7 Unique Ways to Market Your Business Before It Opens
June 5, 2020
Many business owners I work with would go to extreme lengths to have customers before their new venture or location opens. Getting awareness that your business exists and solves specific problems for an area is half the battle when it comes to business survival. When I work with my commercial real estate clients, these are the seven steps I suggest to them to promote their business before it opens.
Quick Disclaimer: Before you start you need to have your brand defined. Going through this process without a well defined brand won’t make the same level of impact.
1.) Start Building Your Social Media Before You Open
Let’s get something straight, we do social media because it is the most cost effective advertising for small business currently. Often I see business owners who are on social because they have read that they need to be there, but they don’t know what the goal of their social profiles are.
The goal of social is to get consistent media impressions, media engagements and community awareness so that we CREATE CUSTOMERS. This is a revenue generating tool, and if it isn’t making revenue we shouldn’t be putting resources towards it. The beauty of social is that some of it is still free. For example Instagram gives you free reach to your followers, while in contrast Facebook charges you to boost your posts so that your followers see them.
Here are some strategies to build your social accounts in 2020:
- Have a posting schedule
- Have a theme
- Know the etiquette of the platform
- Engage with your target audience to build awareness and grow followers
- Provide value, not just memes
Finally, many business owners I work with think they need to be on every social media channel, this is wrong. Focusing on only one or two channels will create more impact for your new business in Boise. Social media has democratized our ability to tell our story to our target audience, now we have to tell a compelling story
2.) Share Your Business Story and Unique Product Offering
Using social media in a way that stands out can be a challenge. A lot of companies end making the same mistakes, posting inspirational quotes and images which are generic and designed to make people feel good. People will not remember your brand for these types of posts
You need to share your unique story. Ask yourself questions like:
- What is different about my journey?
- Why is this important to other people, not only me?
- How does my product solve a problem for people?
Creating this story is how people will connect with your brand and this story will be the vehicle you use to share your product with your community. Not sure how to tell your story? Follow the hero’s journey.
The Hero’s Journey
1.) Start with how things were, the status quo
2.) Share the catalyst that made you want to make this business
3.) Show the the trials that had to be overcome
4.) Display the growth and learning from those challenges
This is an easy way to define your brand’s story.
3.) Run Ads to Your Target Audience
Two months before you open you should be running ads to your target audience. You don’t have to put a lot of ad spend towards this, $100 a month will make an impact. The best way to do this is through Facebook ads. Say you were opening a mountain bike shop in Boise, you should target people interested in mountain biking on the backend of Facebook and run ads to those people before your doors even open. There are 81K people in the greater Boise area that like mountain biking, you want to know all of them. Below is a screenshot showing these psychographics.
4.) Have an Open House and Invite Local Influencers
At this point, you’ve probably heard of influencer marketing and a lot of it is hype, but it is a powerful tool if used right. A great strategy I’ve seen be successful is hosting an open house or soft opening for influencers to come for free and try out your services. In Boise there are a lot of local influencers. Below are a few Boise based influencers that have good followings and engagement. I’d like to say that this list includes myself and that all my clients get access to my media when they work with me.
People love to get their hands on things for free, and are often willing to put a lot of work in to get their hands on something worth far less than their time. Businesses have found a lot of success with competitions on websites like Instagram and Facebook, and you don’t have to offer much to make something like this work for you.
Restaurants can offer free meals, service businesses can give away their services, and companies which don’t have something they can easily give away can think about offering credit for their products or vouchers for sites like Amazon. This will enable you to build a lot of followers without having to put much effort into it, and the cost will be insignificant compared to the money you can make from this.
6.) Leave Small Hints
Psychology plays a large role in business, with many of the world’s largest companies relying on their knowledge of human minds to sell their products. Leaving small hints is a great example of this, with most people finding their curiosity growing when they keep seeing the same thing all the time.
Stickers, flyers, and other physical marketing tools can be great for this, giving you the chance to place your logo in public places. Giving little information can be a good way to encourage people to learn more for themselves, especially if the business you are planning to launch has a wide-reaching demographic.
7.) Have a Launch Party That is a Promoted Event on Facebook
People love to follow news and current events, and new businesses opening their doors can be just as exciting as Christmas morning. A promoted Facebook event for your launch is a great way to build some hype for your company, while also giving people an idea of when it will be ready. Tools like Facebook event ads are perfect for this, as they don’t cost too much, and allow people to save the event as a reminder. You don’t need to include much information with this, though it can be a good idea to give people access to your website at this point.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to take on the challenge of marketing your business before it opens. If you want help in this process I’m more than willing to grab a coffee with you and strategize. Use the form below to connect.