Cut Through the Noise and Promote Your Small Business
The Internet is a noisy place. It can seem virtually impossible for a small business owner to get seen or heard online.
But it can be done. You just have to cut through the noise. Here’s how:
1. Give First, Then Ask
Who are your prospective customers? What information are they looking for? Can you provide them with that information for free?
You could provide detailed blog post tutorials or videos. Or you could answer questions on social media, or on sites like Quora.
Providing this type of value positions you as an authority in your niche. Prospective customers will see you as knowledgeable and someone who delivers top quality content. When they are ready to spend money on a product or service you provide, they’ll come to you first.
Give first, then ask.
2. Identify Niche Communities
Seek out communities relevant to your niche. Where do your customers hang out online? Spend time in these communities and be helpful. Remember to give first, then ask, please don’t walk into a virtual room yelling “buy my thing!”
Here’s a great example: if you sell unique hand-dyed yarn, you should invest some time in the forums at ravelry.com. Answer knitting questions. Make helpful yarn substitution suggestions. People will look at your profile, follow you on social media and, most likely, visit your website or online shop.
Facebook is a great platform for finding niche groups. Pay careful attention to individual group rules. Most will have specific threads for promoting your product or service.
3. Create Infographics
An infographic (unsurprisingly) is a graphic representation of interesting or helpful information.
People often find it more efficient to consume information visually - a picture is usually more eye-catching than a page of text.
Produce infographics relating to your niche. Include your logo and website at the end and make it shareable.
Tools like Canva make producing infographics simple, regardless of your design skills.
4. Guest Blog
A great way to reach a wider audience is guest blogging. Look for popular bloggers in your niche and pitch an idea to them.
Your guest post should not be a direct sell. It should give value to the blogger’s audience. It’s reasonable, though, for you to ask for a short biography at the start or the end of the post featuring a link to your website or email newsletter opt-in.
5. Build an Email List
An email list is essential for promoting and growing a small business. You might have a decent sized audience on Facebook, for example, but what happens if Facebook went away one day?
You own an email list. It’s an asset.
If you’re just starting out building your list then MailChimp is a great free option (with paid upgrades available).
Communicate with your list regularly (a weekly newsletter is a good idea) but most importantly, be consistent. Provide value and reward your loyal list members.