"Lauri Harrison is a marketing and public relations veteran. She launched MapQuest.com, DexKnows.com and dozens of other start-up companies since the mid-90s. She launched MomToBeDepot.com and momtobedepot.blogspot.com to write about cool, new products available for women and babies. Lauri is a featured mom blogger with Working Mother magazine and is a frequent speaker on marketing, branding and public relations for universities and organizations."
I have had the pleasure of working with Lauri on many occasions. And I have been so fortunate to get to know her and to be able to slap some of our shoes on her adorable son!
Our "question asker" (yes, the official term) - Claire (congrats! I'll tell you what you won below) - wrote a great question, which I thought was perfect for Lauri to handle.
"How does a small business get started with marketing
your product and/or your site?"
your product and/or your site?"
"This is a common question for many small business owners. The first thing you need to do is figure out why your product or service is better or unique - versus everyone else out there. Many business owners skip this test and just focus on what all their competitors are saying. That just lumps you into the same bucket as everyone else. The more you can separate yourself and differentiate - the more excited your customer will be to try it. Bottomline, refine your messaging and key differentiators to really stand out against your competition
Next, you should determine if you should build a web site or just get started with a blog. Then just build it! Be sure it's easy to navigate, has images that aren't too large to download and provides all the necessary information about you as a company as well as the product. Include guarantees or return policies as well. Once your site or blog is built - include the URL in all of your marketing
communications, such as email signatures, business cards, flyers, postcards,etc. This is your storefront - and you need to keep the URL visible in all kinds of ways - online and offline.
Build community - find like-mind people that would be interested in your product or service. This is where social media has a tremendous influence. Utilize MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, BrightKite, Ning, MeetUp, etc. Get the conversation started - by you plugging yourself but not just from a sales perspective but from an informative perspective. Perhaps you have eco-friendly products - talk about why it is beneficial for people to utilize green products, etc.
Get connected with as many people as you can online and in the real world. Participate at local networking events. Join leads groups. Be visible. It does take time and effort but that's the best way to build your brand - and have your customers become walking brand advocates for you.
Create a referral program. Incent your customers to help recommend your products - and reward them. This is a great grassroots effort that can take you to the next level.
These are some basics that can get you started - and build buzz quickly both
online and offline. Need more info? Just ask us!!"
Thanks Lauri! Even as a business owner for over 6 years, I learned some new stuff! Which reminds me, you can see us at all the following places -
Be our friend on Facebook
Spy on us on Twitter
Claire - I bet you're wondering what you won??? Well, it's from my personal prize closet - the cutest little PJ's from Liberty Garage (www.LibertyGarage.com) they say "Stinky's Diaper Service" on them - so cute!. I have always LOVED this company. Their product design is absolutely adorable. We personally eat all of our pizza off their slice shaped pizza plates. I have given this fun stuff for gifts too, it's a bit hit! Congrats! (contact me for details)
Have a question? Wanna win something? Wanna give something away to promote your product/business? Just ask us!!!