If you are a woman business owner you know how difficult it can be to promote your company. Here are some tips for women looking to increase the visibility of their businesses and get their name out there.
The First Impression
Appearance is important so start out with a good website and make sure your webpage is both professional and appealing to look at. The site should be easy to navigate with content that is valuable to others- you can’t be all show and no substance. As women we don’t just want to see the cold hard facts, but we want to get a sense that a business cares about their clients and their relationship with them. Videos, photo galleries and testimonials are excellent ideas to include on a website, they show people what your business has accomplished along with quality.
Blogging and forums allow you to share valuable information while building a network and strengthening connections with your target demographic. Post blogs with helpful tips relating to the company. Rather than focusing directly on your product or service, focus on topics of interest that would lead people to develop an interest in your company; start with personal experience and share solutions to problems that you yourself have encountered. You can also create forums and post questions for people to respond to and discuss to help build relationships.
Build an Effective Network
As women, we know the importance of networking, forming relationships and connections with your company’s target market for developing your business. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are huge markets. By taking an active role in these online communities you can increase awareness of your brand as well as create a sense of community around your business. Business owners have become more concerned with being visible rather than credible in their industry. That’s why it’s more beneficial for a public relations firm who have in house social media experts to handle small business visibility and credibility which will eventually lead to profitability, three key factors in good social media use that Ivan Misner, founder and chairman of business networking organization BNI.com, mentioned in his latest book Networking Like a Pro. Having a public relations firm handle the visibility will help the business owner create products for credibility and profitability.
Quality vs. Quantity
On any social media site, what is most important is the quality not the quantity of the interactions between you and your fans or followers. Don’t just post frequently make sure that your content is interesting enough that your fans will want to comment on it, like it, and share it with others. To take it a step further you can get their contact information as well. For example, you could make a status telling fans to email the company for a special discount code. Gathering these email addresses allows you to reach out directly to potential clients through promotions, surveys, e-newsletters, and special offers. There are a number of companies out there who will help businesses manage their email marketing.
The benefit of having a public relations firm handle a small business’s social media marketing is that they not only cover that area of visibility but they are also able to handle the traditional side of visibility; reaching out to newspapers, television stations, etc. It’s an integrated approach to visibility to help build product credibility. Since they specialize in handling all types of media, they know what angles to use to reach out to a targeted audience and they also have the tools to reach out to them. Business owners are able to see the return on investment on both the public relations agency not only from the performance by the agency but by the time invested on optimizing their product leading to profitability from the maximized visibility and credibility.
While an online presence is important, nothing beats promotion through in-person interactions and media interviews. These are your chance to get your message across in your own words, and having the words come directly from your mouth rather than being read on a computer screen obviously increases the effectiveness. Public speaking is a wonderful way to promote your business, and establish that face to face connection with your client base. Interviews are also a good place for you to get across the message that you really care about your clients. Make sure to be prepared for a media interview so that you stay on point and get across your key messages. Anecdotes that illustrate your points are always a good way to engage the audience.
Lindsey Carnett is the CEO of Marketing Maven Public Relations, Inc. For more information please contact her at (310) 341-7350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.