All business owners have the same goal: to be successful. The way to success is different for everyone, but you won’t get what you want if you don’t use some tools in your toolbox. After all, if you have access to a length of rope, would you really try to climb a mountain without it?
The most important step to success is to have a strong brand that resonates with a variety of people. Without brand recognition, your business won’t grow. Here are 5 tools you can use to build your brand and boost your business.
Start writing a blog. Blogs are used to build your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader within your industry.
Be sure to do your research before posting. What do your customers want to know? Can you answer their questions with an in-depth analysis that no one else is providing?
Focus on the quality of your posts and not the quantity. Don’t include product reviews or self-promotional material. Be honest and authentic in your posts to build trust with your readers.
Let your personality shine through your writing, but be sure to proofread. Bad grammar and spelling hurts your credibility. Share your blogs on social media and with other influencers in your industry.
2. Business cards
Business cards are like mini mobile billboards for your business. Sometimes, they can be the first tangible representation of your brand for people, making them one of the vital marketing tools. This is your chance to put your personality on display. A unique business card can get a lot of miles for your business because people will be more likely to keep it.
Your cards will be used to gain clients and make connections. But if a card has a boring design or isn’t useful, it will definitely end up in the trash. With that in mind, I asked the business card design experts at Company Folders for tips to make a business card stand out. They said you could use a thicker stock or various imprint methods to make your card feel unique.
If you don’t want to stray too far from traditional sizes or shapes, you can still use different die cut methods to change things up by adding a window or a wavy edge. But the best way to make your card stand out is to give it some utility. You can do this by including information people will refer back to or making it a useful item such as a magnet or ruler.
3. Social media
Having a social media presence is just as important as having a website. Don’t overdo it, though. Jumping on every platform will tire you out, and the quality of your posts will suffer. Determine which site will reach your audience best and go from there (most small businesses find Facebook is a must have).
Tailor your posts for your platform because each one will reach a different type of audience. Make sure your logo has the correct aspect ratio to look just as good as a small profile picture as it does on your website. Include custom images with your posts to get more attention. Don’t wait too long to address customers’ comments, questions or concerns, as your followers will notice this.
4. Loyalty program
A great way to attract new customers and reward existing customers is to develop a loyalty program. Customers who are happy with their loyalty program typically tell their friends about it, which could bring in more customers for you.
A loyalty program doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or money. For instance, use the back of your business card as a punch card to allow customers to earn free products after a specific number of purchases. This will encourage customers to keep your business card handy. You could also give customers a point for every dollar spent to earn rewards for points. Consider offering extra points to customers if they follow or engage with you on social media.
5. Press release
Press coverage is a great way to earn free advertising and increase business. Notify your local media of upcoming special events, milestones or changes that will impact the community with a press release.
Make sure to include what makes your release newsworthy at the top, as reporters receive a lot of press releases. Send it out at least three days in advance to increase your changes of coverage. Offer to send photos and a write-up if a reporter can’t cover it. The reporter will remember how easy you are to work with when they need a source from your industry later.
You also could submit guest columns. Like a blog, this will help you get your business’s name out there and establish yourself as a thought leader.
It takes dedication and hard work to increase your business. Unfortunately, there’s no magic wand to make it happen, and it won’t happen overnight. Hopefully, using any or all of these five tools and strategies will give you a boost.