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Starting a small business can be the adventure - and opportunity - of a lifetime. Founding a company based on a craft, trade, or academic skill can be genuinely liberating. And yet starting a small business  can also be a daunting task, as the small business owner must acquire an array of skills in addition to their specialization, such as invoicing clients, managing accounts payable and receivable, keeping on top of taxes and - especially important - successfully marketing to current and potential clients.

Marketing, aside from your core specialization, is the heart and lifeline of your business. No matter what kind of business you run, from carpet cleaning companies to direct selling cosmetics businesses, from cabinet refacing companies to craft-based Etsy shops, here are five of the best ways to market your small business.

Five Ways to Market Your Small Business

Utilize Existing Relationships

Your friends, family, and acquaintances should always be your first go-to when you are starting a business. Talk to them about what you do and how your business could help them, and ask them to assist you in getting the word out. Those closest to you will be your biggest cheerleaders, and very often they will be only too happy to help you by recommending you to their friends, sharing your social media posts, or forwarding your marketing emails to those they know.

Make sure they're in tune with what you do, and if they have a need for your product or service, they will usually prove a loyal customer base if you take care of them as you would any other client.

Build Your Social Media Following

This is a fast way to get the word out about your company and keep your audience updated on what you're doing. Best of all, unless you opt for sponsored or boosted posts on the social media platforms you use, it's free. Make sure to invite and follow all your friends, family, and acquaintances - as well as other business owners - on your social media channels. Familiarize yourself with the major platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and pay attention to your analytics, which most platforms provide at no cost. Your analytics will tell you what kind of content is performing best, and at what times of day, to help you better strategize your social media marketing.

Always Carry Business Cards

Whether you're at a trade show or just casually chatting with someone in the street, always part ways after you give them a card. Putting something physical in their hands will help them remember you, and if they're interested in what you do, they'll likely save it for a time where they need or want your product or services. Business cards can be made very cheaply, and they are great investments. When designing your company's print marketing run, ensure that the design can be adapted to business cards to create cohesive branding across all your business print mediums.

Design and Execute a Print Marketing Campaign

While digital marketing is important, print marketing is still critically vital to your company's success. Putting a physical object into someone's hands can make it more likely that they will remember you and your company. Aim to create a visually expressive design for your print marketing items that will simply but beautifully convey your company's mission, product, and service, and provide value to potential customers by creating trade show items such as pens, bags, and other reusable items. If you are not a designer by trade or don't have one in-house, most printing companies will have in-house design services that will work with you to create a memorable print marketing campaign.

Use Email Marketing

Most people read their email every day, which is why email marketing is so remarkably effective. Even if they don't open the email, clients and potential clients will register the title and company name before they delete it. Email marketing platforms provide the most bang for the buck, as many platforms are very inexpensive to use and result in fantastic returns on every dollar invested.

Whether you're just getting your small business off the ground or looking to up your marketing game, these five great strategies will assist you.

 Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

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