Do people know your business exists? Well, if you haven’t had customers beating down your doors in a while, there may be an issue with the way you have marketed your business. While we aren’t saying you are hiding your business under a rock, it may be time you made more of an effort to stick your head out from the shadows to push your product and service back into the public eye again.
So, let’s think about your visibility issue. If you are having a hard time reaching customers, it may be because you are…
- Avoiding self-promotion. For all we know, you may be the humblest person on the planet. And that’s fine, but to push your business, you do need to talk about it. Arm yourself with business cards, get yourself to trade events, promote what you are doing to all who are willing to listen (and even to those who aren’t), and tell people how amazing your business is.
- Ignoring SEO. You hopefully have a website – if you don’t, there’s your visibility issue right there! However, how reachable is your website? While you should market it on social media etc., you should also work on your SEO to ensure your site ends up on the front end of Google’s search engine rankings. You see, people won’t know your business exists if your website is beyond the first couple of pages on a search listing, which is why a know how of SEO strategy is important.
- Not contacting customers. Remember that customer you had a few years ago? The one who splashed her cash and made your day as a result? Did she ever come back to you? If not, you need to look for her details, and those of other customers, and get back in touch. An email newsletter, an update on social media, or even an old-fashioned mail out in the post can let old customers know your business is still operating. Then time your messages to keep your business fresh in people’s minds. While you don’t want to spam people, you should still contact them sporadically when you have something useful to report, such as a special offer or a customer discount.
- Limiting your marketing. Assuming you have a marketing strategy in place – you simply won’t exist in people’s minds if you don’t – you need to spread your efforts far and wide. While the current buzzword in business is digital marketing, with social media, email, and affiliate marketing tactics, you should still remember the value of offline marketing. While it’s true to say most people are reachable on their smartphones these days, there is still scope for billboards, trade show displays, and press releases. Consider your target audience, and then use a mix of marketing strategies to get the word out about your business.
- Failing to network. There are people out there who can help you push your business to the next level, and they go beyond your customers. Network with other business leaders; ask them for advice and find ways to collaborate with them. You can find them at trade shows, conferences, local and national industry events, and on the other end of a Skype call. They could be the answer to your prayers, and believe it or not, you might also be the answer to theirs! You can’t be a wallflower in business, so get out there, shake some hands, and initiate what could be very fruitful conversations.
- Working alone. Running a business is time-consuming, so you may not have the time in the day to focus on marketing or networking. When you’re spinning more plates than you can handle, it’s no wonder certain aspects of your business go overlooked. Therefore, consider hiring employees to help you, or if you already have staff on your side, delegate more responsibilities to them. Alternatively, consider the advantages of hiring marketing providers to help you, and outsource this essential part of your business to those who have the time and skills you may not have at your disposal.
- Have become complacent. Sorry to say it, but this is the problem for many business leaders. It’s not that they don’t have time, and it’s not that they don’t have the skills. It’s because they are either bone idle or are resting on their laurels after a successful marketing push that happened years ago. In business, you need to take marketing seriously. People will never know you exist if you don’t make an effort. And by effort, we mean doing so consistently, never assume that people will remember you beyond the end of next week.
So, do people know your business exists?
If not, it may be because some of what we have mentioned is relevant to you. If so, you know what to do. Give your business the push it needs, and then pursue this focus on a weekly level. Otherwise, your business won’t exist, and that’s the hard truth affecting many who have had to close their doors due to failure.
If you are ready to start marketing your business, there are some great tools and resources out there to make your job easier. Canva has some great newsletter templates online that you can choose from.