We all feel some sense of pressure that comes with starting a business, but once we’ve dotted the i’s, crossed the t’s, and have a fully functioning legal entity in place, we’ve got to ensure we bring it to the masses. But for those who are in it by themselves, the act of promoting a business is one of the most intimidating things; from the marketing to the networking and everything in between. So here’s a guide to help you navigate the initial stages of promoting your business when you don’t know where to start.
Understand Marketing in All of Its Forms
Marketing is one of those things that covers a number of different disciplines. Content marketing is one such approach that involves blogging or video content, and these two types of content alone can give you almost thousands of different permutations.
Video is such a powerful tool for engagement, but it still needs to fit in with a solid marketing plan. You can find an example of a marketing plan to get you inspired, but it goes back to understanding your brand and clearly articulating what it stands for as well as its values and its unique selling points.
We should always have a better understanding of who we are first because this then means we can promote our business effectively.
Get to Grips with Networking
Networking is a vast playing field that can feel overwhelming for many. It involves various aspects, from promoting our business to distilling our brand for an effective elevator pitch. However, using networking is not just about pushing yourself onto people; it’s about strategic considerations:
- Before attending networking events, it’s essential to have a plan. Identify the purpose of the event, the type of people you want to connect with, and understand the audience. This strategic approach will help you make the most of your networking opportunities.
- Research individuals or organizations that you want to connect with. Networking is not just about finding popular figures, but also about building meaningful relationships. Being well-prepared demonstrates your genuine interest in others.
- Engage with organizations and join industry groups relevant to your field. Platforms like LinkedIn provide opportunities to connect with professionals. However, be mindful not to oversaturate your presence, as constant visibility can be overwhelming (and annoying) for others.
Use Search Engine Optimization
For many businesses, the simple things like SEO can almost be overlooked, especially as many people think it’s not a worthwhile marketing tactic anymore. But we’ve got to think about SEO as being an essential task that can keep our business ticking over in terms of visibility. Creating quality content should always be priority number one, but there are a number of essentials to ensure that you are increasing your website’s visibility in terms of search engines, such as:
- Identifying relevant keywords and phrases that align with your content and audiences’ search intent.
- Link building, by earning links from reputable and relevant websites.
- Make sure your website is technically sound and optimized for search engines (also known as technical SEO). This would include mobile friendliness, implementing schema markup, and improving site speed.
- Conducting competitor analysis to identify gaps in content, potential link-building prospects, and keyword opportunities.