As a small business you already have enough to worry about. So it's safe to say that you are most likely a multi-tasker. Why not have your business doing the same thing. All businesses need to have recognition within their target market, but small businesses need to remain current, personal, have stellar customer service, and sustain a unique existence in the market. Here are some strategies that can help your small business have a presence in the minds of their target market.
1. SEO marketing
Every business has a website and if not you need to suck it up and move into the new age of technology. However the problem isn't solved there. You need to promote that site as soon as you get it. This is part of staying current. Google is your friend and the fact is they want to see you succeed; you just have to speak their language. Use blogs, social networking, and keyword placement to make your site search friendly and user friendly.
2. Social Networking
It is no longer an option or choice to be a part of facebook, twitter, or become an avid blogger. Your audience is doing it and what better way to reach them than to become part of their own online community. Again, this is part of staying current and constantly reminding your audience that you are there. Not even an ad in a magazine can do that.
3. Discover your Unique Selling Position (USP)
What is that gives you that edge in comparison to your competition? Figure out why people should come to your business over your competitor and you have found marketing gold. It's not an easy task but if anyone should know what makes you stand out, it would be you.
4. Give free advise / volunteer
Nobody likes the word free when it comes to their business and their time but the truth is volunteer work often leads to bigger and better that's just on the horizon. You have to pick and choose your battles. If you see an opportunity don't pass it up just because you don't have financial compensation comparable to work you've done in the past. See it for what it is and if anything you've made a believer out of one person that I promise will talk you up for many years after the project is done.
5. Be personal
Part of why people choose small businesses is because of the relationships that are built in the process. Don't deny your client and yourself of that. Send them an email, gift, discounts, event invitations/announcements, and/or simple a cup of coffee to show them your appreciation. Always remain professional but open up and maintain that budding relationship.
6. Participate in Trade specific events
This is a no brainer. These events are not only an opportunity to network but also an opportunity to learn.
7. Post event press releases, white papers, news updates, targeted articles, and/or writing a business-related book.
Ok so maybe a full book is pushing it, but it certainly doesn't hurt to strive for that. The important part is that you get the point on the significance of writing your thoughts on your expertise. Your clients want to see why they chose and why they should suggest you or your services to a friend. The key is to make it useful and resourceful otherwise it's just a waste of time.
8. Create a buzz for your free stuff
You have a logo, use it! Put it on everything, t-shirts, hats, cups, stickers, etc. Anything trade specific that will have your business in association with what you do on the desks of your target market. This will without a doubt give you staying power and everyone loves swag!
9. Submit your work for industry awards
Everyone wants to say they have award-winning work, but rarely do they ever pursue it. Of course you don't want to be rejected or not chosen but at least you are getting your name out there. Again it's part of the learning experience.
10. Make friends with people in high places
This one sounds the worse but we all know it's true. It pays to know people. You spend years networking and getting yourself in the market, now it's time to make those connections count. Stay in touch with those directly involved in your market, your personal interests, and your industry giants; these are the people that will open new and exciting doors for you and your business.
Please leave your comments if you felt this article was helpful or useful in anyway. I'd love the feedback!