If you run a small business, you’ll have a million and one different things to think about, whether that’s securing sales, having enough financial and staff resources, or doing the paperwork. But, at the heart of every company needs to be an identity, a brand, which defines who you and what you offer. Furthermore, central to that, you need to be spreading the word about it. Below are four ways you can use your brand to penetrate your target market and earn you the revenue you’ve been dreaming of.
How does your company look online? Do you have a stunning, interactive website, a mobile app and lots of busy social media profiles? Chances are, if you’re a small company, you may have one or two of these. Building your brand online isn’t something you can do overnight and requires a fair bit of nurturing. If you’re completely lost with it, and you’re unsure where to go next, think about taking some expert advice from web and app designers, social media gurus, or even hire a new employee to take on the role, full or part-time.
Your website needs to define your company and its personality clearly, taking visitors into your world of business on a journey, and hopefully converting their interest into sales. Your brand logo, colors, and your identity, all needs to be clear to see, depicted across the layout. The website also needs to be mobile-ready, with users able to see it on-the-go on their smartphones, without it looking jumbled up.
Your social media profiles are also an important tool in spreading the word about your brand online. Having a presence on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help build a following, create interest, and raise your profile. These platforms also enable you to connect with people personally, and your customers are likely to love that they have a face to the name.
You need to be posting on social media on a regular basis but be careful about what you say and show. Experts will tell you that bombarding people with overt advertising is not always the best way to attract interest. Instead, you need to be posting about relevant and interesting topics, talking points and giving something extra.
Adding short bursts of video and photos can also help to spark interest. For example, you could provide a behind-the-scenes look at your HQ, and meet the team. Or you could do some video and blog posts, talking as the boss of the company.
Alongside your online presence, you could consider buying into some paid-for advertising, such as Google AdWords or Facebook promotion. Make sure you look into this carefully, to make sure it works for you and it will deliver on your investment.
You could also consider more traditional forms of advertising, in newspapers, on the radio or the TV. But certainly, for the latter, you’ll be looking at a much higher cost. Take some advice on what could work best for your company, so you make some targeted decisions which will hit the audience you want to reach most effectively.
If you’re looking to spread the word about your company and its brand, then another thing you may want to consider is attending business events. These are ideal to show off what you have to offer. Look locally, and you’re sure to find some gatherings organized by the trade community. These could range from a formal exhibition, with display stands, to a breakfast or lunch where you can network with like-minded entrepreneurs.
There will also be larger business events organized at a national level, where you can set up a display alongside hundreds of other companies, and target customers and investors.
However, if you have to pay to attend these events, you should choose even more carefully. Think about the theme of the event and ask yourself whether it suits your business and market. Will you hit the right market by attending? Also, how many visitors are there likely to be based on past events? Will you get to meet thousands of people or just a handful? Tickets and display stands can take a large chunk out of your small business budget, so don’t jump in without doing your homework first.
Having said that, pick carefully, and your presence could help bring in new leads, new sales and spread the word about what you do. If you have a display stand, make sure your branding is prominent, clear and seductive. Try to include an interactive feature of some sort, to bring people to you rather than just standing in front of a board with some leaflets. You need to get people interested! Are there any promotional items you can hand out which will bear your company’s name? A pen, a keyring, a bottle opener? You could even get some special promotional coins made for your business, manufactured by providers that also make them for military and emergency services. Have a look at companies specializing in MilitaryCoinsUSA, for example.
Face-to-face with clients
In a digital age, where so much communicating is done remotely via email, text and video links, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of traditional face-to-face business meetings. These key meetings still very much have a place in today’s working world.
If you’re trying to secure a contract with a company or organization, they are more than likely to expect you to meet with them at their offices. They’ll want to get to know you in person and get a feel for your company through the way you present it. It’s your chance to put your brand in front of their noses and impress them.
If you are going to a pitch to a company, make sure you’re well-prepared. You’ll need to have planned a presentation, setting out what you’re about and what you’re offering. In addition to this, perhaps most importantly, why your audience needs to buy into it. Make sure you are clear and concise in your presentation style, try and use some visual aids and be prepared to take some challenging questions from the floor.