Posted by Chris Mackie 10-07-2017
Whether you have set up your dream business or you are doing some work on the side to get some more money it can be difficult when you are first setting up. While more established businesses can point toward their level of experience it can be harder for people who are just getting started. With this guide you can learn what you can do to spread the word and get work!
When asked "Who are you selling to?" the temptation is to respond "Everyone!" While we would all like to be the go to multi million selling brand the first consideration has to be the people who will want what you sell.
For example let's saying you're selling ice cream. On the surface this sounds like something fairly broad and wide ranging. However the kind of ice cream tubs they sell at the cinema are different to an organic brand that may be used in a dessert served at a dinner party.
As you can see your niche not only dictates who you are selling to but what you are selling to them!
It's hard but you need to work harder to prove that you are better. Go out to trade fairs, exhibitions and networking with your product or service. The more you get yourself out there the easier it will be for people to remember you.
Do not be afraid to ask friends and family about any opportunities that are out there! If you are a wedding photographer then ask if they want someone taking pictures. Remember to return the favour as this means people will be more likely to help you if they know you are equally supportive.
However there is a limit- avoid doing anything free or discounting as this can devalue your product. If you do choose to do discounts or a "mate rate" make sure this is done tactfully and this does not get passed on (you don't necessarily need a non-disclosure agreement but you need to make it clear this information is not to be passed on.) If you don't make it clear then you can find it very hard to get your asking price!
Even if you are running a new business the chances are you will have certain skills. For example if you set up a photography business then emphasise the amount of experience you have in taking pictures. If people do not know about this level of skill or experience then it can be harder for them to trust you over someone who is more experienced.
The idea is to be positive. Check your website uses positive language. Say "We can" rather than "We aim to" as this shows you are positive and people are more likely to get in contact with you.
With the rise of social media it is now a lot easier to spread the word. Remember to be positive but not excessive- people will be put off if you spam them with endless posts about how brilliant you are. Networking events and meet-ups are also useful so keep an eye out for them.
Ideally you also want to get testimonials from other people. People are more likely to use your services if they think that someone impartial is satisfied with the work you have done for them.
It is not easy to know where to get the right advice. However there are a number of organisations out there that can help you. This will help you find funding and develop contacts.
Remember that building up contacts and sales will take time. It can be hard and sometimes you may find it difficult to get consistent results. However with the right push you can get your business established and successful.