(Updated post from 2016)
Every day we are bombarded with 34 G (gigabytes) of information, thinking about it isn’t that difficult. If you think about it we spend all day consuming Facebook, advertisement, books, papers, TV. How does your business suppose to get noticed?
Funny you ask because these are a few actions that you can take to get your business under your potential customer’s radar:
Tell your friends and contacts
The first thing you should do when you start your company is telling your friends and former colleagues, this way you make them aware that you are open for business and they will recommend you next time someone asks them if they know someone with your business skills. I have endless stories of being at a party when someone tells me they need a proofreader or a photographer. First thing I do is crawl through my mental database to see whether I know someone who could help. Linkedin is a good place to announce your new venture.
Google my business
In other words, put your business in Google maps. Google my business is free and very useful to find local customers. When they google ‘bakery near me’ your business should appear. It only takes minutes to set up.
Attend meetings of professional groups and networking events
There are various places to find out where these events happen, and they are useful for a particular type of businesses. Make sure you choose the ones that your potential clients are attending. For example, if you offer business advice or accounting why don’t you go to your council’s businesses meet up?
Run workshops that relate to your business. My friend has a stationery shop. Around Christmas, she runs a workshop to teach kids how to make handmade Christmas cards. The course fee only covers the materials but at the end of each session, all the mums make sure they stock up with paint and glue for their kids.
Participate in talks, teach or host webinars
Offer to be a speaker at industry conferences or local business groups. There are a few benefits you can get from that, and name recognition being one, but you will also get contacts and publicity. At the same time, you show people you know what you are talking about. You can teach at business schools or seminars; your pupils might be your clients one day. You can do all this online to save time and money by hosting a webinar. Webinars are also useful to demonstrate a product.
Give your time for free
Recently I was given a one-hour consultation for my business. They flagged several things that pixel and ink could benefit from. If at some point I have to contract someone to help me I know exactly which company I would use. It’s simple; you give your expertise to show how good you are.
We have talked a lot about blogging. You know how true believers of the sentence ‘Content is King’ we are. Blogging helps your SEO (ranking higher in Google), increases trust (you know your s***), gets people back to your site (opportunities to sell your products) and gives value to your brand (you create a tone of voice and emotional connection with your customers).
Guest blog post
We sometimes write on a printer’s blog. We talk about branding and marketing, this is a good way to spread our name to potential customers and the guest blog gains some valuable information they might not be blogging about. It’s a win-win situation. You can also host guest posts on your website, so followers of your guest blogger might start following you.
Write a book
Writing a book has two potential advantages. One is trust, which we have spoken about when we talked about blogs. The other advantage is that a book could become a regular source of income, like something you write once and that people keep buying. I’m not talking about novels, I’m referring to business books. For example, my friend follows a blog by a nutritionist and health fanatic. Not long ago she published a book about fitness and food recipes.
Get into publications
Doing something worth to mention on the news or magazine? Get a Press Release Pack ready and send it. For example the launch of your book or a new revolutionary product.
Get testimonials and reviews
When you book a hotel online, what do you do before even looking at the price? Exactly! You check the reviews. Having reviews and testimonials on your website increases the chance to close a sale. We are social people, and trust what others say about you.
You could use an influencer to speak about your product. For example a collaboration with someone that has the same customer like you.
Make sure you get something out of all these, don’t do it without understanding what will be the benefit. Because then, as my friend says, you just doing Tarot, guessing.
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