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4 marketing tips for starters
Starting a business is one thing, but successfully marketing your product or service is often quite another. Without brand awareness and a stable increase in customers or clients, real success will not happen. But how do you as a startup reach as many potential customers as possible? You can read that in the article below: 4 marketing tips for startups.

1. Make it personal
When setting up a marketing campaign, try to give the products or service you are going to market as personal a twist as possible. Generally speaking, people are more likely to buy a product if they can identify with it. Some products are more suitable for this than others; you may find it easier to promote the latest navigation app to certain target groups than - for example - a toaster that prevents slices of bread from burning. But if you concentrate on conveying the message of how this toaster will change the consumer's life for the better ("No more burnt toast!"), people will be more convinced of the need for this product.

2. Appearances count
Marketing is not just about the quality of a product or service, presentation also plays an important role. Whether it is about making a choice for packaging material, assessing the design of a new business website and accompanying brochure or determining a design for your business cards: be prepared to spend time, energy and possibly money on this as well. The eye wants something too. So if you are about to give a presentation about your product or brand to a business contact, make sure that it is done to perfection. Apart from the content, in marketing the presentation also contributes to making a good first impression.

3. Take search engine optimisation (SEO) seriously
As an entrepreneur, you can no longer escape search engine optimisation (often abbreviated to SEO) in the year 2013. SEO is an attempt to optimise the content and navigation of a website, so that it will rank better in Google and other search engines and customers will arrive at your website more quickly than those of your competitors. Most starting entrepreneurs do not yet have an extensive marketing budget. In comparison to other marketing techniques, investing in SEO is relatively inexpensive, although if you were not born with a pen in your hand, you will have to hire a copywriter to create and share new relevant content.

Good SEO results cannot be achieved in a week. Bear in mind that a certain period of time will pass before you actually see a steady upward trend in your visitor statistics. But if you invest the necessary time and energy in SEO in the start-up phase of your company, you will reap the rewards sooner or later. Want to know more about SEO and how you can apply it yourself? Read the articles 6 SEO-tips that are outdated and 6 ways to make your website SEO-proof.

4. Approach your target group actively
If you want to bring your product or service to the attention of your target group, you can of course approach the media, but actively approaching consumers or potential clients is in many cases just as effective. Imagine: you have recently started as a freelance HR consultant and have experience in assisting employees who are facing redundancy. Then there is a chance that part of your online network is on LinkedIn. In that case, make sure you sign up for the right groups and know what is going on within these circles. Approach people (where you see opportunities as an entrepreneur) who have a problem or have asked a certain question in a personal but non-committal way.

If you promote your products or services on social media, always be prepared for questions and/or complaints from your followers and respond in a timely and appropriate manner. Set up alerts so that you know when and by whom your company or brand has been mentioned and, if necessary and possible, contact the person who said something about your product or service. Someone might have a legitimate complaint about your company (late or incomplete delivery, broken cable, etc.), but if you speak to this person in a personal and friendly way and come up with a solution quickly, you kill two birds with one stone: you save your company's reputation and, more importantly, you probably gain a satisfied customer after all.

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