Word of mouth marketing is a true grass roots and organic form of marketing, based on our natural desire to share our experiences with family, friends, and colleagues. If we have a great experience we are proud to share the information and promote that business to an average of 9 people. Do you know how many people we are likely to talk to about a bad experience? 16! Almost double the amount of a positive experience. With social media becoming a part of our daily lives, the impact of these numbers is multiplied.

As a business owner, it becomes imperative to manage word of mouth marketing strategically.

Music is one of the truly universal things that make people feel good all over the world. It also sells - ideas, services, products. The value of music to business owners is obvious and, in some cases, integral to their success. Imagine a dance club or an aerobics program without music. In restaurants, music helps create the desired atmosphere. At hockey games and other sporting events, songs are used to pump up the crowd and the home team. When music is performed or communicated to the public, the people who write and publish these songs must be compensated for it. In Canada, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), is the organization that makes sure customers acquire the correct licence when music is publicly performed.

Have you noticed how many vehicles have vinyl letters on their rear window or bumper? For small businesses, this has been a great way for them to get exposure wherever they go.

For as low as $50, your website address can become a moving billboard. It’s funny when you see beat-up vans or trucks with the name of a company and telephone number displayed on the back of their vehicle. I often wonder if people have the confidence to call these service people after seeing how they take care of their automobile.

Fact: Networking is essential to the growth of our business.

OK, we agree with this fact but how do we connect with the ‘right’ people? Since many decision makers rarely attend local networking events, how do we build rapport with them if they’re not there?

You can keep attending the many events around town, sampling the food, balancing the wine glass, exchanging business cards and in general, having a pleasant time or you can put some thought into this process and to use a well-worn phrase: “Work smarter not harder.”

1. Clarify your target market and value proposition

For small business owners, there are always so many overhead costs that the advertising budget ends up getting the least amount of attention. But it is important to realize that building up brand awareness through advertising is an ongoing process. It does not have to be costly such as buying spots in newspapers or on radio or TV. There are several ways to create a buzz about your business even on a tight budget.

You need to answer three questions before deciding on the ways to connect with your clients.

What is your message?

If you have ever been asked to speak in front of a group, you likely know the fear that experience can bring on.  Whether public speaking or making a presentation, you want to craft a meaningful message and deliver it to create results for your audience.

Here are some strategies and tips for a powerful presentation that will impact your listeners.