Marketing is how you let people know about your products and services.  Imagine meeting someone at a coffee shop after you drop your kids off.  As a small business owner, you get out to meet clients at a comfortable third place so you can relax and discuss business.  You meet new people in the process.  Ask yourself: How am I marketing my business and is it in a natural way so I create more exposure for my business.

Here are some suggestions for how to market your business:

1) A Professional Website – A website allows you to invite others to learn more about you, your company and the products and services you offer.  It should have contact information and should be created as an interactive way to communicate with your customers.  Having social media plug ins, email contacts, telephone numbers, address and fax number (for those who know what this is and/or still use it).  Your website should be fresh, updated regularly and if hiring a professional web designer, someone you can work with over time.  A website should not be static and your web designer should be reachable and be trustworthy as your business partner.

2) Business Cards – When you meet that person in the coffee shop, you should have business cards to hand out with your business logo, slogan, website and contact information.  Business cards help anchor you as a professional, viable business who is professional, organized and trustworthy.

3) Print and Promotional Products – Are you ready to promote yourself with products that reinforce your brand and to discover your community with Netcinity?  People remember you if you are memorable in some way.  Promotional products are most effective when they are useful in the kitchen or the office.  Print products such as banners, postcards, rack cards, door hangers, posters – should be high quality products that allow the potential customer to learn more about you.  Be careful about creating flashy, in-your-face type, hard hitting advertisements as we all have too much of that.  If print and promotional products are created to bring value to your business, then they are an effective part of your marketing strategy.

4) Social Media – Do you have a Twitter account, a Facebook Fan Page and a LinkedIn Account?  Social media is here to stay and people of all ages are engaging more than ever using these social media apps.  If you’re not using them, consider beginning slowly or hiring someone to help you out.  The objective is to build quality relationships with potential and current customers.

5) Advertisements – There are various forms of advertisement you can use to help promote your brand and help your customers to, say, choose a commercial bus for sale, etc.  Consider experimenting to see which are most effective for you.  Some forms of advertisement to consider are online, blogs, screen advertisements, newspaper articles, press releases, billboards, etc.  Consider your target audience and how they prefer to learn more about you.

6) Networking – Whether we are meeting people at large conferences, small groups, one-to-one, virtually, in-person, using social media, email, or the telephone, consider the touchpoints you need to hit in order to make sure the information you want them to have is given before your time is up.  There certainly are people who are experts at this.  Watch and learn what makes them so effective.

Remember, as a small business owner, you are always representing your company, even in your off time.  You can be at that coffee shop, at a baseball game, on the golf course, at a party and you are still the face and the contact person for your small business. According to the advice on about this, if you are really investing time, energy and resources towards your small business, your perceived value means everything when people are considering doing business with you.  Marketing your business should be ongoing as it is how you continue to generate more and business business for yourself.  You can always hire a professional to help you but remember, you know your business best.  Think about what you are doing to help others learn more about your products and services.  Help solve their problems through your expertise.  Give to your clients with your knowledge, time and patience and it will come back to you.