Understanding Your Value and How to Market it - Five Free Online Tools for Marketing

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Many sole professionals rely on "word of mouth" for building their businesses and expect that merely opening the door in the morning will fill the bank account. There are many online tools that are low or no-cost which can help you with promoting your business.

The whole idea of marketing is to draw attention to yourself and your business and then show the prospect how you or your services can help them solve their problems. They will likely not be willing to use your services, however, until they know like and trust you. The internet is a tool that can facilitate the relationship, but many people are skeptical or concerned that they will be scammed.

Following are five no or low-cost internet tools which can be used to help present you to extend your marketing reach. Each allows you to prepare a profile and you will need to do this with a great deal of thought but once you have the profile properly completed, you will merely update it if and when things change.

Blog - There are many different types of blogs such as WordPress.com. These allow you to not only set up a profile that represents your products and services, but also allows you to post information through text, audio or video on a regular basis. This keeps the attention of the reader who returns often to see what is "new".

Linked In - This is a site that is focussed primarily on business. Again, you will develop a profile but this time it is with the hope that you will capture the attention of employers, employees or people who are interested in setting up joint ventures with you.

Facebook - Although some people use this only as a way to personally connect with friends and family, you can also develop a business site and invite others to be your Friend or Fan. There is also the opportunity to announce an "Event" to those who are in your groups and invite them to live or teleseminar sessions that you have planned.

Myspace - I used to have a business page on this site but found that many people who use Myspace are interested in developing personal or romantic relationships. Even showing clearly in your profile that you are there for business purposes might not dissuade those who have other goals. It is still a good idea to have a profile on this site as long as you are aware of the goals of others and how you might handle their non-business contacts.

Twitter - One of the newest forms of social networking is through this method. Once again, you begin by signing up for an account and preparing a profile. You are then encouraged to "follow" people who you think are interesting and even those who follow those people. Most of them will politely follow you back. Then you communicate with those who are connected through messages that must be no longer than 140 characters. Relationships are built as you share information and learn about others.

There are many, many others forms of social media which can be used to promote your services and build strong connections with others. The danger in becoming involved, however, is that time can slip away quickly, and you might neglect other aspects of building your business. It is therefore important to set out a schedule which will help you to keep things in perspective and then strictly follow it.

Internet and social networking are just another way that you can turn your business into a wonderful adventure.

 


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com



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