Getting yourself known

March 2015

Develop your brand

A brand is a somewhat elusive concept - difficult to articulate but you know one when you see one. It is more than a logo, although a logo may ultimately be the recognisable face of a brand - think Apple for example.

Your brand should capture what you stand for and the feeling your customers get when they do business with you. So start by focusing on the customer; deliver great customer service and deliver it consistently. Customers can make or break a brand.

PR and media relations

How can you get your message in front of busy journalists? Your press release has to stand out from the rest by targeting your chosen publication.

  • Start with your local press - your local newspapers and free publications are often on the lookout for content; start here before moving on to the national press.
  • Do your homework - invest time in reading the publication and studying its website so you get an idea of the editorial requirements; you can also use the website to find the names of editors and journalists.
  • Ensure your press releases and articles are well written - make it easy for a journalist to choose your article by submitting material that doesn't need heavy editing or complete rewriting.

Social media

If you are looking at social media to promote your business here are a few tactics you can use to give yourself a better chance of success.

  • Understand how your customers use social media - this is important: it is no use pouring effort into Facebook if your customers are businesses who use Twitter.
  • Learn from how your competitors use social media - copy what they do well; improve on what they do badly.
  • Be prepared to invest time in social media - it's no good creating a profile that subsequently shows little activity; you need a presence, which means you need to post regularly.
  • Be sure your website integrates with your social media activity - the primary function of your social media activity is to create interest and drive potential customers to your website: your website must be capable of capturing this interest in the form of leads.

Show what you know

Online marketing is moving from an environment of overt advertising and selling to one of proving your credentials by sharing your expertise freely. So fill your website and blog with freely available, valuable and well-written content, and potential customers will feel confident in doing business with you. This form of marketing is especially useful where you are offering a service rather than a physical product.

Author: Peter Noone

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