Spend time researching your target audience, the publications they read, the tv programs they watch, the radio stations they listen to and the websites they visit. Observe the language involved in relevant magazines, how articles are composed. Think about the message you want to convey. What is your USP (unique selling point)? Make your advantages easy to understand. Don’t try and be everything to everyone. If you are going to the effort of putting together a press release, ensure it is attention grabbing. Read it aloud to hear if it sounds interesting rather than dull and monotonous.

Consider your clients in terms of long-term relationships, be generous and share information freely. Send friendly emails and spend considerable time and energy building up your contacts. Learn to deal with rejection, and never give up. Find online communities and groups that attract your target audience ie: those that focus on your area of interest. Join up, network and participate regularly in discussions. Offer free advice and write articles, positioning yourself as an expert in your field. This helps generate word of mouth referrals. Always use a ‘signature’ that contains a link to your website to reinforce your products or services, drive traffic and improve (SEO) search engine optimisation. Perhaps include basic information about the author at the base of articles and submit these to specific sites that are hungry for content. Be patient, it may take several months to gain the recognition you deserve.

Ask the local papers if they have a free ads section. Put flyers in the windows of newsagents, post offices, supermarkets particularly places where your target audience is likely to hang out. Remember your leaflet or business card needs to be eye-catching enough to compete with all those other advertisements. One-off advertising campaigns or single mail shots seldom succeed, you must keep repeating yourself to your target audience so their cluttered brains absorb your message.

Submit your details and website to online directories (be selective as some are constantly ringing to get £ for paid listings). Partner with other companies reaching your chosen market. Exchange links or ad banners with organisations offering complimentary (similar but not the same) services to your own. Do not choose completely irrelevant links as google will not value these as highly as relevant ones. Plus your audience will return more frequently if you supply a directory of useful and informative resources for them to explore.

Ensure you provide website visitors with original content they cannot read anywhere else to keep them hooked. Remember to include a call to action, to prompt the viewer to ie: request further information, fill out an online form / survey or buy a product or service. One suggestion is to provide people with a way to automatically sign-up / subscribe to your newsletter. Monthly e-newsletters remind readers to visit your website again. Include features of interest to your audience, not just a ‘sales pitch’ ie: articles, reviews, customer feedback, how to’s etc. Formulate a plan to attract and increase subscribers. Perhaps, offer them a free e-book that they can download.

Ensure your pages load fast or your visitors will leave. Tell them what you are offering straight away, don’t confuse them. Check your spelling and grammar. Ensure the text is easy to read, failing this provide the option to enlarge / resize. Hire a web designer (wink!) to create a professional finish. Use appropriate headings (key phrases) to grab the reader’s attention, and translate them into h1 tags, which are given higher importance when crawled by search engines. Research shows that people do not read web pages like books. Instead they scan for headings and subheadings and only read the material if it appeals from the overview.