There’s a world of “expert” advice out there, and for beginners, it can be tough to know where to start.
Whether you’re a small, one-man shop or a large printer running several automatics, most of you wouldn’t say no to an increase in sales. Working in marketing for the past 20 years, I know that it’s the most overlooked aspect of any business, regardless of its size. But, with only a limited amount of time and budget to spend, what should you prioritize?
You won’t build a T-shirt empire by marketing in your spare time but, just like in the printing process, if you can become more efficient and learn how to leverage your marketing efforts, you will position yourself to see more benefits with less time and money.
Look Inward Before Looking Outward
Before beginning any type of marketing campaign, you need to know and be completely honest about what your limits are. Having a clear definition of your services will help make it easier to identify your ideal client. Do you excel at printing variable-data, personalized athletic gear, or do you have a great vintage designer on staff? Perhaps your gear is mobile and you specialize in printing at onsite events. Whatever your forte, your unique skillset correlates with a unique audience.
Once you know who to target, look at online directories such as DexKnows or Yelp to find their contact information and input this into an Excel spreadsheet or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software such as Salesforce. You can do this yourself or hire a Virtual Assistant (VA) to do it for as little as $5 on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
Find and Target Your Ideal Client
A good question to ask yourself if you want to expand your market is “Who else?” Start by categorizing your business sectors. For example, if you’re a B2B printing company, think of types of businesses such as construction companies, medical offices, fitness venues, and so on that need custom apparel. Once you have a list of business types, identify specific businesses in your area to contact regarding your services.
Your niche will dictate the best way to reach out to your potential clients. Not everyone uses the phone anymore. Some people may prefer email, text, or messaging through a social media platform as opposed to a phone call.
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