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Marketing Yourself and Your Business

Let us pretend you are running your own small business. How do you market yourself online and offline?

Online

#1. Learn how to do SEO and/or hire someone to do SEO for you. eg. designSEO.ca is a Toronto based company that does both website design and SEO.

#2. Have your website designed by a professional so it looks chic and very well made. A stylishly designed website brings in more customers.

#3. Include AddThis codes on every page of your website so people can share the website with friends/etc via Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, etc.

#4. Don't bother making a Twitter or Facebook account for your company. They're mostly a waste of time unless you plan on offering online coupons via FB/TW.

#5. The only way you will see a bump in sales from Facebook or Twitter is if you produce quality content on your website, and AddThis will make the difference by having other people promoting your content virally. Trying to artificially create a viral campaign via your own Facebook or Twitter account doesn't work, so don't waste your time. Your time is best spent writing quality/unique content.

#6. Research which keywords bring in the most customers and what neighbourhoods in Toronto your customers live in. Create AdWords campaigns using as little money as possible (bid very low) in an effort to experiment and see which keywords bring in more customers.

Offline

#1. Advertise in appropriate newspapers/magazines that market to your desired audience. Limit your advertising dollars to the target audience in order to maximize your Return On Investment (ROI).

#2. Get business cards and stationary printed up. Pass some of them out to colleagues and friends.

#3. Network and find new colleagues, people in similar businesses, people who are both competitors and non-competitors in similar fields.

#4. Don't be afraid to shamelessly self promote in a funny manner. Heck, record yourself doing so and post it on YouTube so you can reach a larger audience.

#5. Word of mouth marketing works great, but to do so people need to know your name and your name needs to be easy to remember. Introduce yourself, say your name, use a name that is easy to remember, mention your company's name and say it in a manner so that it sounds like a jingle. Jingles are easier to remember.

#6. Go outside and socialize. Go to meetups, go to networking events, go to events related to your business, meet new people, learn how to do a proper handshake (firm but not squeezing and don't hold it too long), be polite, follow etiquette, and you will do fine.

#7. Sponsor events (this can also get you extra links to your business online too) and make sure the organization being sponsored knows who the sponsor is. For best ROI focus on sponsoring events related to your business. Red Bull doesn't sponsor the Toronto Poetry Club because it doesn't make sense for them to do so.



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