Small Business Marketing Tools to Get You Free Publicity

As far as small business marketing goes, free publicity is gold. It’s not just that you’re getting your company name to the public without having to pay for it; it’s that the news publicity – whether it’s in a magazine, newspaper, or online, weighs more heavily in your prospective customers minds. Even as skepticism reigns, people see information printed by news-type sources (whether in print or online) as being more truthful, more objective, than information that’s paid for by the company (advertising).

But simply sending out a press kit to your local news media won’t guarantee you that free publicity. The cardinal rule you have to follow is that your information must be newsworthy. One of the ways that news media keep their reputation as objective sources of information is that they are – they’re not going to print a thinly-veiled ad for your product or service as a news piece. But if you write a release that accomplishes both goals – offering the news media an interesting, informational story and letting potential customers get to know your product or service – that’s where free publicity really pays off.

To start, you need to develop a press kit as a standard component of your small business marketing materials. Your press kit should include:

Small business marketing press kit component 1: A letter to the editor of the newspaper (or magazine, or internet site) pitching your press release as a story idea. Many components of your press kit can be recycled, but the letter to the editor should change every time to send out a new press release.

Small business marketing press kit component 2: The press release. Your press release is where the journalist will look to find most of the information for her story. In the release, you should describe the news item (the launch of a new product that will revolutionize consumer’s lives, for example). Feel free to quote yourself and others in the press release expounding on the issue (that way the journalist won’t have to contact you or others for quotes when she’s writing the story).

Small business marketing press kit component 3: Your business card. Make it easy for the journalist to contact you.

Small business marketing press kit component 4: Your corporate bio. Journalists often like to add background information into their stories; make it easy by including a corporate bio that offers the important information about your business, including who founded it and when, location, and other interesting tidbits.

Small business marketing press kit component 5: Relevant photos. The keyword here is relevant: include photos of the topic your press release is about. If it’s a new product, offer some interesting photos. If it’s a new day care service, offer some pictures of the employees with the kids. Use photos that will make your story more compelling.

Small business marketing press kit component 6: Testimonials. It can be a great strategy to build quotations from current and past customers right into your press release. But even when you do that, don’t be shy about adding more.

Small business marketing press kit component 7: A data sheet for the relevant product or service. A data sheet with give the details about your product or service (that’s being covered in the press release). Relevant details include pricing, components, materials, size, weight, and part number – if applicable.

You should put all seven small business marketing components of your press kit into a folder – ideally one with your logo on the front to finish off the presentation.

Once you’ve created an appropriate small business marketing press kit, you can think about the kind of media outlets that you want to target. That small business marketing decision should be based on where your customers are – are they online, reading the local daily, or a national newsmagazine? Free publicity won’t mean much if it’s not picked up by your target audience – your prospective customers.

Once you’ve decided the media outlet that you want to target, find out who the managing editor is and send a personalized press kit to her. Or, if the publication is very large, send a personalized press kit to the journalist in charge of your area (for example, the Food journalist if your product is gourmet brownies or the Technology journalist if your product is computer software). You can also send out a press release for mass distribution using one of many online press release wires.

Do You Need A Business Consultant?

All too often, business owners, managers, or supervisors find themselves in a position where growth has slowed, stopped, or reversed. Though these are pressing reasons to consider finding the outside help of a business consultant, they aren’t the only reasons. This article will cover reasons you may need a business consultant, the affordability of a consultant, and what to look for in a consultant and their firm. Companies sometimes look for help when they are having trouble but the best practice is to reach out to a business consultant when your company is stable or in a position of growth.

It is much easier to grow your business if you acquire assistance while your company is stable or growing because you are not trying to recover lost revenue from earlier forecasts. A business consultant is a great resource to improve your company’s sales and growth. They are also an excellent resource when sales have dropped, slowed, or are stagnant. Though business consultants can help in winning or losing situations; the most value or R.O.I. is achieved when a business consultant is hired to move your company to the next stage of business, or improve upon your current sales, marketing, management, web development, and security processes. A good consultant will be able to provide you with a strategic plan for long-term growth while also being able to identify areas that can promote immediate growth. New businesses benefit by having a business plan developed while finding assistance to build a foundation. Loan package preparation is also a benefit of hiring a business consultant, but the most pressing reason to hire a consultant is to plan for long-term success. The aforementioned services will prove to be a great value to the companies with the vision to obtain them. The gain typically overshadows the cost of a business consultant.

