With websites and new businesses cropping up everywhere in 2021, it can be challenging and costly to compete for clients in a crowded market. Yorkshire-based business owner Elaine Ball, Founder of Geospatial Marketing Consultancy Elaine Ball Ltd, has spent her career helping like-minded entrepreneurs turn their businesses into a success. Elaine launched her own business in 2013 and last year defied the odds to increase her revenue by 30% despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Elaine, who is based in Harrogate, said: “More and more of us are starting our own businesses, especially now we have had a taste of working from home during the pandemic and had the time to reassess where we want to be professionally. “I have decades of experience in the marketing industry and experience of helping clients grow and develop their businesses.
“One of the main concerns of a startup is the initial cost of getting the business running. I have developed some cheap and easy marketing tips to help people market their new company or idea.”
Elaine, the world’s first Geospatial Marketeer, said the first tip is to stay on radar. It is easy to create high-quality email newsletters with free tools – no coding or expert computer skills required. Sending out newsletters each month or week is a good way to stay in touch with prospective clients. Elaine said: “Newsletters are easy to make – you just drag and drop the pieces into a template that looks great, with your logos and photos and links to your website.
“They are a good way to stay at the forefront of client’s and potential client’s minds without being too pushy. “I would say, however, don’t buy a list of people’s contact details. Not only is it pricey, it is also spammy and gives off the wrong impression.” Adding a sign up button to your blog or website is also a good way to build your network so you can use it when you need to. “Next time you have collected cards at a conference, don’t just throw them in a drawer – add them to your email list. And if someone contacts you to ask about your product, add them to the list too – just check with them first! “You will soon have hundreds of people on your mailing list and hopefully then they will call you when they need to make a purchase.”
Elaine also values the importance of offering your service and skills for free when you are starting to market your business. This doesn’t mean working for a client for no pay, rather it is about sharing expertise and knowledge. This can be done through email FAQs, social media posts and blog posts offering expert opinions. Elaine said: “Clients care about getting answers to the questions that really impact on their ability to do their job.”
“Potential clients and customers aren’t invested in your new head of HR, but would rather hear how you have just learned the secret to driving drones in adverse weather. (Geospatial insider knowledge!) “You need to find the sweet spot between knowing what your audience wants and how much of that expertise you give away for free.”
Once you have created your content, share it using every free tool you have access to. Emails are just the beginning – share your content through LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and anywhere else you think your audience might be getting their information from. Elaine added: “Getting yourself out there is the final step. Although it may be daunting in the beginning, you want to reach as many people as possible to show off your skillset.”