Are You Marketing Yourself Effectively?
Small Business expert Rieva Lesonsky shares her experience and insight on marketing yourself effectively.
Most entrepreneurs think every day about better ways to market their businesses. But do you ever stop to consider how well you’re marketing yourself?
Like it or not, as a small business owner, you are the face of your business. That means you’ve got to get out there and market yourself, not just your company. Here are some tactics that work:
Get social. If you’re not already using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, what are you waiting for? These services are free and, unlike traditional marketing methods, they’re all about the personal touch—so they’re the perfect place to share your personality and help prospects and clients get to know you.
Get real. Don’t limit yourself to online networking, however. Meeting and staying in touch with prospects and customers in the offline world is just as important as it ever was, if not more so. Make sure you’re attending the trade shows, networking events and industry mixers that help you stay in touch.
Meet the neighbors. Customers want to do business with people who care about their communities—so whether you’re a retailer, restaurateur or service business, get involved in your local community. Getting known as someone who contributes to charity, sits on committees and genuinely cares goes a long way.
Maintain relationships. Marketing yourself isn’t just about reaching out to new prospects—it’s also about staying in touch with existing customers. Make a call, send an e-mail, drop a note or invite a client out to lunch. You’ll cement relationships and possibly get some new business, too.
Get regular tune-ups. If your image falls short in any way, take steps to fix it. Whether you need a personal shopper to update your wardrobe, a voice coach to smooth out your squeaks and squawks, or an IT consultant to get your tech tools up to speed, the results will be worth the effort.
And to make sure you stay on top of your business, it’s a smart idea to schedule some time with a SCORE counselor at your local SCORE office. They may not be able to tell you what to wear, but they can fill you in on the best ways to market yourself and your business.
Have a question about marketing yourself? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!