Jennifer Wilber works as an ESL instructor, substitute teacher, and freelance writer. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and English.
If you’ve just started a new small business, you may be wondering how to make your business stand out from the crowd, build a following, and pull in new customers. The way you market your business and build your company’s brand is vital to the success of any new small business.
Tips for Getting Your Small Business Noticed
- Have appealing and professional visual branding.
- Have a professionally designed website.
- Make use of social media.
- Get involved with local networking events.
1. Have Appealing and Professional Visual Branding.
One of the most important things to do when you first start a new business is to create appealing, professional, and consistent visual branding. The first step in creating a visual branding identity is creating a logo and choosing a design scheme.
In most cases, you will want to hire a professional to design your logo for you. If your business is in graphic design or if you have professional logo designing experience, you may be able to get away with creating your own logo, however. Your logo should stand out and deliver a clear message about what your business does and what sets it apart from the competition.
The rest of your print and web marketing materials, such as your website, social media accounts, and print marketing materials should use the same color scheme and similar design elements as your logo to keep your message consistent across all of your marketing platforms. Your visual branding is the first impression potential customers and clients get of your company. You want that first impression to count. Your design scheme and logo should be memorable, consistent, and represent your brand well.
2. Have a Professionally Designed Website.
It is important to have a professionally designed website if you want your business to be taken seriously. Potential customers will be searching for businesses like yours via search engines or will be seeking more information about your business after hearing of it through word-of-mouth. A polished, professionally designed website that reflects your brand builds confidence in potential customers and keeps your brand fresh in the customer’s mind. Your website should look professional, contain relevant information about your business – including contact information, and be updated regularly. The exact content contained on your website depends on your industry.
If you are selling a product directly to customers, you need to have an easy-to-use and secure shopping cart on your site. If you are a local brick-and-mortar business, your website should contain directions and information about what makes your business worth checking out. Businesses that provide a service, such as freelance writing or graphic design, need to include easy to find contact information, testimonials from previous clients, and examples of previous work to show what you can do. Unless you are in the business of website design, you should consider hiring a professional to design your website for you. Relying on free website creation tools will likely make your business website appear amateurish to potential clients or customers.
3. Make Use of Social Media.
In today’s business world, it is important to learn how to utilize social media the right way. While it is important to have a professional website for your small business, customers will spend more time interacting with your brand through social media. Make sure to have accounts on each of the major social networks, and keep them updated. It isn’t enough to simply have a social media presence. You must interact with your followers to build relationships and post new updates on a regular basis. Try to share engaging content that your followers will want to read and share, rather than inundating them with a constant stream of sales pitches each day.
When you first start, you may be able to get away with keeping up with your social media accounts on your own. Once your business and follower base has grown, you may want to consider hiring someone to help manage your social media accounts so that you can focus on other aspects of your business. This person or team could either be in-house employees, or a freelancer hired on contract.
4. Get Involved with Local Networking Events.
It also isn’t enough to get your business noticed online. To maximize your exposure, you should do traditional face-to-face marketing in your community as well by getting involved with local networking events. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out about local business networking events, and use these opportunities to meet other local business owners and potential clients. If possible, try to get on the committee for such events to avoid being just another face in the crowd. You can build valuable connections through networking with other local business owners.
Even if you don’t meet new potential clients at these networking events, you never know when another business owner you meet may have a client of their own who is looking for just the type of service or product that your business specializes in. The more people you know in different industries, the more client referrals you may get. You will also want to apply for local awards to get the word out about your small business to make a name for yourself in your local community.
It is important to connect with new customers and other business owners both online and face-to-face. If you follow these tips, you should be able to build buzz for your new company in no time. Your company will stand out to potential customers, rather than being just another startup among many.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2017 Jennifer Wilber
Cledith Crumbley on May 23, 2018:
Yes Dennis it is an excellent time to get involved with businesses in America. I am an American and would love to introduce you to some businesses that are multi-trillion dollars industries. Would you be interested in learning more about this business? My email address is:
Dennis Thorgesen from Beatrice, Nebraska U.S. on December 23, 2017:
According to everything I am hearing the year 2018 is the best year to start a business in America. The first and most important thing to do is get a tax consultant and talk to them.
As I understand the new tax law most people who start small businesses will have a fantastic tax break, enough to make it well worth while to start a business.
I am not a tax consultant. The information I was given is based on the new tax laws. Please talk to a tax professional before starting a business.
This said, when you start paying the professionals for the online branding work, IE website, professional graphics, social media set up, Search engine optimization, and someone to teach someone in your organization how to use social media you can easily spent a few thousand dollars with recurring monthly payments for white hat search engine optimization.
This year as well there are two new laws coming into effect for most of the world. One is General data protection regulation (GDPR), the other is know your client/anti money laundering (KYC/AML)
There are many companies in a panic at the moment trying to figure out how to comply by the deadline. I just went with Software as a service (SaaS) which meets both.