Entrepreneurial Points of Promotion
If you build it, they will come…but you have to let them know it\’s there, provide directions, and give them an incentive to make the drive. No matter how fantastic your service, or phenomenal your product, you can\’t sell something to people who don\’t know it exists.
Some fundamental Ps of Promotion include:
- Assess what\’s involved. There\’s an old adage that you “pay for advertising and pray for publicity.” While advertising is an important part of your promotional mix, so too are public relations, marketing materials, and community outreach.
- Think “action.” Think about what promotions have caused you to act in the past. How can you create the same reaction to your own business? What customer needs are arising in the community (a local crisis situation?) or the economy (gas prices climbing?) that you can meet head-on with your own promotion to simultaneously help your prospects and your bottom line?
- Learn to promote yourself in word as well as deed. Marianne Williamson wrote that “the world has enough bag ladies” and that “your playing small does not serve the world.” We as women sometimes feel it\’s unladylike or self-absorbed to speak about our accomplishments, but there is nothing polite about shrinking. If you want people to believe in your abilities, lead by example.
- Speak out. After you get used to speaking about your business, offer to speak some more…at your networking event, a local seminar or a business conference. Speak for free at first and then work up to a fee structure when you have a few audiences under your belt.
- Promote others carefully. Don\’t review every book that comes your way just to get your name on the back cover, as your credibility will be tied in with that of the author. Don\’t offer to make every networking connection a strategic business partner before you\’ve had sufficient opportunities to evaluate their work, reputation and client management style.