4 Tips for Getting Your Small Business Noticed
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are a small business owner, are you involved with your local Chamber of Commerce?
© 2017 Jennifer Wilber