Unless you’re living in a cave in the Gobi Desert, of course, somebody knows you exist. But do the people who can make you rich know about you?
You have unique skills and talents. You could probably do a better job than a lot of the people who are getting rich using similar skills and talents. You may even have or be the next best thing since sliced bread! The fact of the matter is no matter how good you are, no matter what your uniqueness is, if the greater world doesn’t know about you, you may as well be living in a desert cave.
There are some misconceptions in the minds of the start out entrepreneur. One is akin to the words made famous by the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” That may be true for dead baseball players but in the world of the living, they will only come if they know it exists. And psychic powers being a bit limited among the mortal masses, the only way they’re going to know about it, is if you market it.
Which leads me to the next misconception. Marketing and promotion is an expensive game.
Yes, the big players like Apple, Coca-Cola, and the German car manufacturers do spend billions of US dollars on ensuring you know they are here and here to stay. And, one day, when you’re a big player, you’re welcome to do the same. However, in the beginning, you need to start small, spend as little as possible, and slowly build your clientbase and coffers.
And this is actually very easy to do. In this age of Internet and Social Media, marketing and promotion can cost you next to nothing. In fact, if you’re on Facebook with a few hundred friends, you can start right there without spending a cent.
You see, marketing isn’t about big campaigns. It’s about building relationships. Apple, for example, isn’t just throwing money at their advertising agencies. They’re building a brand and a community. If you’re an Apple user, chances are strong you would fight for the brand and always choose an Apple product over any other, even if the competitive product is cheaper and superior.
That’s essentially what you want for your own product or service. A community of die-hard supporters. And where better to start than with your current support structure; your friends and family. You’ve already established a relationship with your peers. With some clever and properly timed marketing, you can start expanding that relationship to support your business ventures. And friends are always happy to spread the word for free thus expanding your network of potential clients.
There is a science to it, of course. And that’s the next step. Getting people to know you exist is a start but just throwing your name out there isn’t guaranteed to garner a gazillion clients. There has to be a reason why people choose you.
“Nobody who bought a drill actually wanted a drill. They wanted a hole.”
Think about that.
Always consider the client’s perspective when it comes to promoting yourself and your wares. Figure out what the benefit of your service or product is and promote it in a way that solves your clients’ problems. And you can do this with a shoestring budget. There are tons of ethical and morally-sound little tricks that you can use to promote yourself, both online and offline, in a way that sets you up as an expert in your field while building a relationship with your prospective clients. Provide those same clients with an invaluable service and they will stay with you through thick and thin.
The key is to start, get the word out, let people know you’re here and do it in a way that gives them a reason to support you and promote you. Don’t sit on your golden goose, waiting for people to find you. You may be waiting for a very long time.