Increasing the visibility of your business should be a key goal of your day-to-day operations. A visible business enjoys top-of-the-mind awareness among existing and potential customers. Whenever customers think of making a purchase, they normally buy the product or service that they first think of — and that is the business that is most visible to them.
But how can your business achieve visibility? Visibility is the cumulative effect of publicity. Your business’ visibility quotient is determined by calculating what percentage of the people who should know about you actually do. What types of people should know about your business, and what mechanisms exist to reach them?
Promoting your business need not be expensive. There are a number of ways you can use to get the word out there about your business without breaking your bank account. All you need to do is to be creative, devote time to promotional activities, and have some fun. Below are some ways to increase your visibility in your community and network yourself to success:
1. Be visible in your local newspapers or trade publications.
There are three ways of getting your name and your business printed in the newspaper:
- Writing an article, a feature story or a column;
- Getting quoted by a writer; and
- Submitting letters to the editors
The best newspapers or publications to target are the nationally syndicated and best-known publications; but if you can’t get into one, your local trade publication is good enough. Getting your business’ name in the papers as a result of any scandal, of course, is not counted.
Writing articles or getting your opinions quoted establishes you as an expert in your field who is willing your share your know-how to the public. Becoming an expert in your field can lend credence to you and your company’s image.
It does not happen so easily, though. To see your name in print, you must begin by cultivating relationships with reporters by sending them free information. If your business deals with the catering, you may contact the lifestyle editor and present yourself as a person who can give tips to their readers on choosing a catering service, most in-demand catering party themes, etc. Editors and writers are constantly on the lookout for new materials, and they may give you a try when they need to do a story that touches on your skills and knowledge.
You can also write letters to the editors, which often includes your name, title, and name of your business. You can submit letters to the editors to praise an editorial or news item, support or comment on the trade group’s action (if a trade newspaper), correct slanted or inaccurate news coverage, support new initiatives in your community, or even commemorate an important event. Be aware of the danger, though: if you are taking sides in an issue, some of the potential customers you are trying to reach may agree with you, but some may be antagonized with your opinion. Hence, it would be best to present your arguments clearly, provide supporting facts, and give constructive courses of action.
Read the article Pitching the Media Correctly to Market Your Home Business
2. Launch an event.
Events are excellent publicity-generating tools that can easily get the word out about your business, raise your visibility, and bring in new money. They also give the media a “hook,” a reason to focus on your business. Special events expand the reputation of your business, provide participants an interesting time, and sometimes make money. Events could be as grand as a 300 banquet to launch your new product or as simple as hosting a dinner party.
Read the article How to Build Profitable Events for Your Business
3. Speak, speak and speak.
Wherever you live, there must be venue where you can speak and give advice. One effective way of increasing your visibility in your community (and beyond) is by becoming aggressive in giving speeches and presentations in your areas of expertise to any group that will listen to you.
Contact your local chamber of commerce, business and professional organizations, women’s and men’s groups, local Rotary Clubs, even your library and inform them of your willingness to speak and share your expertise. You’d be surprised to learn that many organizations and groups are constantly on the lookout for informed speakers.
If you become so good at it, you can eventually get an agent to help you arrange and book your speaking engagements. Speaking assignments could even become a lucrative second income for you!
Read the article How to Use Workshops, Seminars and Events to Grow Your Business
4. Educate your customers.
Your role is to tell everyone who will listen to you how great your company is at delivering its product or service to its customers. Explain to your customers what they are getting from your product or service, what sets you apart from your competitors, and what they can get from patronizing your business. Education can be a very potent tool; particularly given the fact that today’s buyer uses an information oriented decision process. Many of them don’t just buy: they first gather information, review alternatives, then choose one alternative, and evaluate the decision after the fact. By informing them of the benefits of your business, you are most likely to have them coming back to you.
Read the article How Your Small Business Can Become the Leader of the Pack
Read the following articles:
- How to Market a New Local Business on a Shoestring Budget
- How Local Businesses Can Use the Web to Get More Business
- How to Create the Buzz for Your Business
- 7 Low-Cost Marketing Ideas to Increase Revenues
Recommended Books on How to Increase Your Visibility:
- Celebritize Yourself – 1st Edition: The Three Step Method to Increase Your Visibility and Explode Your Business
- Get Noticed… Get Referrals: Build Your Client Base and Your Business by Making a Name For Yourself
- Do It! Marketing: 77 Instant-Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and Crush Your Competition
- Book Yourself Solid: The Fastest, Easiest, and Most Reliable System for Getting More Clients Than You Can Handle Even if You Hate Marketing and Selling
- Market Segments of the Event and Meeting Planning Business
- Local Marketing For Faster Small Business Growth
- Understanding Trademarks & Protecting Business Names
- How to Get that Perfect Business Name
- What’s in a Business Name?