This is your first business, and you have a new service or product to offer. You have no customers or clients, and no foundation business from which to launch your new offering. You are not funded and want to “do it yourself” at least in the early days. So, how do you begin to begin?
1. Most of your new clients or customers will come from word of mouth. Call and network with everyone you know who can use your offering or refer you to prospects or groups who might be interested. Start with potential customers you know, then provide your service or offer your product to them for free or at a discount for a while to get testimonials.
2. Target only potential customers who can afford your products or services; ignore the others; you only have time for real prospects.
3. If your services can only be offered where you live, join local (very local) groups online, starting with influential bloggers in your town. If your targets are regional or national or international, join the appropriate groups. These groups and influencers are powerful. Get them to know about you and your offers, and ask them to write about you to their audiences. Be aggressive here. Barter with other professionals to exchange services.
4. Study (online) how to use social networks to spread the word. There is a lot of this training on the web. Learn about Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and analytic tools.
5. Make and post a YouTube video that pitches your product or service.
6. Write blog articles to show your expertise and attract customers. This will take some time, but it will be your on-going calling card and advertisement. You can build your website in WordPress, combining it with your blog.
7. Get testimonials every time and post them to your website/blog.
8. Offer free educational (promotional) sessions (30-45 minutes) for your target prospects. If these are live and local, make sure you include childcare coverage (if this will get you the target audience) and easy parking. You can host these sessions at your local public library, which will have rooms for free community education. You cannot charge for these sessions in the library.
9. Use all media – print, online, everything. If you are providing a local service, post some posters in your neighborhoods and advertise in your local community paper. See if the local schools or churches or community centers will let you run your paid sessions in their space when it is not in use. If your market is worldwide, use online marketing to create your market reach.
10. Be patient. There is a lot of marketing to be done, and a reputation to build, all of which will serve you over the long run.