|Image courtesy of Microsoft|
Many businesses fly under the radar. Some do this intentionally. But others have a wonderful, strong business and would like the promotion but have never thought to help word of mouth along. Don't be them. Your small business will get more love if you:
-Make sure your inner circle knows and truly understands your business. Here's a quick refresher course in the intro email you should have already sent out to your friends, family, and dog groomer.
-Keep people informed as you specialize and grow. Don't just let them know when you're hustling - let them know about your successes, too! Everyone likes to back a winner, and people are more confident recommending a company or professional that seems to be doing well.
-Plant your flag online. Get a website. It can be as salesy or not as you like, but have something. For example, some film agencies in LA will set up a landing page merely setting they exist, but avoiding unsolicited submissions by not having much more (read: no contact info!) What you do with your website should be an issue of strategy, but there are very few businesses or professionals who shouldn't have one at all.
-Make signing up for your mailing list easy, and ask for the minimum info you need to get them signed up (read: don't give them a reason not to!) By capturing contact information when people visit your site, you can keep others informed when there are new announcements. Someone who might have forgotten about your business can be periodically reminded, jogging their interest.
-Make sharing your information easy. If you sell products, include "share this product" above the listing. If you share strategy or thoughts, share posts.
-Reinforce your pipeline. How do you encourage existing clients to come back? How do you encourage them to tell others?
-Always carry business cards. Put them in your car, purse, briefcase, gym bag, suitcase.
-Keep people posted that you are open to new business. If friends and family think you're doing well, it might not be on their radar to send you new prospects.
-Check that you've enabled retweets.
The corollary to all this, of course, is: don't annoy people! I'm talkin to you, guy with the 10 Facebook posts a day. Post only when you have something really worthwhile to say, or people will start to tune you out. What I'm saying is: once you've built up goodwill with people, don't be the reason they don't want to help promote you! When you post or promote your work, if people feel you've done them the courtesy of only sending it out when it's truly interesting or important, they're more likely to listen - and pass in on.
Need help using networking and relationships to grow your business? You know where to find me! Please email info(at)lucky13strategies.com with any questions or comments about this post - I'd love to hear from you.