By Nicholas Jervis, founder of the UK’s first Twitter Law Firm, @thelegaloracle, and Samson Consulting

Social media sites such as Twitter can be key to marketing your business, but unfortunately these are often overlooked. Below are my top ten tips on how to bring your business into the 21st century, using modern and effective marketing tools.

1. This One Is Crucial

The number one tip is that you absolutely MUST gather your prospects name and email addresses (as a bare minimum) from day one, and then communicate with your prospects regularly until they either buy from you or leave your email list.

Whatever business you are in, having a list of people interested in your products or services is vital to your future success, so put in place a mechanism to allow you to do this easily. There are so many excellent (and cheap) resources which allow you to do this and I talk about them in my free marketing guide- see end of article for a link.

2. Social Media

Social media is here to stay; it is not a passing fad. Ultimately Social Media is nothing new – it is just a new way to connect with your potential customers and suppliers! You must be using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Follow people in your business sector and see how they use Social Media to win new business.

3. Let Google Help You

I could eulogise about Pay Per Click advertising forever. Think about it: your business in front of your potential clients AT THE TIME THEY ARE READY TO BUY YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE.

I do not believe that there is a more powerful form of advertising.

4. Content, Content, And More Content

Google loves content and adding more content REGULARLY is a key component of ranking higher in Google. Your clients or customers also love new content as it proves your expertise to them, and if they are able to find the information or resources they need on your website, the more likely they are to love you too!

5. Google Bought YouTube

Google had its’ own video search engine, yet it bought YouTube. This alone should tell you how important video could/should be to your business.

If people can see you talking to and engaging with them on your website, then you are immediately viewed as more approachable and increase your chances of being contacted.

6. The New Seminars

Webinars are a great way to generate leads in whatever sector you are in. Proving you know your subject by offering webinars to your website visitors and your email list sets you apart from your competitors. By using these methods you are much more likely to tap in to a larger audience with your webinar often available online for people to watch/re-watch at their convenience for months and years to come.

Whilst using modern technology is a great way to help market your business, the ‘old fashioned’, tried and tested methods shouldn’t be overlooked...

7. Someone Already Has Your Next Customer…

Other businesses out there will already have access to a great number of your potential clients/customers. You can reach them all by offering a free webinar to their customer base which pleases them as they are adding value for their clients. Capture their email addresses in the webinar sign up process and hey presto, you can instantly double or quadruple the size of your prospect list.

8. Don’t Underestimate The Power Of The Press

If you can get publications to talk about your business, prospective clients reading about you will be much more inclined to trust you. Such coverage is fantastic for the endorsement of your business. Most people send one press release and give up. If you keep going you WILL be rewarded with coverage.

9. Invest In Local Advertising

Placing adverts in local business sections can be a great way to drive people to you. Don’t fall into the trap, however, of just placing your company name at the top of the ad. Give yourself a catchy headline that will intrigue the reader and make them want to read on. Offer a free report/guide/menu to capture their email address.

10. Less Post?

The recession has been great for your business. There is considerably less post for all of us, business owners and home owners alike. Now is the right time to sneak in and use Direct Mail to generate some highly targeted leads. You can choose the list by business type or income type, so what is stopping you from running a small test?

Nicholas' free guide “The 8 Vital Ways to Generate Leads and Increase Profits!” is available online