Starting up a new business, for any entrepreneur, is mostly driven by passion and ambition to succeed. It can start off very simply with just an idea. A seed planted in your head of something, a gap in the market perhaps, or an improvement you could make within an industry. That idea is fuelled by passion, and most often, this is where some of the most successful business begin. Apple was started in a garage, Richard Branson created the Virgin empire out of nothing. All ideas, all with huge success. However, for many people, these ideas can fail at the first hurdle because it can be all too overwhelming on how you take that idea and implement it. There are so many directions to take, options to consider, and strategies to implement. Where do you begin? It can take a bit of time to establish the best course of action for you and your business idea. It’s about considering what tools and actions you need to take. This is where a decent marketing strategy from the outset can really help you with the direction in which you want your business to take. Which is why I thought it would be worth sharing with you some of the best strategies you could be considering, to help you take the next step. Have you considered your brand and your digital presence? You have your idea, and you are eager to get going so you may be wondering why time needs to be focused on your branding when you should be getting your idea seen and heard. But your brand is one of the first things anyone will see with your business. From your logo through to your website and content. It’s a first impression that your business gets to make, and we all know how snap judgments can be made with during the first seconds and minutes. Your branding needs to stand out, and it also needs to be implemented across all your platforms and advertising, such as face to face or even online. Your website is a huge part of this given that so much is done on the internet these days. Your website needs to have the right dynamic, be easy to use and have all the relevant information necessary. It needs to be able to support an online shop where orders can be taken, and money exchanged. It needs to be a one-stop shop for your customers and clients. You also need to be thinking about your visibility online. It is a saturated marketing in the online world, and every is vying for a piece of the action. Any website and business want to appear on the first page of search engine results, and even better in the first few top results. This is why search engine optimisation can be of great importance to you. Where you increase your domain authority and have good backlinks to your website to highlight the importance and ranking. While you may be able to hunt out relevant information online, often these things are best handled by experts. So you may want to enlist the help of an SEO Company to ensure that your website get’s the best treatment. Shopping local is a huge trend There is a huge trend emerging where people prefer to shop local, even though this still tends to happen online. People would like to support local smaller businesses and remain loyal to the community, so this is actually something to be really involved with when it comes to your marketing strategy. We see this trend formulating in all sorts of areas and industries, for example, shopping for local produce or simply supporting the smaller or local businesses in various different industries. So it can be a beneficial strategy to be the local expert in your industry and profession. This can also be a great advantage when it comes to word of mouth advertising, something you simply can’t buy. You might also want to think about sponsoring local events or even getting involved with local charities. Any charity needs all the help and support they can get. But it also opens up a new potential audience of people for you. It can be a lucrative relationship on both sides. Advertising at events could mean helping out in return for the advertisement, maybe even offering up prizes for things like raffles. Maybe even create your own event when any proceeds are given to the charity It can all depend on where your skills and expertise lie, but having great word of mouth advertising or even focusing on your local community will never be a bad thing for your business. There is a huge power force in social media advertising Social media is a huge community of people ready to hear all about your business. Any platform, be that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or even websites like LinkedIn and Snapchat are all direct links to your existing customers and clients but also potential new ones. Having a good page and profile is one of the main elements, ensuring you regularly update both professionally and informatively. Then it is a case of being engaging, and creating engaging content. Once people start “liking” your status, retweeting perhaps, or even sharing content, will you then extend your reach to people who may never have heard of you before. If they engage in some way, then the knock on effect continues. It’s actually free, and it it does take some work, but it can be hugely worthwhile to you as a business. Many of these platforms even have advertising options where you can pay for campaigns that you edit. You can have control over the demographic of where it is advertised, how often, and even the type of engagement you would want. This again can help you really extend your reach with a little investment, far less than what some businesses can spend on advertising through other mediums. Social media helps you to humanise your business, even today we see some huge corporations responding to customers almost instantaneously. Gone are the days where you have to wait a number of days to get an answer to a query. The content you create is important, so it’s worth remembering to try and make sure that engagement is at the forefront of your mind. Things like a call to action comments where you are asking for feedback or an answer to your questions are a great way to develop and engaged audience. The power of influencers and your brand We see more and more the power of digital influencers and these can really work in your favour for your business. There are a lot of people that have made a success out of YouTube channels and blogs, and having their backing and endorsements can really help extend your reach and even increase traffic to your website. A lot of people prefer to trust the opinion of a real person, rather than something that is celebrity endorsed, which is why we see more of this kind of advertising with some of the bigger businesses globally. Your relationship with other local businesses and employees Finally, it is so important to develop good working relationships with other local businesses in the area. This is a great way to seclude your market and stabilise custom through other methods. Offering discounts for certain members of another company, or even offering benefits to your own employees if you have them. This kind of relationship can work in both ways and can be a smaller marketing strategy to focus on that can prove profitable. I hope these marketing strategies help you expand your business growth.