As a small business, it’s important that you get the word out about your establishment. Not only is doing so important to let the world know that you exist, but it also helps to build your brand, establish your presence, and develop your authority. While you may not have the budget to hire a PR department, you can still effectively market your business.
All businesses need public relations. It allows you to establish your presence by letting the world know that you exists, builds recognition of your brand, and establishes you as an authority in your industry. The bottom line: public relations allows you to build your customer base, which in turn builds sales and boost the bottom line and the success of your business.
While large businesses that have a substantial amount of money to pack them up may be able to hire a dedicated marketing firm, if you’re a small business, you might not have such a luxury. However, just because your budget may be limited, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of PR. You can be your own public relations specialist, and you can succeed at doing so. Here’s a look at some highly effective DIY PR tips that will help you get your business noticed and take your success to new heights.
Take Advantage of Social Media
Social media is one of the best tools that you can use if you are going to go the DIY route for public relations. It’s an excellent way to reach countless people, and it is extremely cost effective. Given the fact that there are literally billions of people that use social media around the world on a daily basis, using various social media channels will afford you the opportunity to engage with a huge audience. By using social media, you can really establish your presence, build your authority, and spread the word about the products and services that you offer. You can also let the public know that there is a person behind your business, which will significantly increase your success.
When it comes to using social media for your PR efforts, it is important to remember that you have to act like you would if you were at a real like networking event. You have to provide interesting conversation points, listen to your followers, and respond to them. You should also monitor what it is that people are interested in and provide what it is that they are interested in. And most important, you should always remember to be yourself and inject your own personality into your social media efforts. Doing so will make you stand out and show the public that you are truly unique.
To get started, create a small business Facebook page for your business. Add eye-catching photos and post interesting information that your targeted audience will find valuable, will want to interact with, and will want to share. Also, remember that it is important to be consistent. Posting once in a while won’t help your cause. Post on a regular basis so that you can stay fresh, current and show up in the news feed of your targeted audience. Most importantly, be patient. You won’t develop a huge following overnight, but with patience and persistence, you will eventually see your efforts unfold and the success of your business will start to soar.
Take the Time to Network
When it comes to business, there is no such thing as having too many contacts. From broad business groups to specific association networks, there are tons of opportunities for you to make contacts with individuals that could help to boost the success of your business. However, do keep in mind that making contacts isn’t just about getting new business.
Networking can help you learn so much about running your business. It affords you the opportunity to find out how other businesses go about their marketing efforts, connecting with other clients and business, and how they do, well, just about everything. You can apply the strategies that you learn to your own business endeavors. In addition to gaining insight from others, networking also allows you to share your own experiences and get feedback. In doing so, you can learn tips for improving your efforts, or receive positive input that will further motivate you to keep on going.
A successful networker always follows up with the people that they meet. You want to make sure that you really connect with people, and in order to do so, you have to follow up with the people that you meet along the way. Having tons of business cards in your possession won’t do you any good if you don’t establish real connections with the people that those cards represent.
Write Some Content
Authoring and sending out content is another excellent way to get more attention for your business. Press releases, for example, are a fantastic way to get media coverage for your business. Make sure that you have an interesting, unique angle that will attract the attention of the media. Remember that bland stories aren’t going to get noticed. Try to take a different angle; something unique that hasn’t been covered a million times before. Some examples for angles include your involvement with your community, benefits that your products and/or services can offer others and how you are making a difference.
Whatever angle you take, you want to ensure that your content isn’t a blatant advertisement. Media outlets and the general public aren’t interested in hearing stories that are seen as direct advertisements for businesses; they prefer stories that about businesses that show a real purpose.
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Keep Your Website Current
You can have an incredibly designed website, but unless you keep it current, it isn’t going to do you much good. By updating your website on a regular basis, you will keep it fresh and relevant, which will increase its presence on the internet and get your business out in front of more people. A website that is constantly maintained and has new content added to it – videos, blog posts, articles, photos, etc – will receive a higher search engine ranking. The higher your website ranks on a search engine, the more visible it will be, and the more success your business will have.
Don’t forget to make use of keywords. You want to include keywords that relate to your business and that your targeted audience is searching for. However, keep in mind that you should avoid keyword stuffing. Doing so will have negative effects on your website and your PR efforts on a whole.
Acquire Testimonials from Your Customers
Testimonials are another powerful public relations tool. They prove just how useful the products and services your business offers are, and how reputable your company is.
Ask customers that have worked with your business to share their experiences. Encourage your Facebook followers to write reviews on your page. Send out emails to ask past customers to write a brief testimonial that highlights their experience with the products and/or services that they offer. Testimonials help to build the credibility of your business and establish trust. They are an excellent way to position your business as an expert in your industry. Including testimonials from customers on your website can also help you win new business.
Appear in Public
Your targeted audience wants to know that your business is real and is run by people. By making public appearances, you will be able to highlight the fact that your business is, in fact, backed by people. You will be able to make real contacts with your customers and have valuable face time. You will also have the opportunity to connect with other businesses.
Another excellent DIY PR option is hosting events. Even something as simple as a party around the holiday season or a barbecue in the summer will attract attention for your business, which can do wonders for your PR efforts and your success, on a whole. The public loves interacting with businesses that offer events. The events give them something fun to do, and they prove that you have actually invested time and effort into hosting something that will benefit others. Of course, your business will benefit from the events that you hold, too. You’ll build awareness for your brand, establish your presence as a trusted authority in your industry, and you will be able to make real, meaningful and lasting connections.
Public relations is an absolute must for any business, especially for small businesses. Having a limited budget doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of PR. By putting in the effort, being creative and using some (or all) of the tips we listed here, you will be able to step up your PR game. The results of these efforts will boost the success of your business, which is, after all, what you are trying to achieve.
Be diligent, persistent and taking the time to invest in your PR efforts will do wonders for your business.