Five Ways to Promote Yourself and Your Small Business
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Five Ways to Promote Yourself and Your Small Business

Establishing and expanding your professional reputation is one of the most crucial elements to creating a successful business in the long term. Article provides five suggestions for promoting yourself and your small business.

Small business entrepreneurs have it difficult because they often do everything themselves out of financial necessity…fulfilling product or service orders; developing new business opportunities; researching, testing and creating new products; all administrative duties. It is important to establish a solid reputation for your company and its products and services – as well as for yourself as a smart businessperson – so that ultimately the new business development portion can somewhat take care of itself, freeing up time for other activities.

People tend to do business with those people or companies with which they are familiar in some way. Not surprisingly, when making a purchasing decision, personal referrals from friends and family are most trusted. Nothing beats a testimonial from someone you know who has had a positive personal experience with a product, a person, or a company. However, there are other ways to make positive impressions on people that do not require a direct or indirect connection with someone. Setting the groundwork for positive “buzz” takes some time and effort, but in the long run it will pay for itself many times over. Here are five ways you can increase public awareness of who you are and what you offer:

(1) Get involved in your local community. Joining organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce or local Downtown Development Alliance (if your town has one) can enhance your visibility in town and among other entrepreneurs whose businesses differ from yours. Talking with people about what business strategies have worked for them and what ones have not may save you a lot of wasted time and effort. Expanding your professional network is especially important when your business is in the early stages of development. The more people you know and interact with on a regular basis, the greater the chance of someone speaking highly about you and your work to others.

(2) Participate in activities of interest to you and your business. Putting yourself out there by joining like-minded groups of people will broaden your accessibility to new and/or larger markets. Membership in trade associations not only help to establish credibility within your field of expertise, but they also offer networking and learning opportunities that may enable you to reach people or markets you might not otherwise. You never know when a strategic alliance could be formed that will benefit both parties.

(3) Align yourself and your business with causes that reflect your values and complement your offerings. While many new companies cannot financially support charitable causes right away, there are other ways they can become affiliated with organizations that can benefit from their involvement. Allow your office to serve as a collection point for a charitable effort such as a food or clothing drive. Volunteer your time or your services for an annual fundraiser. Join the steering committee or board of directors for a not-for-profit that resonates with you. The level of involvement varies depending on the time commitment required for your chosen activity, but the end result will be increased awareness of your work and an association in people’s minds between you and/or your company and the selected cause. People like to do business with others who support the causes that are important to them.

(4) Establish an internet presence. In this day and age, anyone who is not utilizing the internet to its fullest advantage is missing out on a huge opportunity. If you can’t afford a company website yet, establish profiles for yourself and/or your company on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. Connect with former colleagues who have moved on to different companies and industries, old high school and college friends, family members living across the country or around the world, people with similar areas of interest, people in your industry. Start a professional or personal blog. Participate in online forums related to your hobbies and personal interests. Never underestimate the value of an expanded personal network. In some ways, it may prove to be more valuable than your professional network. You never know who will come to you asking for advice or looking to buy your product or service. If people know you, trust you, and feel a connection to you, they will come to you over a competitor.

(5) Position yourself as an expert in your field. Teach classes or workshops in your area of expertise through the local Adult School or a community college. Give presentations on areas of interest to your target market at the local public library. Post videos explaining certain techniques used in your field on YouTube. Write bylined articles for publications such as trade or regional magazines or the local newspaper. Guest post on blogs related to your products or services. Offer yourself as a guest on community cable television shows or radio programs related to your business. Anything you can put out there that demonstrates you know your stuff, do it whenever and wherever you can.

While establishing a new business takes a lot of time, effort, and patience – not to mention money – there are some aspects of it, if done correctly from the beginning, that can eventually make your road a lot easier to travel. Establishing and expanding your professional reputation is, by far, one of the most crucial elements to creating a successful business in the long term.

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Comments (5)

Excellent

Thank you! Fourteen years of public relations experience pays off. :)

Promotion is much more important to small than large businesses, though often forgotten or omitted to be applied on a regular basis.

New Energy -- It can be very time-consuming, especially in the beginning. There may not be an immediate payoff, which can be disconcerting as well. The secret is to make the time spent on these activities as enjoyable as possible, and not seem like work. Also, persistence & patience are key words to remember. "Rome wasn't built in a day," and your business cannot be either. :)

Manishsatija.com is a creative branding agency in India | Delhi-NCR, one-stop enterprise that offers the complete range of creative related services like Corporate Branding (online & offline), Company and Domain name suggestions, Advertising Campaigns (print media, tv commercials, radio commercials, mobile campaigns), Event Organising, Graphics & Logo Designing, Digital Marketing (SEO & SMO), Web Designing & Development, Interiors & Exteriors Designing, Photography, Films and more. We are the only one who is covering all the segments of creativity
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