of me when they need a new service or product. Yes, you can create referral revenue from this, but more importantly is the residual value you are creating by encouraging your clients to use as their one-stop lifestyle guru.
Little Extras Matter Most
Often design professionals get caught up in charging for every last touch; instead build your business in a ways that enables you to provide some finishing touches as perks of working with you. For example, when you complete a kitchen include a goodie basket with wine, cheese, munchies and more. When you complete a bath, include a spa basket with scented soaps, a candle, and a loofah. When you embark on a remodel, be sure to give your client a couple of gift cards to local restaurants to that they can escape the chaos. Teach your clients that they are truly special and you feel truly privileged working with them. Extras go a long way in building a relationship. Leaving the occasional mini-box of Godiva chocolates doesn’t hurt either!
The marketing methods detailed here are easy to implement and proven to build relationships and grow business. You can add just one or all five, doing some form of marketing every day, creating a marketing habit, will truly drive you to the top!
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To reprint this article, simply include the following text: Are you ready to take your design business to the next level? Go to www.yourdesignsuccess.com and sign up for your F.R.E.E. strategy sessions with The Six Figure Designer and Interior Design Business Systems Specialist, Melissa Galt. For more great business building content and an interactive forum to connect with colleagues and grow your practice, check out www.sixfiguredesigners.com.