Whether you are a new business or an established one, having a developed relationship with the community is vital for the longevity of your establishment. More often than not, most people will be curious about new businesses and will jump at the chance to see what you are about; however, if you don’t spread the word, no one will know you exist. You can apply all of these tips whether or not you’re a new business or an established one. Here are three guidelines to follow in order to promote your business and put it on the map.
1. Network, network, network
Networking doesn’t just apply to job-seekers but for businesses as well. Make yourself visible in your local community. Attend or sponsor a well-known local event and have representatives from your company available to talk about your business. You never know when, where or with whom you’ll make a valuable business connection.
Another piece to keep in mind when networking: It doesn’t happen over night. People you met three years ago may now start showing up as someone who is in need of your services. Likewise, don’t jump into networking thinking about what others can give to you (ie: their business). Think about what you can offer them; how can you return the favor and help others with their own business needs?
2. Cross promotion
While most would think promoting another business other than your own would be counter-intuitive, it could be just the thing to boost your likeability in the business community. Obviously don’t choose to promote a direct competitor, but look at businesses in your area that make sense to partner with (e.g. builder partnering with a paint store). You’ll gain access to a whole new audience, with new and specific needs.
3. Be social
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, you need to be an active and engaging on social media. Whether it’s regularly providing content to your blog (weekly basis at least), posting industry relevant articles on Facebook or contributing to trending topics on Twitter, it brings your business into online networking. You are the expert in your industry, so prove it!
Think about social media as a drop of water in a still lake. When you send the message out, your followers will pass it along to their own social networks, thus creating the ripple effect and garnering new business from an unexpected demographic. Social media is only the vehicle to help promote your business and expertise to a larger audience. If you’re unsure where or how to start, consult or hire someone who does. Think of it as an investment. Social media is more than throwing random thoughts into the universe, but a targeted and measurable medium–with immediate effects.
There are several ways to make your business a success by enlisting the help of your fellow business owners. Put some elbow grease into your initial marketing plan by attending or sponsoring local events. Always jump at the chance for networking opportunities and be sure to have representatives from your company on site to answer questions and/or make appointments. Enlist the help of your fellow business owners and start a cross promotion marketing partnership, but make sure it fits with your overall goals and industry. Once you’ve circulated your business in the community, move your efforts online. If you haven’t already, the time to start an online social and content marketing strategy is now. Think about where it makes sense to start out and establish a plan you can commit to on a regular basis. Last but not least, try to have some fun with it!
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