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9 Things to Do in 2012 to Build Your Business

February 1, 2012

Marketing in the last century for most small businesses meant that we needed to talk to our customers and target audience hoping that they get the message and spend their money with us. Marketing used to be a one-way conversation. In 2012, marketing is a two-way conversation that all marketers must maximize to be effective. Marketing still starts with understanding the needs of your target market but now it also includes listening to what they have to say. In 2012, your consumers will talk to you and even talk for you. Social networking, email marketing, text messaging, video cast and online platforms allow for your consumer to make a decision on your product within seconds. Your goal in the coming year should be to build your business through the new tools provided online and some older true blue techniques. The list below outlines 9 things your small business can do to build your business in 2012.

9. The first print ad was produced sometime in the 1800’s and print ads still have some impact today in 2011. The key to a strong print ad is great graphics and focused copy. Your message needs to be short and to the point complementing the images used in your ad. The printed message should also be carried into your electronic form from email to social marketing. Keep the message the same across all of your marketing efforts.

8. Email connections are vital to your day-to-day business as well. There are two types of emails from a small business. One from the boss and one from the email management program. Both of these emails are necessary but the personal email from the boss is always a bit more received. Keep your emails short and to the point. Remember to thank them for their services and when possible offer some type of special offer. There are specific CAN-Spam laws that e-mailers must be aware of. When using an email management program your small business should make sure to keep their list clean and always look for subscribers who want to opt-in.

7. Reach out and touch someone with the powerful phone. Even in today’s online world, the phone can be a powerful tool to build your business. Use your contact list to connect with accounts and future business prospects. Make the call a useful call and discuss something that is relevant to the recipient on the other end. If it is friendly than make it friendly and if it is only business related than keep it business related. Phone talk should be kept under two minutes and it would be good to outline your conversation before getting into a phone discussion.

6. A small business is always best represented by their best spokesperson so a marketer should be out there talking to everyone they know. In 2012, we can talk the traditional face-to-face way, the telephonic way and the online way. Use all of these tools to get your message across but make it the same message. Remember that relationships come before business so like in a face-to-face meeting respect that process on line as well. Join a forum, comment on a board and share some information that make sense and is within your industry focus.

5. If pictures are worth one thousand words than videos must be worth one hundred thousand words. The average person will watch four to five hours of some type of online videos weekly so why shouldn’t one minute of that be yours? Your small business needs to have a video that highlights something about your business. Most marketers can create a video from their web cam on their computers or even using their phones but it is not recommended to do this. Your video should look professional and although you can get a professionally produced video done there are ways to do it yourself. Use video editing software and a decent video camera to take the shots. All of these self produced videos do require some type of planning, staging and scripting so if within your budget you may want to seek out some help.

4. The best things in life are free and this includes a social networking account. Your business needs to be online with some social network presence. This means that you must have a Myspace account, Facebook account, Twitter account, Linked In account and one of many other social networking accounts available out there today. Make sure that when you set up these accounts you have a basic Info@yourcompany.com email address available and have some graphics ready made to be uploaded into the profile spots. Prepare a company information sheet before you start to open these account so that your message is the same in all accounts. You can create a basic information sheet in a word doc and simply cut & paste this information to each new social account created.

3. Now that your company has these social marketing accounts you must be social. There are many ways to do this but all of them take some time and some money. There are programs that will help you post to all accounts and help to manage each of your account. There are companies like eknlinks.com who have special social marketing management programs for small business and entrepreneurs. You can do it all your self with some dedicated time and effort.

2. Birds spread cheer with their wonderful song in the morning and your business can now spread cheer with a Tweet. To use Twitter effectively you should build up your Twitter following and also work to follow others. Every tweet is normally less than 140 characters and messages can be effective if constructed properly. All of your social marketing accounts can be linked in together now so that one tweet gets posted on your social accounts.

1. Become active on your social marketing sites by being part of the community. Join business communities that are out there in all networks, search for friends, upload your email list to build your friend list. When you do join a group make sure that you are posting on the groups with relevant information. Be an active member of the group.

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