When I was on my way from Munich, Germany to Switzerland, I made an observation that really led to a “ah ha!” moment.
On the roads of Munich, I saw many American-made cars like different models of Fords and Jeeps. On top of that, my friends and I made a stop at a McDonald’s where I was again inspired.
Inspired at a McDonald’s? Seriously?
The Ford Focus and the Jeeps I saw, plus the McDonald’s restaurant are all tied together if you look at them from the angle of the ENTREPRENEUR. How so? You may ask. Well my friend, they are all proofs that it is possible and rather common for a company to have an international/global reach.
It is very true that the above-mentioned companies have substantial means and have been around for a very long time (McDonald’s 58 years and Ford Motor Company 110 years). However, the point I’m trying to make is that global reach or at least global availability should always be in the mind of the resourceful and well-grounded entrepreneur that you are. The world needs to know about you and your business. You need to establish your presence.
How do you get your online and real world presence off the ground?
I’ve assembled a couple of ways for the starting entrepreneur to get going. Of course, they are many more ways and what’s presented here is just to show you some leads.
1-Free online business cards:
Business cards are very important. They show people that you are serious about your business and that you can be reached and also that your business is legit! Be very generous with them. Pass them out to people you meet even if you think the person might not need your services or products. He or she might know someone who does. Here are three (3) links to get you started:
2-Printed T-shirts with your info, logo and/or Website:
You might think this one is expensive, but it really is not! I’ve found shirts that you can design online and have your logo or message printed that go for $1.75/shirt. Having some shirts that you can pass out to your friends and family is such a great idea because you get huge exposure for really cheap. Everywhere they will go i.e. the store, the mall, a bar, or other events they will be advertising to hundreds of people. Make sure that the phone number and the website are easily legible and that your logo is where it’s supposed to be. Three (3) website where you can start looking
3-Fridge magnet and bumper stickers:
When it comes to fridge magnets and bumper stickers, you don’t have to have a whole lot of them for a start. Just order a couple. Bumper stickers will be like the t-shirts. They will get you maximum exposure for a relatively low price. Hand them out to people you know and ask them if they don’t mind putting them on their car. You don’t want to give it to someone who will not use it appropriately. I got you links that will help you with your research.
You should open an account on each of these social networks that will be solely dedicated to your business. It will be about your business and for business. Make sure you are really strict about the content that goes on your account i.e. what you talk about/post and what other people post and talk about. The vast majority of your posts should be informative and about the happenings (sales, promotions, etc) of your business. You can also (from time to time) talk about an achievement as it relates to your business. When it comes to YouTube, make a short, sweet, and to–the-point video describing what you’re selling or the services you provide. We’re talking about your business, so be and look professional in the video. For Facebook and Twitter, be professional, and please make sure you spell check everything you post. Do not abbreviate too much and make sure you are a 110% sure about the information you’re putting out.
The most important favor you can do to yourself will be to talk about your business. Don’t be afraid to talk about it to friends and to complete strangers. You should be as comfortable talking about it to both. In theory, your family and close friends would be first ones to know about what you’re trying to accomplish so make sure you talk about it with them thoroughly! You have be thorough with the people you know well because if they ask a question about your business you don’t know the answer to it wouldn’t be too bad. HOWEVER, if a stranger asks you something about YOUR business and you don’t have a satisfactory answer, then it’s a very bad sign. Remember, a first impression is the last impression. Make sure you cover all the bases with your family members and close friends. Have them ask you any question that comes to mind so you’re prepared for whatever question someone might/will throw at you.
The five ideas you just read are great ways to start your marketing campaign on a low budget. Let’s face it; when you’re just starting out, you don’t have a lot of money to spend. However, it should be very easy and obvious for you to realize the potential effectiveness of these ideas. Just imagine: How many people do you think will see your message from a bumper sticker or from someone wearing a shirt with your website, contact information and name on it in just ONE day? (hundreds!)
With Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, you will have international reach in a very short period. NEVERTHELESS, you have to make sure that before you put something out there you are okay with it representing you, your values and your business.
Stay tuned for more articles about being an entrepreneur on the fast lane
See you in a bit…