Many business owners wonder, ‘Can I afford a business consultant?’ The question that should be asked is ‘Can you not afford to hire a business consultant?’ Business people know that increased marketing efforts, enhanced web development, a good strategic plan, and many other activities will increase their current and long-term revenue. Even knowing that, many of these activities are not aggressively pursued. An additional 20-40 hours a month in focused marketing efforts can bring a company a substantially enhanced amount of revenue dollars. Since the efforts are not made in many cases, the money is essentially lost to the company. Some sound advice to follow is; do not let the initial cost of a business consultant cloud the potential for future gain. The value a business consultant provides long survives the initial payment and contract.

Choosing a good firm to contract with can also be a challenge. The process can be made fairly simple by following the advice below. First, you must speak with the consultant that you are considering conducting business with. A good consultant should be able to understand your needs as you explain them. When dealing with more complex areas of business, a good consultant should be able to explain methods and processes in terms that you are able to understand. The ability to simplify complex processes usually indicates a strong understanding of what they entail. A consulting firm should also have a diverse team of individuals specializing in various segments of business development. Just as many businesses are not able to thrive with one employee, a consulting firm also needs a strong team to provide the best results. The ideal team will at least consist of a business growth expert, a web/graphic designer, a marketing expert, and a financial analyst or expert with good reputations in their industries. Finally, you should always maintain the feel that the consulting firm you decide to contract has your best interest in mind. Following these steps when locating a consultant or consulting firm will increase your chances of receiving a service that continues to benefit your growth for years to come.

MLM Success Secrets – How Good Is MLM As A Work At Home Based Business Opportunity?

Have you been thinking about working from home?

Are you looking for a way to just make some extra money… to help pay bills or buy something that you want?

… or do you want to earn a second income from your own part-time work at home business?

Whatever your reason, congratulations on your decision to take a chance and do something for yourself.

Work At Home Opportunities

Lately, it seems that MLM has become the new buzzword for making money from home.

MLM has been around for quite a while but only recently have people realized its full potential as a work at home business.

The addition of the internet as a marketing tool to many top MLM opportunities has definitely made it much easier to promote the business from home.

You have probably seen a large number of websites promoting MLM opportunities as work-at-home businesses, and may have asked yourself the question…

How Good Is MLM As A Work-At-Home Business Opportunity?

Looking at various websites, blogs, and forums, you will see many work at home companies presenting MLM as a great opportunity that anyone can do from home.

Some even talk about how MLM can help you make a fortune and chuck your regular job.

With all this sales hype, it makes sense that people would have questions about using MLM as a business.

“How good is MLM as a work-at-home business opportunity?

“Is MLM really better than my existing job?”

These are questions that definitely need to be answered.

If you are thinking about using a MLM opportunity to make money at home, the first thing you need to know is whether it will work for you.

For many people, the answer depends on how much time and money they have available for their work at home business.

The biggest draw of many MLM opportunities is how they are promoted as a low-investment or free service.

But, as with any type of business, there are always going to be expenses.

You will have start up costs for your initial registration, welcome kit, product samples, instruction manuals, and other business materials.

There will also be monthly expenses required to promote the MLM opportunity.

If you are serious about making money from home, you need to treat your work at home business as a business.

Work At Home Business Success

Another main factor you need to focus on is the kind of profits that you can earn.

With most MLM opportunities, your income depends on the size of your organization. Obviously, the more people you bring in, the higher your sales and income will be.

The key here is patience.

In the beginning, getting your work at home business up and running is going to seem like an uphill task. You have to “stay with the program” and continue promoting the product and sponsoring new people in to your MLM network.

It’s not possible to tell you what you are going to make. MLM companies are required to have income disclosures reminding you that your income depends on what YOU actually do.

However, do what you are shown to do and there is the possibility that you can join the others who have earned millions of dollars working from home.

Once again, just how lucrative MLM will be as a work-at-home business opportunity boils down to how much effort you are willing to put into it.

Remember that making money from home is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

You have to commit to putting in the time it will take to be successful. If you can’t, then no type of work at home based business opportunity is going to work for you.