by John Eberhard

I was counseling a client recently on developing an outflow state of mind. And by “outflow” I mean sending out promotional messages to your target public.

It is more vital than ever for small business owners these days to get into a state of mind where you are continually and regularly outflowing to your public. You have to be continually sending out messages to your public to remind them that you are there, to tell them about your latest offerings, to let them know about your latest sale, and to give them compelling reasons why they should buy your products or use your services.

I find that too many business owners never send out much in the way of promotion at all, or if they do, they send out one big push and think that they are done. Outflow and promotion have to be a continual and continuing process. You should be thinking every week about how you can get out some type of promotional outflow.

I think it is better to have a regular flow going out every week, even if it is a smaller flow, then one single large promotion. For one thing, when you continue sending out promotion all the time, you are not only continually reminding the public that you are there, you are also demonstrating your ongoing survival and unkillability. For another thing, one single large promotion is soon forgotten, but if someone keeps seeing your communications, they remember you and will tend to think of you when they need your product or service.

Here are some tips on developing this outflow state of mind:

  1. If you have a blog, write something and post it once a week or more. This takes a little creativity to get going, but it is vital and besides that, it is free! You can of course post an article (300-700 words) about your business or industry, but you can also post short comments of 100 words about something you noticed in your industry like a current trend. You can post a link to some other web site where you saw something interesting. You can put up a video in your blog, using the embed code that appears to the right of any YouTube video (use the HTML editing mode on your blog to do this).

I find that I can write an article once a week for my newsletter and blog, often just based on something that happened in the prior week with some client (like I’m doing now).

And don’t forget that every time you post something to your blog, you should go to www.pingomatic.com and send a “ping” (a notification) to all the blog search engines, which is what brings traffic to your blog to read your new article or post. Writing a regular blog post and then pinging the search engines is a great way to get out promotion, and it’s free.

  1. Compile a list of customers and/or prospects if you don’t already have one, and send them formletters or postcards. Ask them for more business, ask them for referrals, comment on something in your industry, give some tips, remind them that you exist.
  1. Compile a list of email addresses of customers and prospects, and compile an email newsletter to them. Get on one of the online email services like Aweber.com and they have templates for HTML newsletters that you can use that look great. Once again, ask them for more business, ask them for referrals, comment on something in your industry, give some tips, remind them that you exist.
  1. Get on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Post updates on what you are doing with your business. These don’t have to be “Buy my new _____ now, click here” type messages, but can be more subtle, like “I am consulting with a new client today on how to expand his business.” On most of these sites it is wise to also sprinkle in some personal stuff, such as “Just got back from a great weekend in Arizona.” Observe what other people do on the site. Of course it also helps on these sites to have lots of friends or followers, so you have to spend some time developing that too.

Remember, promoting your business regularly is more important than one big blast. Your frame of mind should be “What can I send out to promote my business this week?”