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How is the best way to promote your business?

I am in the 11th grade and I have a small business that I'd LOVE to grow off of. The business consists of selling deserts and smoothies just like some other companies. I'd love to know how to set myself up for success cause I like making money and in the future I'd love to have a big booming business that can bring our trash economy out of the dirt. gettothebag money helpme moneymaker entrepreneur finance small-business

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Jeff’s Answer

There are many, many ways to promote your business. And there are lots of ways to go about deciding how best to do it. For a new business like yours, I would recommend doing what we did when we first started (and still do now 2 years later) which is to sell to your customers in-person at local craft fairs, markets and pop-up events. Not only will you get to sell your products and get feedback from real people to improve your products, but you'll start to get a clearer picture of who your perfect customer is for more focused marketing later.

When we started out a couple years ago, we would bring boxes of the wallets we made to local fairs and immediately started to learn a ton about our market just by talking to people. We learned that while we could try to target everyone (which is hard if not impossible), we could instead focus on the type of person who likes our wallets most. Doing this makes coming up with a marketing strategy much easier and it makes executing on that strategy way less time consuming, less costly and ultimately leads to a better return on the money you spend.

For us, we realized our perfect customer is guys between the ages of 25-35 who have a little money to spend and are looking to upgrade the everyday "essentials" in their life but want to carry something slim and minimal to fit their millennial lifestyle. So we market where that type of person is looking – social media (mostly instagram), at shows like Renegade Craft and in upscale boutiques in cities like Portland, San Francisco, LA, Austin, NY, Chicago, etc. where that type of person often lives and shops.

PS if you're not ready to try to get into markets and actually start selling your stuff, try just giving away samples wherever there's a bunch of people hanging out. You'll get the same feedback and consumer insight. Just don't be shy and be sure to ask lots of good questions!

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Jennifer’s Answer

Gauge your audience, research the best platforms to market to for the age demographics, etc. Make a brand for yourself, blast your brand on numerous social media platforms. Try to network as much as possible and market your brand. 

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

Set short terms goals, that have realistic time period expectations.
Have a weekly to-do list that you can physically see and scratch off after accomplishing.
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Cassandra’s Answer

Hi Khalil,

You have a very motivated mindset, to already have a small business while in high school, great work! Having your own business can be so rewarding, especially if it is in your local community. I also have a small business that I run online. Some suggestions that I think would benefit you, would be to use social media as a free marketing tool. You can use facebook, instagram, even twitter to promote yourself. If you drive a car, you can even create a sticker decal for your car with your social media handles, for people in your area to see. Another great option is to consider attending fairs or events in your surrounding areas; many of them have a very small fee to be a part of the event. I am wishing you luck on your journey!