If you’ve been in business for yourself (or even just aspiring) for any amount of time, you definitely understand the power of marketing. It’s not a new subject at all, it’s probably something you already read about near daily.
A lot of time and effort goes into marketing your business. Whether it’s with content marketing, an email marketing campaign, your company’s blog, etc.
But, how are you marketing yourself? As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you are the face of your company. People are going to know who you are! What are they going to find, and what is it going to look like?
Starting out clean
If you’re starting fresh, that’s awesome. If your reputation online is not looking so hot, this needs to be rectified.
Social Media shows everything business and personal life
The business, marketing and personal worlds have been revolving around social media for years now. The social media sphere has been collecting and storing massive amounts of data for the world to see; make sure you are looking your best.
58% of Americans have a Facebook account. Even more have used it without a profile. The probability of being “stalked” on social networks by potential clients is incredibly high. When the ability is present (as it is with social profiles) people want to know as much as they can about people they are about to do business with.
Social reviews for businesses is another domain that has exploded in popularity. After only a quick Google search, you can find reviews on just about any business in the US. From law firms to hotdog stands, they’re all getting reviewed.
Get a jumpstart – good image social media
If you’re already on social media, start (or continue) to build up your brand’s image. Get great content shared, promote your business blog posts, feature positive customer experiences.
If you’re not on social media yet, get on it. Then, follow the same guide as above. You’ll be starting out with a clean slate, which, is the silver lining to the “no audience cloud.”
No matter what level of involvement you already have in social media, build it stronger. Use social media to add value to your audience with special offers or tutorials. With whatever you’re doing, keep it positive, the world will be watching you.
Make sure your reputation is sparkling
Keep tabs on all of your social networks and anywhere your business is being mentioned. One slanderous comment or negative customer experience can have a very negative ripple effect, potentially costing you potential customers.
Luckily, most platforms give business owners a chance to reply to reviews and comments made about the company. Be vigilant with this opportunity. When approached and executed correctly, you can completely neutralize a potentially horrible situation.
Getting Out There
Make more content
This was just touched on a little earlier in this article, but, it’s important enough to go over with a little more detail.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, share some of your knowledge. Sharing valuable information pays itself back in a variety of ways. It gives you authority on a particular subject to your entire audience, for starts.
Quality, helpful content also draws people in. For example, let’s say you’re a plumber. You could make (or have made) a blog post tutorial on changing the wax seal on a toilet. This is a common problem and really not that hard to do, but, here’s how this little piece of content could work for you.
- “Might try it Mike” looks up how to fix his leaky toilet and finds out it’s the wax seal. Upon researching how to do this, Mike stumbles upon your tutorial. Mike is like a lot of “aspiring handymen” in that he’d like to do the job himself but he’s already intimidated by turning off his water somewhere in his utility room. If Mike finds the content that showed him how to do it, and it appeared to be authoritative; you have a good chance of being the first plumber he calls.
- “DIY Dana” follows the same steps, but, is a little more brave. Dana actually fixes the wax seal using your tutorial. You might not have gotten the service call on this job. But, when it’s time for a bigger project at this house, Dana will probably be calling you!
This isn’t a new strategy at all. Even though it’s a pillar of the somewhat new-school “inbound marketing”; John Deere has been employing this strategy since 1895.
Engage with your audiences
Once you have an audience (or a few), engage them! Ask open-ended questions for your followers to answer. Back and forth dialog on social networks is another way to build authority in a niche and stand out from the competition.
More connections social the better
If you’re only on Facebook, that’s a great start, but, you need to expand. Get on LinkedIn (if you aren’t already) and establish yourself and keep it updated. Instagram continues to explode as a platform with 800 million active monthly users. Twitter still holds power in many different sectors, and, is worth pursuing with over 330 million monthly users.
Get on these networks and get creative. Link your efforts together to build a powerful campaign.
Pursue new skills
To wrap things up, never stop learning. There will always be some new avenue to explore, some new skillset to obtain. Lucky for today’s entrepreneur, amazing and affordable education has never been more attainable.