As a new start business it's not as simple as it used to be - before the age of the internet (a time I am aware of but never experienced in business ;0p) it was a case of picking up the yellow pages and start dialing - or better still travelling door to door. Now it's all change, whilst the old methods still remain and are by far the easiest and most direct methods they are not necessarily the most effective, consider these new methods:-
1) Networking - BNI, Tweet Up, Chamber of Commerce, Business Events,
2) Social Media - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger
3) Internet - Website, E-mail & Social Media
But which method is the best, and does the same ring true for all businesses - or even the people behind the business. From a personal stand point I hate networking or active marketing of any sort, it is not something I am comfortable doing but I know it is a means to an end, and if there was one element of my business I could farm out this would be it. However this is the one element of the business that I need to commit to to achieve the long term business goals.
So which is best - all of them - sorry but each has its place and you need at least a presence in all of these places. The internet is not the future it's the now so get on board, you don't need to pay out large sums of money to get yourself high in the Google listing you just need to do your home work and spend a lot of time - but it will pay dividends eventually. Facebook/Twitter etc.. again you need a presence but don't go mad people don't want pointless comments it's better to say nothing than say something stupid people will start ignoring you and stop following you which is the last thing you want! I'm guessing if you're reading this you've thought about Blogging, o idea if it works but it is a forum to get ideas out there, and release your frustrations - clears the head to concentrate on business.
Finally active networking, my only suggestion is try before you buy! Everyone will find their niche, but until you try you'll never know. I think the nature of the networking will depend on the level your business is at, and confidence you have in that situation, and cost. If you are interested in more I'll be happy to take you along to a few of the networking events I attend as a taster.
Hope that little bit of info helps, certainly concentrate my mind - not everyone is a nature in the marketing environment, those that are are lucky, the rest of us can get their in the end.
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