A good way to start marketing is using social media. This has more visibility, even to people whom you might know personally but is within your target market. Know what social media platform your market is in, and be there. Here are the most common and highly relevant social media platforms in the Philippines:
You don’t have to be in all platforms, only if it is necessary for your market. Choose the right platforms, produce the right content for it, and be engaging! Brands often forget this, but social media is for socialization, not for posting announcements and ads alone. Don’t make it a bulletin
board! Instead, utilize social media to connect consistently and engage effectively with your audience.
Check the Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups of some successful brands, movements, or advocacies. There are plenty. Observe how the admins do it. They probably post Q&A’s, motivational content, and highly relevant videos. Look at the comments. Are people affirming? Do their followers ask questions as well? Is there conversation happening in the posts?
If yes, then this is showing the true purpose of social media—to connect and get social! (Not to sell alone.)
Take notes, and see how you can apply it to your own brand.
I wish I could discuss the use of each social media platform in more detail in this basic marketing booklet, but I’ll create an e-book specifically for social media marketing. This topic deserves its own exposure. Watch out for this e-book coming soon.
Create Opportunities Through Events
Aside from social media, creating an event is still one of the best ways to seek opportunities. It’s personal, you get immediate response and feedback, and you can see their faces. It’s much like social media, but this time, you’re actually talking to people who will respond right away. (Not waiting for “Typing...” then just be “Seen” afterwards.)
How can events open up opportunities? Consider the following benefits:
• Sponsorships or Partnerships with Existing Events – Have you seen merchandisers giving away flyers and samples, inviting people to their free photo booths, and engaging with people during events? Like them, joining conventions and exhibits relevant to your product or service can help you meet your target market in person. By having your own booth, you can gather information like names and e-mails, plus an instant sale is always possible.
But sponsorships aren’t always just about having a booth though. If you have a generous event organizer, they can give you a speaking slot on their stage, and you can talk about your brand to their audience! But again, the same rule applies here—don’t make it about you. Make it about your message. Give them something relevant. Or else, the audience will be irate and dislike you, instead of making them interested to know more about your product.
• Create Your Own Events - But what if you don’t have the budget, or the connections to have event partnerships? That’s easy. Make your own event!
When someone said these words to me, “Create your own event. You can do it!” I said, “Huh? Why me? Who would want to listen to me? I don’t have much credentials.”
Fortunately though, I listened to his valuable advice (that guy happened to be Jonathan Yabut, bestselling author, speaker, and winner of The Apprentice Asia). I gathered the guts to organize and promote my first event, Marketing for Non-Marketers. Lo and behold, I had 20 people in attendance. They paid to listen to me! I have what it takes after all. I have something valuable to give that can help them.
You might be asking the same question, “Can I create my own event?” I am telling you now from my own experience that: YES, YOU CAN DO IT! As long as your message is relevant and you’re talking to the right people, you can launch your brand in your very own event.
Check Your Friends
I’m not talking about reaching out to people you haven’t spoken to in years and suddenly sending them a “how are you” because you’re about to sell them something. I recommend that you do two important things:
Hang out with the right people. Befriend people who believe in you, are better than you, or are already living your dream life.
Choose a few good friends who will support what you do.
Then what do you do with these friends? You’re going to use them...in a way. Of course, you have to be sincere to them. Let them know that you’re working on building your brand and that you need their support. Have regular coffee dates with them and learn from their experiences. Eventually, these friends will be your clients, and your friends’ friends will be your clients as well. This is what happened to me.
I’m very fortunate to have worked as a Marketing Manager in a publishing company. My job included meeting high profile people, bestselling authors, and budding authors who were dreamers and go- getters. I was able to absorb their discipline because I worked with them daily.
I loved my job. I loved learning from these authors. I loved thinking of ways to market their brands and their books. Most of them were happy with how I worked. So when time came when I decided to be on my own and become a freelance Marketing Consultant, they supported me. They referred clients, and some became my direct clients as well.
“What if I don’t have these type of friends?” you may be asking. Go and find them. A lot of people do want to help. You just need to reach out to them. “What if they want my service or product, but they don’t have the capacity to pay yet?” That’s easy. Do it for free!
Remember what I said in the first chapter? Your product has to be something you love so much that you’re willing to do it for free. If you’re starting from scratch in building your network, you have to be willing to do it for free to begin.
What will your pro-bono clients give you in return? Reviews! Take a video of them saying how satisfied they are with your service, or make them rate your Facebook Page: 5-stars. Ask them to recommend you in various skills in LinkedIn, or ask them to subscribe to your YouTube channel and share it. Use their good experience with you as a way to market your brand. Make them free marketing machines.
Another way to entice your peers to recommend you is to give them referral fees once you close a deal with a client they referred. This will encourage them more to refer you to their friends! (Of course you have to do a good job first!)