You think you have done all the hard work, set yourself up as a business, contacted a brand specialist or graphic designer, created a brand identity to give you consistency and professionalism, but you are still waiting for the phone to ring and the leads to come flooding in? So what is the point of all the above if no one knows about YOU!
So where do we start?
Social media is the biggest platform for getting your brand out there to the masses. It is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to get information out to the entire planet with a click of a button! But are you using it to it’s full potential?
Maybe like me in the early stages, I created a unique, fun and attractive brand, but I was too scared to use social media to inform and announce about what I had created. With all the big guns out there who would take any notice of little Katie sat there all alone with a silent phone! Then the penny dropped, how do people know I’m here, back then it was someone flicking through yellow pages or a top ranking on Google search!
So, instead of waiting for the phone to ring, I started to network. Weekly meetings to build up relationships with potential clients, contacting local printers and people in the same field as myself. Then gradually my name started to become recognised. Work started coming in by word of mouth, but was still painfully slow. Nowadays, you have so many more options at your disposal, it is only yourself that is holding you back!
Here are a few ways to attract your ideal clients and become more visible.
The power of networking!
Getting up and getting out there, just talking to people creates a buzz whilst promoting your business and building working relationships. Just the other day I was sat on the train going to Waterloo working on my Mac and a professional asked me what I did for a living? I told him I was a Brand Specialist and Graphic Designer and he asked for my business card as he had a connection in mind. So literally be prepared, contacts can come where you least expect to find them!
Networking can be one of the most important ways in connecting with new clients and also a way of keeping up with the latest trends and developments, especially if you are a sole trader, itâ€™s a great way to meet people and build business relationships. Even though it is not a new concept, the power of making meaningful connections has become more important than ever in a social media-driven world. It gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people face-to-face. It’s the old fashioned traditional method before social media existed. The old saying ‘first impressions are lasting’ is very true.
Do you have a weekly Newsletter?
Mailchimp is a great tool for creating newsletters. If you are a start-up company with limited funds, it enables you to build your list (from people you have met at networking) and send out effective branded newsletters anytime with influential information. Newsletters are a great way to share tips and keep people informed of your latest developments. People will get to know your name, what you do and most importantly gives you visibility.
Do you have a website? If so, do you have a blog where you can post your newsletter content? Even though social media has dominated in recent years, search engines are still highly relevant in any marketing. Getting found by people who don’t yet know about you is key, and, in many cases, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how that happens. You give your SEO a boost every time you add content to your website whether it be a 200 word blog or 1000 word article, this will promote your companies Google rankings and make you more visible to your ideal clients.
Posts via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be a more fun and engaging way to raise your profile. You can post inspiring images and quotes that relate to your business or just share something inspirational that happened to you in the day. Posting content in relevant groups giving useful hints and tips will not only start discussion but raise your profile.
LinkedIn is like your online CV. Keep yourself visible by publishing your newsletter content so any connections can like and share, as the saying goes it’s not what you know its ‘who you know’.
Hootsuite and Buffer are great online marketing tools to help you schedule posts morning, lunch and evening without it dominating your day job. This will give you consistency when becoming more visible.
So to summerise:
Have a plan, set your goals and expectations right at the beginning. Build solid foundations and have a marketing plan to bring your brand to life. If you don’t get excited or passionate about your business and branding, how do you expect other too? And as a last resort, you can just put an ad in your local paper!