The ubiquity of internet access and its nearly constant use as a tool to find service providers and perform product research has increased the number of options SMBs have to gain exposure. However, there are still a number of entirely analog, and for the most part free, forms of self-promotion. Coworking spaces and shared workspaces turn out to be ideal venues to accomplish many of these exposure-promoting practices.
Join Relevant Communities
When people talk about joining communities today, they could be talking about online communities – like LinkedIn, Reddit or Facebook – or actual face-to-face communities. The latter tend to be preferable from a business standpoint. It’s easy to dismiss or ignore one of dozens or hundreds of businesses talking at you in a social media feed, but it’s harder when you work next to them in a coworking space or see them at local events.
SMBs should probably do both. Most online communities can be joined for free, but you’ll gain more valuable exposure by actually meeting and interacting with potential customers in person.
Partner with Related Businesses
Finding a local business with whom you can work on a joint project is a great way to both make money and increase your business’s exposure. In addition to getting more attention, you might also gain access to your partner’s book of business. If your businesses are complimentary, it’s likely those customers are also relevant to your business.
Not every business will be a good fit, but you’ll find a truly diverse array of potential partner opportunities in a coworking community like MAC6.
Host or Attend Classes and Events
Many events, including those hosted regularly at MAC6, are free for community members. Businesses can also host their own classes or events for their existing customers or as a way to attract new customers.
For example, many hardware stores and nurseries host “how to” events on a regular basis. Chances are if a person is interested in learning a skill, they’ll also be interested in purchasing the supplies to perform it on their own.
Attending evets and classes that are relevant to local business owners is also a great way to network and meet other local business owners who may need your products or services or be interested in partnering with you.
If you’d like to learn about the networking opportunities available at MAC6 or are interested in hosting an event for MAC6 members, give us a call at (480) 582-2200.
Referral programs are a popular and relatively affordable way to turn your paying customers into brand ambassadors and increase your business’s visibility. Giving customers a discount or even a limited number of free products or services is a small price to pay if that customer brings in a significant number of new paying clients.
A lot of businesses can figure out some kind of referral program, it’s just a matter of deciding what you can offer that will act as a great enough incentive to get your customers to advocate for you.
Analog Marketing Options
Flyers and business cards may seem antiquated to some people, but they’ve been around for decades for a reason – they do sometimes work. With any low-cost marketing method even a small rate of conversions often makes the effort worthwhile. If you have specials going on, are hosting events or just want to make people aware of the services or products you offer, consider making flyers or compelling business cards.
Every SMB, regardless of their budget, can and should make use of at least some digital marketing tools. There are many platforms that allow you to build free or low-cost websites. Claiming Google listings is free. You can write your own content and blog for free and get the no-cost benefit of organic search results. Social media accounts are also free, and you can begin sponsored posts or paid advertising on social media platforms with relatively few dollars.
New business owners should at a minimum put in the legwork on a business website and keyword rich content, as it’s a virtually free way to ensure people who want your products or services at least have a chance to find you online.
Leverage Local Phoenix and Tempe Coworking Communities to Maximize Your Business’s Exposure
Many of the previously listed exposure methods can be easily accomplished at a shared workspace community like MAC6 in Tempe. In addition to holding events on a regular basis, our community members also have an opportunity to meet and interact with fellow business owners in all types of different industries.