How do I market my business? There’s no easy one-size-fits-all answer.
The world is full of experts and books and blogs with “can’t miss” tips for marketing your small business so you stay busy and profitable. But something you should keep in mind—they probably don’t know the investigations industry, and they definitely don’t know a single thing about YOUR business. No one knows that but you. With that said, what is the first and most critical question you should ask as you set out to make marketing decisions?
“What is working now?”
Build on your successes. The fastest and least risky path to growth is to do more of what is already working for you. How are your best clients finding you? Is it by referrals from friends or colleagues? Is it through a professional directory? Or through a cold Google search? The answer is different for every firm, and it depends on a lot of factors, such as what your specialty is, who makes the hiring decisions, or where you’re based.
Once you know what’s working, it’s a lot easier to know where to invest your marketing time and money. In fact, a good bit of it is pretty much common sense. If you do corporate work for Fortune 500 companies, they aren’t looking for you on Twitter. If you specialize in surveillance in sensitive areas like divorce, don’t expect your clients to post about what a great job you did on their Facebook page. Who knows, maybe for you the best option is to take out ads in publications in your area. But then again, it might be sponsoring a breakfast for a local lawyers’ association. Or you could host a free workshop on ethical guidelines for gathering business data about the competition. But whatever the plan is, it has to fit your firm and your clientele.
So there you have it. There is no magical answer on how to market your business. There is no right plan. There is only your plan. You can’t know what that is until you know what’s already working. And neither can anyone else.