So you’ve got a pile of business cards from prospects, but you haven’t converted them? Great sales stem from great marketing. You can’t grow crops until you plant the right seeds. That’s the purpose of marketing.

Like many businesses small or large in this soft economy, you’re probably looking for a competitive edge on a tight budget. Ignore the hype. Don’t take shortcuts. It isn’t easy to create luck. 

A strong Web presence is helpful, but by itself, it doesn’t create or sustain revenue. Make it a goal to create a trusted brand with high visibility on all fronts. 

Here are 10 best marketing tips: 

1. Form partnerships

Partner with others for success in a strategic alliance. And develop centers of influence – people who can refer business to you, such as members of business associations or Rotary clubs.

2. Community

Become active in the groups and get face time by serving on boards and volunteering your time. Speak before your member peers at every opportunity.

If you’re inexperienced in public speaking, create more opportunities as a guest speaker.

Make sure to make the most profit from speaking opportunities.

3. Cause-related marketing

To build trust and loyal customers, look for opportunities to align with a charity. Whenever possible, use cause-related marketing to increase sales by double digits.

4. Go green

Capitalize on your customers’ environmental concerns by branding and selling your business as green.

You can’t grow crops until you plant the right seeds.

5. Thought leadership

If you have good writing skills, go to your local media outlets and offer to write articles of interest to their readers. Thought leadership articles can be very fruitful, especially if you use the five best practices.  

For the best business writing, remember 25 best practices.

Negotiate a link from your writing to your Web site. Links from authoritative media sites with a good page ranking will boost your site’s prominence.

6. News media 

Positive free mentions in the news media are the  best-possible form of word-of-mouth advertising.

Even if you need PR, but don’t have a budget to hire a PR expert, you can still leverage the news media.

7. Blogging 

Launch a blog on your Web site. For Internet prominence, be sure to implement search engine optimization for a No.1 rated blog.

8. Prospecting for sales

Prospect and make cost-effective sales contacts. It’s possible to prospect  by e-mail and telephone.

9. Web reputation

Review your online presence. Do you have a strong Web reputation. Many companies have unfortunately learned reputations can be destroyed almost instantaneously. So continually check your Internet presence using best practices to use manage your Web reputation.

10. Social media

Use Linked, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook – and the key steps to make your social media work.

Americans are very visually oriented. Many types of businesses can profit from visual-oriented marketing. If you have marketing visuals – pictures and videos — there are five ways to use Instagram for revenue.

Now that marketers have learned Instagram is a potent force in social media — a study shows it beats Facebook, Twitter and Google+ — you might want to learn how to capitalize on it for revenue, too. If you have a business that would benefit from visuals in marketing – pictures and video-sharing opportunities

Oh, and a word about good will – stay on the high road. Don’t give away your power by speaking ill of your competitors in your marketing, and don’t run comparison ads.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more resources:

Overview: Marketing Plan Essentials for Best Results— If you haven’t completed a strong marketing plan to complement your business plan, you’re missing salient benefits and your plan needs four specifics.

Understanding the Marriage of Technology and Human Behavior— s so intertwined with human behavior.

11 Sales Strategies to Outsell Your Big Competitors — Big companies have obvious advantages over small businesses. Their brands are well-known. They can afford sales training, sales-support staff and customer-relationship management software. On the other hand, there are good reasons why Cyber Monday has become big.

Checklist: 19 Quick Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs— Would you like to be your own boss? Are you gainfully employed but have a great entrepreneurial idea? Why not start a new business?

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.”

-Robert Collier


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.