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Guest Blog Post by Chris Keenan

Startup businesses have recognized the power of social media and have implemented those websites into their marketing campaigns. This is an inexpensive way to not only build your brand recognition, it is a great way to reach a targeted audience. In additional to social media websites, there are many inexpensive ways a startup business can reach the masses with just a little ingenuity. Here are 7 marketing tips for startups that can help attract new business and traffic to your website.

1. Use Your Creative Side

Your goal here is to stand out from the crowd and appeal to your target audience at the same time. When you reach out to a potential customer, you do not want to simply claim you are the best widget maker or you are better than all other widget makers, you have to stand out from the other widget makers.

Be creative in your approach and don’t copy what your competition is doing just to cut a few corners. Spend some time in the buyers head and find out how you can serve their needs, then simply address those in your marketing strategies. Buyers hate being sold on a product, instead you need to show them why they can not be without your product. Fill the need and you will be filling orders before you know it.

2. The Five Senses of Marketing

Most of the items that you are drawn to when shopping are items you can touch, smell, taste, hear and see. You have to appeal to as many of these senses as possible when reaching out to a new audience. Stop trying to sell a product simply on your works, show them more. Get them excited about your service or product in a way that it strikes the right nerve with them, the result can be an avalanche of sales like you never expected.

3. Stay Focused on the Goal

Your goal is to sell your product and service and to grow your brand. Too many startups begin by trying to sell to everyone and anyone who will listen. Targeting too broad an area is a waste of resources and of time. When you are beginning a marketing campaign you want to go after a small group of consumers that would benefit from your product or service.

These are much easier sales than trying to approach customers who may not have a need at this time for your product. Once you have made some sales, this is where you can really make a jump to the next level. Through social media campaigns, you can now speak to the friends of your new customers. You will have a captive audience who sees that friends have already utilized your service. This is where you can make some easy referral sales and move your business to the next level.

4. Always be a Professional

During your startup marketing efforts, your energy level and your enthusiasm are directly related to how successful your marketing campaign will be. While you are excited to be launching a new campaign and anxious to see the results, you have to remember this is most important time for being a professional. You are not friends with customers at this early stage, so do not treat them like old chums or your buddies. Remember to maintain your professionalism throughout all your early marketing efforts.

5. Make Technology Work For You

With all the advancements in smartphones and iPads and tablets, let this incredible technology work for you. Utilize free apps designed to make canvasing customers easier. Use apps for collecting customer data on the run so you can focus on more pressing issues. These apps are often free, and can really help to save you time that you can use on attracting more customers.

6. Pay it Forward

Once you land a few new customers, give them an incentive to spread the word to their peers and friends. Recent studies have shown that closing a deal with a referral is 6 times more likely than had you made a cold call. Use referrals as a way to jump start your sales to the next level faster than you ever imagined.

7. Be Careful About Being Social

Social media is exploding right now, and this is one of the fastest ways to reach new customers that are in your target audience. One mistake many start up businesses make is that after they make a few sales utilizing the power of Twitter or Facebook, they begin a massive marketing campaign that posts promotional ads over and over each day.

If you are not going to engage your followers, you will lose your followers. No one wants to be inundated with advertisements all day long. Engage followers with information, business tips and simple conversation.

When it comes to marketing tips for startups, take a step back and put yourself in the role of the customer. Being professional, not being a spam machine on the social media websites and seeking referrals seem obvious when you look at it from the outside. Take the time to see yourself like the buyer does, and your business will begin to grow naturally in a very short time.

About the author

Chris is a small business entrepreneur. He launched a pest control marketing company to help small businesses generate more leads. He also has a busy schedule juggling a full time job and 2 small children.