Apparently, starting out as an entrepreneur especially in Cambodia, you have very limited capital to work with. Therefore, you need to make the presence of your business known by spending as little as possible.
Entrepreneurs, in general, need not only to be familiar with the core components of a fundamental business, but how to attain them inexpensively. The elements that make up a successful marketing strategy are:
- company logo
- social media
- video presentations
- Search engine presence
- list building
What you must realize is how setting them up can make you successful both online and off. Instead of hiring agencies that charge hundreds or thousands of dollars to build these resources, there are numerous services online that will provide them for much less.
Company Logo for Entrepreneur
First you’ll need a business logo to include it on all of your cards, brochures, letterhead, website, and all other company media. Without one, your business lacks a sense of identity. Rather than creating your own, you can find a company or individual online who will do it for around $50 (whatever price you want to work out with an individual bidder). Simply go to sites like Freelancer.com or Upwork to find skilled logo makers. The price will be well worth it.
Website for your company
While traditional website builders charge thousands of dollars to build professional websites, if your business is not an ecommerce store, you can have one put together on sites like Word Press (WP) for much less. You may need to hire someone with expertise to set up your site on WP, but once that has been done, customization is fairly easy. Your website will need to change frequently in order for Google to rank it in its search engine. Hence, you’ll need a site that has great SEO functionality.
Avoid customized sites. Although they look great online, when making changes, a great amount of the code must be rewritten. However, with template based sites, site owners are free to change things as the text, color, and graphics themselves. Recreating code requires about 50 hours, plus the site owner must devote a great amount of time to spend with the developer to make sure the site appears exactly as he/she wants it to. That alone will run hundreds of dollars.
In order to have customers find your site, you must choose an ideal domain name. Keep these things in mind when creating one:
- Make it as short and easy to remember as possible.
- Use easy-to-spell words one can spell out by hearing it. Avoid using unusual last names or obscure, not so everyday words.
- Avoid hyphens and numbers.
- Include keywords that are relevant to your business.
- Do not include trademark names in your domain (such as JustLikeStarbucks.com or NikeAlternative.com).
If your website is a template-made one, don’t opt for a free domain that includes the site maker’s name. For example, if your site was made on WordPress, and your company is named Phnom Penh Restaurant Review, ideally, you want your domain to be http://phnompenhrestaurantreview.com rather than http://phnompenhrestaurantreview.wordpress.com. Not only is the latter more difficult to type, but creates an unprofessional image of your company.
With the millions of websites in existence today, a domain name you come up with may already be taken. Hence, it is best to come up with several that are ideal for your company. To see if your desired domain names are available go to https://www.namecheap.com/. If it is not, this site can help you create one that is based on similar keywords you input.
Social Media for Cambodian entrepreneur
Having connections on various social media sites is extremely vital when marketing your own business. Despite contrary beliefs that social media makes businesses look amateurish, the vast majority of companies can be found on sites as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook. However, Google Plus is best for business since it is part of Google and thus, its pages rank quickly, unlike the aforementioned sites. Google Plus has their own special Business Page that enables businesses to establish better connections, something most other media sites lack.
Search for your demographics (young or old, geographic location, trends, lifestyles, business or hipsters) when choosing which media sites you plan to use. Focus only on two social media sites as time restraints may make difficult to communicate with more on a daily basis.
Nothing presents your business better than a video. It serves as your company’s commercial and gives a detailed presentation that explains everything about your business and what its inside looks like. Your video can be viewed 24/7 on your business website, your social media pages, and on YouTube as well.
If you have no experience in making videos, it is best to hire someone who does. Creating a well thought out, optimized video that delivers a high conversion rate takes time. Likewise, there are elements that go into a professionally made presentation as script writing, filming, editing, and music overlays. Videographers typically have their own rooms with studio lighting, high quality cameras, and computers with professional video-editing software. Hiring your video done is indeed costly, but is crucial, if you want to win over its viewers.
There are freelancers who are skilled at making videos providing you furnish them with ample brochures, pictures, video clips, and any other visual material pertaining to your business and its operations. Upon publishing your own company video through YouTube, you can obtain links which are extremely SEO powerful. Because YouTube is the biggest source of online videos, not having a presentation on their site can greatly limit your business exposure.
After you have created your website and social media profiles, you will want to apply with listing service to obtain as many business listing directories as you can. Search engine optimization for your website or videos is not something you can “set and forget”, you must work consistently to maintain an optimal SEO ranking. Hence, hiring a quality SEO professional may seem costly, but is worth every penny you’ll spend. Just get references before choosing one.
If you are on a budget, you’ll want to use:
1. Apple Maps
4. Google Plus for small business
7. Yahoo Cambodia business
As you register your business in these directories, you will want pictures of its outside, inside, staff, and products or services as well as a link to your website. Include a description of your company and its functions too.
Again, you want your business to have all the essential components that enable it to function not only online, but off line as well. This means you must create a list of contacts via emails, phone numbers, social media likes and follows, and app notifications. You can gather info from prospects by offering them something free, known as a funded proposal. This is an item you can give away in exchange for email addresses. For example, if you repair bicycles, you can offer a free ebook entitled something like “15 Simple Bicycle Maintenance Tips.” To obtain this book, potential customers must fill out a simple form on your website that asks for their email address and other relevant info.
As for off line communications, you will definitely need a landline phone. Never operate your company off of a cell phone. Why? A cell phone lacks the features of a corporate phone system. So, if you’re busy and can’t take phone calls at the moment, people will want to leave messages, but won’t feel inclined to if they get a Verizon or A T & T generic phone greeting. Likewise, they can hear what’s going on in the background as you talk, especially if you work in a noisy environment. This not only makes for annoying conversations, but makes it hard for them to get through to you. It gives them the impression that their calls are not so important and that your company can’t afford a landline system.
Overall, a landline phone system makes you sound professional and greatly decreases the likelihood of scaring away potential customers. Finally, landline phones have internet connections which greatly help your search engine rankings with listing services.