Opportunities don’t happen, you create them
In the good ole days it was enough to create some business cards, send out a flyer and pop an ad in the newspaper... then the people would come. However, in today’s digital world the possibilities for promotion are endless and this can lead to overwhelm and frustration for business owners.
So where do you start?
You need to take stock of where you are currently at and where you’d like to be. Review what you are currently doing to market your business and what tools you have in place, then look at the gap.
Do you have business goals set? If you do, are they still relevant?
If you do not, then go back to the start and look at your why and your future plans.
When we don’t have purpose and a plan it is easy to get overwhelmed and then everything ends up in the too hard basket, or
We sit, wait, and hope for the next sale, next new client or next request to meet, or
We get sucked into spending more money to an expert with a ‘magic bean’ – which more often than not doesn’t grow into the type of plant we are looking for.
That all sounds rather gloomy
And it can be, because when you find yourself in that position how can you possibly be proactively creating leads and sourcing opportunities?
You are running in survival mode, which is at the opposite end to where you need to be to have a thriving business.
Here are some simple ways to promote your business online
Create and verify your Google Business Listing – it’s going to help you show up
Create a website – it’s a must have for building trust, and credibility
Create content – it is a helpful driver for SEO (see more below on content creation)
Run Google Ads – this is helpful for more immediate exposure if you want to show at near the top of search results
Social – set up social media pages that are relevant to your business eg. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok etc
Online directories – create listings in directories relevant to your industry
Submit your site to search engines – ensure a sitemap is submitted to Google, Bing, Yellow/White pages online
Create and optimise online directory listings – it is one thing to create a listing but ensure it has a description, logo, photos – and monitor it to ensure accuracy
Client reviews – a must – ask for these directly on Google, and share on your website and socials
Email marketing is great because people like to stay informed, you can share updates, specials, news directly with people who are interested in you and your business.
Using social media to promote your business
A free way to get word out about your business, but you will need to advertise to potentially get any real traction these days
Join groups and comment appropriately sharing your knowledge
Create your events online – LinkedIn now offers event listings too
Run Facebook Live sessions
Connect and contribute to others on LinkedIn
Upload videos to YouTube (it’s the second biggest search engine after Google), think educational videos, tutorials, how-tos and more
Use #hashtags on Instagram to expand your reach
Try an influencer marketing collaboration and create your own brand ambassadors
Invest in social media advertising (see first bullet point)
Promoting your business in your community
While a lot of shopping is done online now-a-days, for local businesses community is an important part of their success.
Local newspapers are often on the lookout for good news stories, thought leadership pieces or newsworthy updates and events – reach out to share yours
Newspaper articles are often put online, so ask for a link back to your own website (good for SEO)
Partner with non-competitive businesses to boost your reach, cross promote your services to each others email lists, share stories on social media etc
Attend local networking events to share ideas, inspiration, build connections
Host or sponsor local events to get your brand out there
List your events in online directories like Eventfinda for further reach
Advertise locally and offline - yes newspapers, radio and magazines can still have their place to promote your business.
My thoughts on Content Creation
It’s easy to get caught up in the rat race of creating content… that nobody reads.
Just because someone told you that you should post three times a week doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, don’t do this – unless you truly have something to say, save it.
There are so many people out there shouting into the void, creating content that gets scrolled past because so many people are doing the same.
Talk to your current clients and customers, ask what they would like to see when you are sharing content, or if something in particular stood out for them, or they have a problem you could solve. In fact, why not drop me an email (if you've got this far!) and tell me what you'd like to hear about.
Be true to yourself and what aligns with your values – post what feels right to you when it feels right.
If you do this, you will be consistently average and most likely sharing more meaningful content than your competitors who are either doing nothing at all, or blasting us with content three times a week... that gets scrolled past.
Granted, a lot of what we do is trial and error when promoting our businesses, but if you have a plan and review it regularly you will begin to see what works for you.
There are many opportunities to promote your business, the key is to go out there and create them. Remember to go and look at what your business goals are, how you are currently meeting them, and where the gap may be. Then begin to tick off the items in the list below and see how many pay off in time.
Create and verify your Google Business Listing
Create a website
Run Google Ads
Set up business social media pages
Create listings in online directories
Submit your website to search engines
Optimise your directory listings
Ask for client reviews
Create email marketing campaigns
Join groups on social media and comment appropriately
Create listings for your events online
Run Facebook Lives
Connect and contribute to others on LinkedIn
Upload videos to YouTube
Use hashtags on Instagram to expand your reach
Create your own brand ambassadors through influencer marketing
Invest in social media advertising
Approach your local newspapers with a story idea
Partner with non-competitive businesses
Attend local networking events
Host or sponsor local events
Use platforms like Eventfinda
Advertise locally offline