I regularly attend business networking events which have proved to be hugely beneficial in so many ways. Aside from the huge opportunities to learn from other business owners, networking events provide an invaluable chance to sell yourself!

It doesn’t matter whether you provide a service, sell goods or manufacture a product; you’re in the business of sales: selling yourself, selling your business and selling your reputation.

Many business owners focus so much on improving the quality of their services and products that they forget one of the key drivers of success: sales and marketing. Marketing yourself effectively is a process that takes plenty of effort and a considerable amount of investment.

It is an area that you absolutely cannot ignore, especially if you are a small business, regardless of how much better you feel you are versus your competition because the reality is, unless you have a huge marketing budget very few people in your target market will be aware of you.

When budgets are tight or challenges arise, often marketing is one of the first things that small business owners look to cut. This is a big mistake! Without it you will have no customers. No customers means no sales and no sales means you do not have a business.

Your primary objective with regard to your marketing strategy is to inform your potential customers and clients about the services and products you offer and show them what they stand to gain by choosing your business. A good tip to do this effectively is to develop your 60 second elevator pitch.

Networking events offer you a great opportunity to get your face and name in front of a like-minded audience. Most of the people who attend these meetings will be people who also want to raise their profile and that of their business.

So my advice would be to always keep your radar up for new opportunities, never be too busy to discuss potential new business and ALWAYS make sure you carry your business card.

Of course business networking is just one strategy you can easily adopt to market your business effectively. One of the other channels that absolutely cannot be ignored is your web presence. Modern marketing strategies for the internet include techniques such as pay-per-click (PPC) marketing, content marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) etc.

While designing a marketing strategy for your business, invest in gathering accurate data, creating a good campaign that will appeal to the target demographic, and finding ways to distribute your campaign across various media. The internet also offers you the chance to directly interact with your customers and clients to forge a more personal relationship with them.

Remember that a good marketing strategy need not be costly, but risking too little on a great idea may not provide enough of an opportunity for business growth. Take the time and effort to plan a sound marketing strategy that is backed by data and your business will experience an increase in revenue in no time.