You don’t have to be a master marketer to master the art of getting people to experience your business. You have more resources than you may think. And while social media can be beneficial to interacting with your customers, you must do a lot more to get your name out there. There is a whole world of promotional opportunities beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Be TRULY social. The kind of social you were before you got permanently connected to the internet. Give people the opportunity to get to know you in person. Word of mouth is still alive and well in the business world. Become a regular at networking events related to your industry. Then go home and ‘like’ your friend’s new haircut.
Think outside of your expertise
Attend events and join groups that aren’t necessarily within your area of expertise. Why? You’ll expand your knowledge of the business community and gain a leg up on the competition. If you’re a social media consultant, try attending a health care conference. There could be an entire population of people interested in your services that you haven’t considered before.
Ask your friends
Your network is bigger than you think, don’t be afraid to ask your friends! You are friends for a reason. Ask if they know people with whom you should connect with to promote your business. They're your friends, they want to see you succeed as much as you do.
Sponsor an event
Put a face on your brand, don't underestimate the human element of your business. People want to do business with people. Sponsor a charity event or a children’s sports team. Be sure to make it about the charity, not about promoting your brand. When people find that thing that makes them like your company, they at twice as likely to tell their friends about it. People should remember you for the right reasons, not as a shameless and heartless attempt to gain attention.
These days, it’s easier than ever. Reach out to the people you’ve met at networking events or know through online networking, that have blogs or publications and ask them if you can write a guest post. But be sure the post actually pertains to what they do—don’t just blatantly promote your brand or product.
“It's a long climb to the clouds, even then, you have to face the giant.”
Being able to give a stellar presentation is a great skill. An even better skill, one could argue—is the ability to speak eloquently when under pressure or when taken by surprise. Make use of your family, if you don't have time to take a class. Do a mock presentation with the wife and kids in the living room They will be more than happy to be involved, this will help them feel ownership in the family business. When networking and chatting with clients and consumers, you need to be ready to address questions and concerns in a way that will bolster your brand, rather than leaving you stumped or fumbling through “umms” and “uhhs.”
Take a writing class
You may not be as good a writer as you think you are. There is always more to learn. If your website and social media posts aren’t well-written, people won’t take you seriously. Taking a class is also a great networking opportunity! You'll have a captive audience so bring those business cards!
Follow industry trends
Find out what the hot trends are and figure out how you can apply them to your business. But make sure the trends are relevant to the way you want to expose your brand. Just don't sacrifice legitimacy for looking hip and current. Trends are a double edged sword.
Create a speaking opportunity
They don’t have to be directly related to your industry. Join groups that cater to young pros and share networking tips. And many community organizations and churches offer small group classes for their members. Call a few and offer to host once or twice.
Try random giveaways
This is a great way to expose potential customers to your brand. Although this will take some planning and money it can have long term benefits Perhaps people haven’t purchased your product or service because they aren't sure if it’s worth it. Reach out to people at networking events, on social media or via email to see if they’d like to try your product or service for free. Remember to research people before reaching out to them to determine if it makes sense to target them.
Wax on – Wax off, Danial Son
Cheesy but true. When you find yourself struggling in your business, remind yourself why got into business, take a few moments to reflect. Remind yourself what is was that made you passionate in the beginning You may find a way to apply that passion to your marketing plan. In the end, it's up to you how you will get people to pay attention to your business. Are you going to depend on the magic bean approach of social media? It's a long climb to the clouds, even then, you have to face the giant.