Can anyone see you?

You’re good at what you do, but how do you let other people see that?
Sitting and worrying about it won’t help. Take action!

pressme | can anyone see you?

I speak to businesses all the time and hear the same complaint again and again: they are good at what they do but no one knows what they do.

With the internet, blogs and social media available to us, you’d think this would no longer be a problem. If anything, it can be even more difficult with the amount of ‘noise’ produced by online marketing. It’s like street market traders trying to be heard by shouting louder all at the same time, only to create a hubbub where no words can be made out by anyone trying to listen.

What can you do to help people find you?

I think what is most important is to take action.

The challenge of getting your business known can be overwhelming and reduce us to sitting in our offices wondering what to do.

Put the worry aside and spend the time instead taking actions that will work for you.

There are moony small actions we can take quickly, for example:

  • List your business in free directories
  • Make sure your business name and logo are displayed on your commercial vehicles
  • Ask to leave leaflets or cards in stores you shop at regularly
  • Go to networking events and introduce yourself to new people
  • Host an event or workshop in your shop or office
  • Wear branded shirts, jackets or a badge on your suit
  • Take the chance to speak to groups of people about your business or industry
  • Phone up or email your local newspaper or radio station to tell them your business news
  • Ask your existing customers or contacts if they know people who need your product/service
  • Make sure your social media profiles are up to date and monitor them for responses
  • Use opportunities to exhibit at events
  • Support a local community group by providing help

These are just a few ideas and will be more suitable to some businesses than to others.

Will they generate more sales? Probably not on their own, but the more action you take, the more you increase awareness of your business.

Create your own PR and marketing machine

And whatever you do, keep on doing it.

Speaking to one group will not necessarily achieve the results you want immediately, but what if people like your presentation and recommend you to other groups? This could generate more opportunities to speak where you can display your pop-up banner and hand out leaflets.

Suddenly you have created your own PR and marketing machine and 10s or 100s of people will become aware of your business.

There are many ways to create awareness if we don’t let the fear of it stop us.

Our competitors are doing this, so why don’t we?

When enough is enough there’s a PR opportunity for you

Sometimes I get phone calls from business owners asking nervously if I’d be interested in writing about their business. I ask them what they do to find out more about their story.

These conversations often reveal businesses with very interesting stories. Of course I want to write about them.

It’s easy to think that businesses with their own PR and marketing staff or who employ PR agencies are the only ones who can get in the press.

I’ll let you into a secret. Their press releases are very often not that interesting and some of them bombard me with ‘news’. If I write about the same business every week, readers will get bored.

I am always looking out for undiscovered businesses with a story to tell. I also like businesses who send me press releases on a regular basis, but don’t bombard me. Many other journalists will feel the same.

So think that you could actually be answering a journalist’s prayer to receive something fresh, something different. They have pages to fill every day, week or month. Give them something good to put on them.

No money or time for marketing?

Times are tough and although I hear a lot of business people say they need to do more marketing, often this comes to nothing. But if trade is slow, doing nothing won’t improve it.

Reasons often given for inaction include lack of time or money, but perhaps another reason is that many people don’t know where to start.

This is a shame because there are many useful actions businesses can take that are quick, easy and don’t cost anything.

One way of looking at marketing is as storytelling. People love stories and somewhere in every business there is at least one interesting story to tell.

Stories break the ice when you’re networking, help you build business relationships, enable you to sell your products and services without realising you’re selling and can win you valuable PR coverage. A story can translate into many different formats.

Can anyone tell a story?

Yes. When I am working as a journalist, the part I enjoy most is when someone calls up out of the blue and, sometimes hesitantly, starts telling me a fascinating story about their business, products or services.

I search for stories like this to interest and excite my readers. Often these stories are more interesting than press releases which some PR agencies write at considerable expense to their clients. (There are also very good PR agencies and we like to think we write a mean press release ourselves.)

So as a result of picking up the phone and telling their story that business has obtained valuable newspaper coverage. It can and does work.

How can this help us start marketing?

It’s just one example of what we can achieve when we think about it and take that first step to do something. Yes, pay marketing specialists when you have the budget, but don’t let that stop you before then.

What is important is to start telling our story. If we don’t, no one will hear it.

In these z2ztips I want to share some ordinary observations on marketing that I hope will be useful. If they help just one business, that’ll be reward enough.

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