When the economy was at its high point, many businesses became successful. The obvious result of a well-balanced economy is an influx in profitable ventures, and small business startups. More money in circulation certainly plays a key role in the growth and capital gain of a new business. But it doesn’t actually mean that a successful business in a stable economy is truly a “successful” business.
The global economic decline exposed some not so great businesses, which were merely riding the wave of excess spending. Many businesses, however, not only survived the collapse, but continue to prosper!
As an entrepreneur or service professional, you should view this historic low point as a way to rise to the top. I know it’s hard to see the good in things, but now is the time to embrace the fact that you are in complete control of your future. Your competitors, just like yourself, have been hit hard. They are no longer growth-minded, and have been just rolling with the punches. Build your business by exposing their lackluster survival efforts, and start learning a little small business self defense.
By staying focused on your goal of becoming successful, and channeling your inner Steve Jobs, you can invent new and cost-effective ways to build brand awareness. Staying in the public eye will not only ensure that you are not forgotten, but the clients or customers that once frequented your competitors’ location, might just be impressed with your tenacity! Heck, you might even say that you could ethically be stealing their business. That’s how this world works. Good things come to those that fight through the ebbs, and utilize the free tools that technology provides.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube…all free!
Building exposure for your company or small business has never been easier. Look at social media as the X Factor of business growth. These tools can be used to create insanely large sums of income. They build on the likelihood that individuals will not only acknowledge your existence, but will call on you when your product or service is required.
The problem lies with those that claim they “don’t understand technology, and have no desire to learn.” If your business has absolutely zero of these digital "X factors" in play, and you stand firm on repelling the tech savvy awareness to make things happen, then you might as well close up shop and sell the dog!
On the other hand, if you are willing to learn, and are ready to take your business to the next level, then I commend your diligence, and look forward to seeing what you can do!
Here are five ways you can leverage technology & start building an insane amount of brand awareness.
1. Create a business profile on Facebook
This is probably the best way to communicate with your competitor’s customers! They’re looking to jump ship, and find a new place to spend their money. Many of them already know that you exist, but through Facebook, everyone is now going to know you on a personal level. Your social efforts will build trust, and trust builds loyalty.
Loyalty makes you money!
2. Take pictures!
People love catching a glimpse of what’s going on behind closed doors. Give them a sneak peek at what you’ve been up to. Post pictures of new products, or do-it-yourself projects, and allow your customers to feel like they are a part of your business, and not just a debit card swipe!
3. Capture your brand on video
Video continues to be the most engaging form of free media on the internet. A gentleman by the name of Gary Vaynerchuk, www.GaryVaynerchuk.com, built a massively wealthy wine business by simply recording a short video of himself reviewing a “Wine of the Day.” He would post the videos on his website, and share them on every social site he could think of. His efforts resulted in a $3 million company growing into a $60 million company almost overnight! He committed to learning how the internet worked, and quickly mastered the art of social sharing.
4. Setup Google Alerts
Do you have a Google account? If you say “no” because you fear that they will invade your privacy, then you need to check your concerns at the door! By accessing your free Google account, you can set up news alerts that will be emailed to you anytime a select keyword or phrase shows up in the “webosphere.” My standard practice is to add my business name to my list of notifications. This way, if anyone throws some praise my way, or worse, has a negative experience, I can quickly act to say thanks, or resolve the issue. What a great way to integrate customer service into your online strategy!
5. Start a blog
Now don’t complain about not having time to annotate your thoughts! A simple blog platform such as WordPress, www.WordPress.com, gives any user, no matter the skill level, a simple way to convey their vision online. Plus, in the world of Search Engine Optimization, blogging is the fastest way to build your visibility in search engine sites like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Authoring a blog is like writing in your diary, and we all know how hard it is to resist reading someone’s diary!
Don’t stiff arm technology, embrace it, and learn to build your business beyond a level you ever though possible. You put a ton of blood, sweat, and tears into starting your business. Don’t just roll over and die.
Clench your fists, and fight your way to the top. Clinton, Iowa, needs strong businesses that support this community as we concentrate on building a more prosperous future.
What’s your vision of Clinton in 2033? In my head, it looks amazing!
Andy Sokolovich is the owner of small business marketing firm Bent Business Marketing. He can be reached at andy@BentBusinessMarketing.com.