TO PRO­MOTE YOUR COM­PANY

CityPress - - Tenders - CHELSEA BER­LER projects@city­press.co.za En­tre­pre­neur.com –

It is im­por­tant for busi­ness own­ers to re­alise that they must be cheer­lead­ers for both them­selves and their com­pa­nies. As an en­tre­pre­neur, you have to re­mem­ber that the only way a po­ten­tial client will hear about your ex­is­tence is if you get the word out. Tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing chan­nels like di­rect mail, dis­play advertising and ra­dio ads have long been the means to this end. But over the past few years, busi­nesses have in­creas­ingly turned their backs on those chan­nels and fo­cused in­stead on a much more grass roots ap­proach.

That ap­proach en­tails so­cial media, com­mu­nity out­reach and per­sonal re­la­tion­ships to cre­ate a mar­ket­ing foun­da­tion.

Word of mouth

I love re­ceiv­ing busi­ness via word of mouth. Why? Be­cause half the work of selling my­self has been done for me. Clients who ap­proach me through a con­nec­tion gen­er­ally know who I am and what I’m about.

Maybe they no­ticed the way I worked with another client and liked it. Maybe they’re a friend of a friend.

Re­gard­less of how they came to con­nect with my com­pany, chances are pretty good that they’ll stick around.

Word of Mouth Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion stud­ies have shown that just one off­line word-of-mouth im­pres­sion drives sales at least five times the rate that a paid media im­pres­sion does.

Talk about putting your money where your mouth is.

So­cial media

So­cial media, used in the right way, is a great way to mar­ket your­self. Face­book, Twit­ter, In­sta­gram. These sites need to be nur­tured daily, if not hourly, to re­ally work for you.

At my com­pany, we are in­un­dated with mar­ket­ing mes­sages on our feeds ev­ery day, so cre­at­ing some­thing that inspires cus­tomer in­ter­ac­tion is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant.

For ex­am­ple, mil­lions of peo­ple par­tic­i­pated in the ALS Ice Bucket Chal­lenge (for re­search on amy­otrophic lat­eral scle­ro­sis) to raise funds and cre­ate aware­ness across the globe.

Why? Be­cause they heard about it on so­cial media, whose men­tions in turn prompted press and TV cov­er­age.

Be­sides, the chal­lenge was en­gag­ing and fun. It gave you an op­por­tu­nity to chal­lenge your friends and spread the word for a good cause.

Give peo­ple some­thing to talk about

It’s no ran­dom de­ci­sion on my part to write weekly about what I love: entrepreneurship and busi­ness-build­ing. It’s a con­scious choice be­cause I feel I have some­thing to of­fer.

Whether I’m writ­ing to em­power women, en­cour­age busi­ness own­ers or even rant about my angst with my busi­ness strug­gles, I want to cre­ate some­thing worth talk­ing about.

And I want to get the word out about my busi­ness. Cre­at­ing a di­a­logue al­lows me to be seen as more ap­proach­able and eas­ier to un­der­stand.

Per­sonal re­la­tion­ships

Don’t shy away from get­ting per­sonal with a client. Know­ing their kids’ names or shar­ing a funny story about what hap­pened to you last week­end can cre­ate a pow­er­ful bond be­tween you and the peo­ple you work for.

I don’t hes­i­tate to share pic­tures of my dogs, friends and fam­ily be­cause that lets peo­ple know I have a life out­side of my com­pany. I’m a whole per­son, not just a CEO.

I love when a client be­comes a friend. It makes my work for them that much more ful­fill­ing.

It makes my com­pany stronger. I want my clients to feel welcome and happy about their re­la­tion­ship with me.

I want them happy for not only what my com­pany pro­duces for them, but the way we treat them and care about them, like fam­ily.

It’s an at­ti­tude that con­tin­ues to prove its value time af­ter time.

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