1. Make sure all of your marketing materials are high quality. If you can, invest in a good desktop publishing program such as QuarkXPress. Or, even better, have your materials designed by a professional. This will cost more, but will probably be worth it. All of your brochures, business cards, and postcards should be very good looking.
2. Focus on a small target. Be absolutely certain that you are not trying to market your business to everyone. Only a small percentage of the population needs or wants what you offer. It is that segment of the population that you need to focus on.
3. Know your competitors and what they are doing. You must know your enemies if you want to beat them. Find out how they are advertising, how they approach customers, and how much they are charging for their products.
4. Get in the habit of networking. You should always be looking to make new contacts, both new clients and other businesses. The more contacts you have, the more customers you will ultimately bring in. It is just a matter of mathematics.
5. Try to cross promote with other companies in the area. If you market successfully, then there will be several other companies in your area that you know well. See if you can take advantage of that contact – and help the other company out at the same time – by cross promoting with them.
6. Act like a teenager and start chatting. Believe it or not, chatting in online groups can lead to a great deal of business. Find groups that relate to your business and sign up.
7. Start publishing a newsletter. Whether it is a paper and ink newsletter, or an email newsletter, this is a good way to stay in contact with your customers. The more you communicate with them, the more chances they have to do business with you.
8. Turn yourself into a writer. Start writing articles that pertain to your industry and post them online.
9. Send out a press release to every media outlet in your area. If you do this in an email, it is totally free, and can generate some publicity for you.
10. Get in the habit of constantly thanking your best customers. You can simply send them a note or email, or you can send them a free product. However you do it, make sure you let your best customers know how much you appreciate their business.
11. Always offer a guarantee. The more stability and reliability you can provide your customers, the more comfortable they will be with you.
12. Constantly communicate with your customers, and ask them how your advertising efforts are working with them.