If you run a business, you need to promote it. That’s just a fact! You may be very good at what you do, but unless you promote your business, nobody will ever know you exist.
Traditional methods of advertising don’t really cut it in this modern age. Listings in business directories and newspapers are rarely seen as more and more people look to their smartphones to find what they need.
Search engines are the new business directories. People don’t even go to directory sites anymore, and Google will rarely serve up a directory listing either. This is because these sites were downgraded by Google in one of its many updates. It prefers high quality, original websites by the businesses themselves.
5 things you can do right now to spread your message
So, here are five tips for you to help get you started in telling the world about yourself, without doing any selling whatsoever.
Because nobody likes selling, but marketing is something that all businesses need to do in one way or another.
1. Have a clear Mission Statement
This may seem an obvious or pointless step, but it’s actually critical to the rest of your marketing efforts. Doing this will make the rest so much easier. Author Simon Sinek explains this best in his book ‘Start with Why’
If you don’t really know WHY you do what you do, the task of getting your message out is so much harder. Your marketing efforts will lack direction, and your unique voice won’t be so unique after all. You’ll just get lost in the sea of voices of everyone else in your industry.
Whether you’re a fitness instructor, web designer, or hairdresser, you need to know clearly in your mind why ‘you do you’. You also need to write it down and put it up somewhere prominent where you’ll see it every day. Let it inspire you on days when you feel a bit rubbish and can easily forget your purpose on Earth.
2. Have a half-decent website
There really is no excuse for not doing this these days. There are endless DIY website builders available if you don’t have the investment to employ someone to build you one. Hand on heart, the only one I can recommend is wordpress.com because it’s the most popular, easiest to use, and they sort hosting out for you. And you can buy your own domain through them for not much money.
It’s really the best basic way to to promote your business in the digital world. Plus, it’s what all the rest of your online marketing efforts hang off.
This website here is the self-hosted version of WordPress. You can also do this yourself if you’re comfortable dealing with your own domain name and hosting. But you can also pay a professional to do this for you for potentially better results.
And you can put Yoast SEO on it, which is by far the best SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) plugin available. SEO is basically what makes you show up in search results.
As a side-note, you would be far wiser to invest in a good website and optimising it for search than you are spending that money on a directory listing.
And don’t be taken in by directory companies offering free websites. They are often low-quality and offer little help with the content. Instead, get recommendations for a good, independent website designer with good experience in the industry. They will appreciate your business more and make sure you get good results to improve their portfolio.
If your website is well-written and well-structured, it will show up in searches for your chosen terms. There’s one other major thing you can do with your website that will help improve your SEO, and that is:
Relatively few businesses actively blog, but it’s one of the best things you can do to promote your business. Those who blog invariably have more successful businesses. This is because:
- Google gets to know your business better, so it is more likely to rank you higher in search.
- It provides you with great material to share on your social media.
- It shows people that you know what you’re talking about, so people develop greater trust in you. There’s absolutely no reason not to have a blog these days – see the previous section!
As for what to blog about, it helps to plan ahead. It all starts with your mission statement from point #1.
Brainstorm all the things you can think of to do with your mission statement and with your industry. Also, keep your ear to the ground for current affairs that you can comment on from your unique business perspective. Get creative and you’ll soon be wondering which idea to start with!
But don’t let that get in your way either – just start with something. Something is better than nothing.
Imperfect action beats perfect inaction all day long. Or, in other words: Progress over perfection.
4. Get on video
Don’t let things like technology get in your way of this. Your smartphone is all you need to get onto a Facebook Live or to set up a YouTube channel. But by far the simplest option is Facebook Live. Just decide what you’re going to talk about, get Live on your business page, and let your expertise shine!
Equally, if you’re nervous about being on camera, then you just need to get out of your own way a bit! If you’re clear on your WHY from point #1 then you’ll know that people need to hear your message so you can help them and solve their problem.
Your perfect client won’t be judging you, they’ll be listening to you. They’re more interested in what you’ve got to say than looking for flaws in your appearance or anything else you may be personally paranoid about.
Anybody who is judging you is not anybody you particularly want to work with, so don’t worry about them. Are they really people whose opinion you value? Don’t accept criticism from someone you wouldn’t go to for advice.
If you think you can’t do it, think again. It just takes a bit of practice. Everybody gets a bit squeaky bum about their first time on Facebook Live and trust me when I say that NOBODY is happy with their first go at it. But invariably your prospects and clients love watching them!
And the more you do it, the more addictive it gets. Believe me when I tell you I hated the first few Facebook Lives I did, but once I learned to relax in front of the camera, and the more great feedback I started getting, the happier I became, and the less I judged my performance and just went with it. And most importantly, the more new clients I started getting!
It may be one of the scariest ways to promote your business, but it’s certainly the most effective!
5. Actually do all of these things!
These are some really simple things you can do to promote your business online. Remember that many of your competitors aren’t doing many of these things.
Because so many people read articles and watch videos about online marketing, but never actually get around to following the advice they give. It’s like they seem to think that just reading this stuff is going to magic up some extra business for them!
Trust me, it won’t.
But to be fair to people, I appreciate there are many excuses they give for not getting their online marketing act together. Excuses such as ‘I’m too busy’ or ‘I’m not confident enough to go on camera’ or ‘I don’t know what to blog about’.
All of these can be easily overcome if you want to do it. The sad truth is, if you want to do something, you’ll find a way, but if you don’t want to do something, you’ll find nothing but excuses.
If you’re nervous about all this, that’s fairly easily fixed. Give me a shout and I’ll either break down your blocks for you or refer you to someone in my vast network who can.
Most often it’s a lack of self-belief or lack of direction – in which case, I refer you back to point #1!
Has that been helpful?
I hope this simple list of tips has been helpful and given you lots to think about. If you need help with any of these points, reach out to me for your FREE half-hour discovery call. Or if you feel confident navigating the great wide interwebs, then Google is your friend.
Just be aware that there are a lot of people out there who like to make this internet marketing business far more complicated than it is. And that scares a lot of people off. I can help simplify it for you.
Do you have any hot tips to share that might help people promote their business? Please enlighten us in the comments below.