Without question, optimizing your web site and making sure the content you've included is interesting and valuable, your ultimate goal is to make sure that others can benefit from your products and services. But since your services or products are not necessarily for everyone, it doesn't make sense to promote a business to those who will probably never use it. So, although marketing is at the root of reaching your goals, marketing effectively and wisely requires some well-thought out strategy. And although most of us know that we need to promote our products and services, some of us still believe we're too small to invest in a promotional campaign. Yes, it’s true that a full-fledged marketing effort may too much for your business; however, it is still crucial that you become involved in some form of marketing activity. Putting a few simple strategies into action will make a significant difference to your business and will surely help you reach your intended audience. After all, if you don't spread the word about your business, no one will know you're there.

1) Word of Mouth: Still the best form of advertising!

The number one form of marketing is still word of mouth. Without any effort on your part, those that appreciate your services will be your best marketing strategy. So, to help make sure that word of mouth is included in your marketing efforts, each time you work with a client, don’t be afraid to ask if you can use them as a reference, especially if they've been happy with your services. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking your clients if they would be willing to refer you to friends and business associates. Personally, when clients comment favorably in response to something I've written for them, I immediately ask for permission to post their comments on my site. I then include a link to the client's web site so that we each gain in the process. All in all, nothing pays off in dividends as well as good testimonials and referrals. I also send a little note asking my client if they might possibly know of someone in need of my services. I clearly convey many of the other types of writing services I provide and I tell them I would appreciate their referral. Even better, I ask them if they would consider sending a brief testimonial that I can include on my site. If you're not comfortable asking for testimonials, requesting permission to use the client as a referral is the next best thing.

2) Networking with Others!

Are you making the most out of every networking opportunity whether it's at a meeting, at an informal gathering or during a brief presentation? So often we don't take advantage of those moments when someone is a captive audience. If you've developed good rapport with someone on line, don't be afraid to ask for some support. You can usually read between the lines and tell if someone is open to your requests. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. . I never miss an opportunity to tell people what I do. Of course, I use discretion, but even when I’m out having a cup of coffee, there’s always an opportunity to bring it up. Share what you do with others by striking up conversations with those in close proximity. You never know if that person might be in the market for exactly what you have to offer. And of course if you're at a networking meeting, always have your business cards handy. Most important, be prepared to express what you do clearly and confidently.

3) Focusing on One Specific Audience!

Although many online services cater to a wide audience, it is often more beneficial to focus in on a specific group of people. If you try to reach too wide of a target market, you may wind up spreading yourself too thin. Not too long ago I did some business writing for a management consultant, whose experience was extensive, yet she found that it worked to her advantage to focus exclusively on the construction arena. She had at one time worked for a contractor so her knowledge was far reaching. Based upon her vast construction experience, she had helped many a contractor during the process of hiring practices, developing excellent rapport with staff and subcontractors in addition to what software programs were most efficient for the construction arena. Instead of trying to reach too broad of an audience, working within a specific group can be very advantageous and just may find you in far greater demand.

4) Gaining Access to the Right Audience!

If you're not sure how to target in on the right audience, think about your area of expertise, the type of person you want to attract and where your own specialty lies. If you prefer providing your services to a large company, promote your products to a few major organizations. However, if you prefer working with the small to midsize company, focus in on the smaller companies. As an example, although I write for larger companies, I enjoy writing primarily for the small Mom and Pop type businesses as it helps them get noticed and supports them in growing their business. When I write articles, I try to let that message come through. I especially enjoy helping the smaller company reach their intended market because I relish in developing rapport with those who appreciate the personal touch. Since we each have our preferences, be clear as to what your intended market is and then focus your marketing efforts in that direction.

5) Give something Away Free!

To get your foot in the door it's sometimes a good idea to give something away free of charge. This is not to imply that your services are not worth paying for, but your potential client might need a little convincing. By way of example, if you're an SEO expert, and you want to gain greater exposure for your services, arrange to speak at an event or something related to the Internet. In exchange for the exposure, give the person who arranges the presentation some of your services for free. Once he or she discovers how talented you are, you'll get a lot of new business. If possible, have a free hand out for those listening to your presentation and be sure your brochure or business card is attached. The list of ideas for making presentations at a variety of functions is unlimited. Use your imagination and be courageous in stepping out.

6) Your Presentation & Marketing Collaterals!

When preparing your marketing collaterals, be sure to include who you are and what sets you apart from anyone else. A well-written bio, press release or soft sales letter included in your marketing kit is the ideal way to start. You might also consider creating a powerful case study to show how you’ve helped a client achieve their goals. The goal of your marketing material is to demonstrate right off the bat what you can do for your clients, what makes you unique and where your specialty lies. Mostly you want your marketing message to help you stand above the crowd. So, come up with a catchy slogan or line that defines your services and before you know it, you'll be branded effectively.

7) The Tried and True Article Writing!

There is absolutely nothing more effective for marketing then a powerful article. Almost every type of business has something to teach others and so coming up with an article is not going to be difficult. Some people think that it's all been said before, believing they have nothing new to offer, but I absolutely disagree. We each have something of value to share based on our experiences, so it's only a matter of coming up with a unique way of saying it and running with the idea. Be daring and share something no one else knows about or present it in a way it's never been said before. Pay particular attention to your experiences, the good ones and not such goods ones and before long you'll have great ideas to write about. Articles are the perfect way of drawing attention to your web site, business, product and yourself. They make you the authority and inspire people to trust you. If you need help, you can always find support by choosing a ghost writer.

8) Keeping Clear Records
While keeping clear records may not seem like a marketing strategy, it is probably one of the most important marketing tools you'll ever use. By keeping records of your clients, where they come from and how they found you, you always know which of your efforts is working best. I make it a habit to ask visitors how they found me, whether it was through a search engine, article, word of mouth, or press release. . That way I always know which of my strategies have been most effective and which are bringing me the clients I’m trying to attract. Also, keep records of customer feedback. Letting your future and potential customers and clients tell you what they think about your services or products can provide you with feedback that leads to greater marketing success.

As you give thought to the methods that you plan on using for marketing your services, don't be timid about trying something unique and different and certainly don't bypass different ways of promoting yourself. Just because you have to be prudent with your finances or need to exercise some practicality, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice creativity. Very often, the simplest and least expensive method brings the greatest results.

Author's Bio: 

Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist and Author to her creative efforts as a freelance business writer/consultant. She has successfully helped thousands of companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing outstanding articles, press releases, bios, business plans, proposals, resumes, web site content and all other forms of marketing and personal material. To speak with Charlene you may contact her at http://www.allyourwritingneeds.com or write her at info@allyourwritingneeds.com. You can also call her directly at (310) 514-4844