Every business owners is stretched for time these days. Yet, you're smart enough to realize that you need to spend time marketing your business. Here are some simple quick things you can do to build momentum while you also work on more involved ways to raise your profile and build your brand.
- Write and Distribute Press Announcements. I call these announcements "little media darlings" because these 3-4 sentence announcements are published frequently in local and regional business papers, associations and trade publications under the "People on the Move" sections. Send your company news and headshot in at least once a month.
- Domain Names. Buy any and all that you think you will use. At the very least, buy your name and business name. Hot Domain Name Alert: .TV is the next big thing. Internet and television are merging. If you are on the cutting edge, secure your URL with .tv today, even if you don't have an idea for an online TV show today. Some experts say that in the near future, having an online TV show will be the same "norm" as having a web site.
- Put Some Oomph Into Your Email Signature Line. Use this valuable real estate to promote your free report on your web site or an upcoming event. Change it frequently so it doesn't get boring and overlooked.
- Voice Mail: Use your outgoing voicemail message to brand yourself. People get to experience you through your voice, so don't just blow it off as if it doesn't matter. Keep it short but tell people who you are, what your web site is, office hours, how to reach you immediately if it's urgent, and when they can expect to hear back from you. I have these elements in my outgoing message and get compliments on it every week.
- Connect Others: Be willing to connect others even if it has nothing to do with your business. What goes around, comes around.
- Extend Invitations: Call a client or potential client and encourage them to attend an event you're attending or buy their ticket. This way, you get to be in front of them again in a non-threatening way, even if they can't attend.
- Offer Your Input. Find one or two blogs that are created to offer information to your ideal clients. If they have "ask the expert" sections, offer your articles and how-to advice. If they don't have "ask the expert" sections, make the suggestion and offer to provide them with the content. Also, make comments on one or two blogs that are visited by your ideal clients. This will make you very visible, very quickly!
- Collect Testimonials. Facts tell. Stories sell. Testimonials are success stories about your products and services. Collect written, audio and video testimonials regularly and post them on your web site, include them in your newsletter, add them to your blog or promote your clients' successes in social media.
- Give Testimonials. Providing results-based testimonials is great way of expanding your visibility. Of course, you should only provide testimonials for businesses you honestly feel deserve a raving testimonial. If you wrote only one a month, you'd have 12 other businesses promoting you after a year. Mark Victor Hansen does this regularly. At one time, it was hard to pick up a self-help book without the endorsement from him. Recently, I've noticed that he does a lot more with video endorsements. So get your Mark Victor Hansen on and share praise for great products, services and programs you experience.
- Ask for Referrals. This is a funny one. Some businesses rely solely on this tactic while others completely ignore it. It's important to ask for referrals regularly but not to base your entire business on someone else's efforts.
If you have a little more time, try these visibility boosters:
- Update Your Head Shot. Have at least one great headshot. The new trend, particularly in social media, is to have a photo in an outdoor setting. You will also want a traditional one with a white background, but consider your personal brand. Are you more of a traditional person who loves fleur de lis or are you a spiky haired person with tattoos? Embrace your personal brand and let that shine through. No more "high school graduation" photos please. Consider doing a full body photo as well or sit in a chair in a setting that emphasizes your brand.
- Interview a Celebrity in Your Industry. Draw major attention to your business by conducting an interview with a well-known expert in your industry. Think it's impossible to book a well-known expert? Think again. Even well-known experts are looking for increased exposure and to expand their reach. If you can deliver a live or virtual audience who is interested in their topic, they want to hear from you. And your ideal clients will take notice and associate you with them.
Don't get overwhelmed by these suggestions. Raising your profile can be done by taking baby steps. One baby step after the next builds and extends your reach, profile and influence. I realize that many of these suggestions aren't ground-breaking ideas. However, are you doing them? Are you maximizing the potential of all of these simple things? Great transformation happens when you take one baby step after the next.