Starting a new business? Been in business awhile, but it’s not where you want it to be? Maybe you need more brand recognition — getting people comfortable with the idea of doing business with you. That’s what can spark your growth. So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, try these three easy tips.
Amp up your blogging.
If you don’t have a business blog, start one. If you have one, keep it updated. Keep your readers engaged, and attract new readers. For instance, you could tell people what’s going on behind the scenes with your business. Give people tips on topics related to your industry, such as advice on ”do’s” and “don’ts”.
Perhaps there’s a business that doesn’t compete with yours, and complements it. For instance, if you make special-diet doggy treats, team up with a veterinarian or pet-care service. You each write blogs and “cross-post” them on each other’s website. It expands readership for both businesses, and keeps your content fresh (important for SEO) without you having to do 100% of the work.
Look for wider opportunities to do such cross-blogging. If you’ve got a pool cleaning service, swap blog-posts with pool cleaners in other cities, even in other states. More fresh content for your local readers!
Reach beyond blogging.
You could also aim a little higher than just your brand’s blog. Contribute your original content to local business publications and websites. You don’t have to be a prizewinning writer: just put one plain English sentence in front of another. (Notice there’s nothing fancy about the writing in this column!) Write about what you know: your own industry or profession. Visualize who your readers are — people like your own customers — and put yourself in their shoes. What would they appreciate hearing about? Their appreciation will reflect well on your brand.
In return for your contributed content, publications and sites will give you a “capsule bio”, a few words describing who you are and naming your business. At the very least, they’ll give you a byline that links back to your website, bringing you new potential customers. A win-win! You can also showcase the published article on your own site. The fact that it’s been published elsewhere, adds to your personal and brand reputation.
Stay on top of your marketing.
A large part of marketing these days is maintaining an active presence on social media sites, because that is where your customers are likely to hang out. Tip: never leave your audience hanging during the work week. Ideally you should post at least once a day — even if it’s just a phrase or two — to let your followers know you take your online presence seriously. Keeps them engaged.
Social sites aren’t “set it and forget it” venues. These sites and their respective audiences change over time. They evolve, and you should too. Adapt. Be willing to try other outlets. They may benefit your business even more than old standbys like Twitter and Facebook. Sticking with the standbys is fine, but keep looking for new social opportunities.
Remember: once you start creating a social presence, you must maintain it. If you take lengthy breaks from your social sites, your customers may lose interest. You could lose the audience, and brand influence, you’ve invested time and effort to build.
By blogging regularly with fresh content, adding to your audience through cross-blogging, and staying on top of social media every day, you’ll build and extend your online presence. It will translate into more customers, more business contacts, more sales, more opportunities, and more growth. Ka-ching!