One Concept You Must Understand to Grow Your Businessadmin
One Concept You Must Understand to Grow Your Business
It wasn’t that long ago when I had a client look at me with a straight face and insist his business did not need a website. That was the day when I began to understand how much education this client would require to reach success. He was definitely old-school and trying to compete in the modern world.
There was a time when a web presence was not a pre-requisite for all businesses. If you were trying to draw customers to a bricks and mortar location, and your client base was “of a certain age,” a website was more of an extravagance than a necessity. Back then, a website was not seen as the best tool to attract a local audience.
My, how times have changed! Today, if you do not have a website and some sort of social media presence, you are not in business. Most people, regardless of age, begin their search for anything with a search engine. A quick check with Google tells customers where to get an ice cream on a hot summer day and how to find a plumber to fix that leaky pipe.
In the Crowded Marketplace
Even in small towns, the options for goods and services are tremendous. If you’re out on the street corner selling widgets, you’re not alone. Your customers have several options for buying their widgets. And now, widgets come in various sizes and colors. You may need to educate your potential customer base about widgets and convince them they need the variety you feature.
Doing business in any field means dealing with stiff competition. If the particular products or services you offer are not available somewhere else in your town, your customers could potentially buy them on the internet and have them shipped in.
My former client who didn’t think he needed a website also struggled with name recognition. His firm had been in business in the same location for over 25 years, yet people around town did not know his name. He and his partners were well known in their field, and even recognized by many community leaders, yet the name of the firm was not commonly spoken.
The first time I saw a list of the public projects this firm worked on, I could not understand why everyone in the county didn’t know their name. Their work was everywhere, but they were suffering from a lack of branding. We quickly implemented a low-tech solution that included worksite signage, branded staff clothing, and magnetic vehicle signs.
The job of rebuilding the firm’s website and using it as a proper marketing tool took much longer. Someone created a website for the firm in their garage, posted it on the internet like a roadside sign, and just left it there. I came along 20 years later and tried to resurrect it on a shoestring budget, but that is another story.
Visibility is Key
It may seem obvious, but sometimes business owners miss the fact that people cannot buy your goods and services if they cannot find you. When you are running a business, it is all you think about. It’s hard to believe that anyone on the planet doesn’t know about your business.
While everyone on your planet may know all about your business, your customer base could still be in the dark. Even if you achieve name recognition, there may still be those who do not know the extent of your services. You have to make a consistent and concerted effort to inform potential customers what you have to offer and why they should buy from you.
If you operate a fleet of vehicles or employ a hundred people, visibility for your business could be easy, at least in your local market. Putting a big sign on your building could also increase local visibility. But many small businesses don’t own huge, visible assets like trucks and buildings. Your business may not even employees, but you have a website (right?)
Today’s businesses exist in a virtual world where most people do their shopping, if not their buying. Whether you sell a physical product or provide a service, visibility on the internet will increase your business. It can be used to drive e-commerce sales or drive traffic to your bricks-and-mortar door.
Getting your information out there on your website and various social media platforms is key to increasing visibility for your small business. Most potential customers start with a web search, so focusing on your search engine ranking is the best investment for your marketing resources.
Tips for Increasing Business Visibility
Talking about your business everywhere you go is the first step in spreading the word. Anyone who knows you should not only know the name of your business, but they should be informed of your latest product launches. Use this same word-of-mouth concept to expand your visibility.
Here are some of the ideas for business visibility highlighted in a recent Huffington Post article:
Tweet about it — Update your Twitter followers when you launch a new product or service, as you complete your latest project, and when you secure a new client.
Be Social — Be consistent with all of your social media activity. If you feel overwhelmed by all of the posting and tweeting, pick two platforms and be consistent there. When you have that down, you can add others one at a time. It is more important to be consistent than to be present on every social media platform.
Cooperate — Like sharing, cooperation is a good way to play nice with others. Customers like a friendly marketplace. Coordinate your marketing efforts with other businesses in your field. Working together can increase visibility for both businesses and exponentially grow your potential client base.
Go viral — Give your fans something to share and your social media posts could end up going viral. Images and videos are the best medium for people to share. They offer a type of human connection and instant recognition that words cannot.
Educate your customer base — Your potential customers need information about your company and the products or services you offer. Establishing your expertise in the field will help your customers make informed purchasing decisions. A blog is an excellent opportunity for educational messages because it is a much longer format than social media posts.
Do more of what works — Analyze your stats to discover what type of communication gets the most engagement. Your visibility strategy should include some diversity, but don’t waste resources on ideas that do not produce results. Use the data to hone your message, and focus on the top three activities that get your business noticed.
Increasing your visibility is the first step to growing your business. Compared to the important work you do for clients, posting on social media may seem like a silly pursuit. Writing a blog can be time consuming and feel like it is taking your attention away from the customers you already work for. Remember, you cannot help clients who do not know you are there, what you do, and that they can trust you with their important projects.
Doing it all in a Day
The days of a business owner are already too full, so how are you supposed to find time to increase your visibility. Most of these tips require content, high quality content, that is time-consuming to produce. There is no way to take on any more work in a single day!
The most important quality of a business owner is your ability to organize, delegate, and make good decisions (and you thought it was those tasty little cupcakes you make). One of the best decisions you could make for the visibility of your business is to contract a professional writer for your blog.
A professional blog service will ensure the consistent delivery of high-quality written content for your business while you spend your time working for your clients. Professionally developed written content can be re-purposed and circulated across various social media platforms, in addition to increasing the SEO for your website every week.