The Wingman crew talks with 100+ small businesses and entrepreneurs every year and many share a similar situation – they want to create awareness and get more business, but self-promotion stops them cold. For many of them, marketing is the single most challenging and intimidating aspect of running their business. They are amazing at what they do within the confines of their business, but the act of putting themselves at the forefront of their outbound communication strategy paralyzes them. The fact is most of us are uncomfortable with the act of self promotion. That’s why we want to talk about great ways ways to promote your business.
Promoting yourself doesn’t have to mean talking about yourself. There are so many other ways to get your name and your business out there and market your brand. This is something that is too often overlooked by businesses starting out or even those with decades of experience. Below are five simple ways to promote your business without talking about yourself or your business.
[Before getting to the list, it bears stating that any business that talks only about themselves and the services/products they offer is missing the boat. Your customers main concern is what is in it for them. If you don’t focus your communications on your future customers and their problems, someone else will.]
1. Participate in the Digital Community.
The online community is growing at an incredible rate, and that means more and more businesses are coming together to share ideas and inspiration every day through social networking groups like Facebook and Twitter. In addition, you can engage by posting and responding to posts in specialized forums related to your business or the field your business resides. Find a group that you can relate to and begin listening and responding to what people have to say. Answer questions that people have and ask some of your own. By joining the conversations taking place all over the web, you can build relationships, grow your audience, and make people care about what you have to say.
2. Share and Collaborate.
One of the best parts of the online community is an increasing willingness of businesses to share workshops, advice, and other resources with their clients, vendors and even fellow businesses. Writing timely and interesting blogs related to your industry is one way to promote your business without having to put yourself out there. Try to be a resource to others and help in any way you can. With intelligent and regular content, you can quickly become a subject matter expert in your industry and keep people coming back for more. You may not strive to be an influencer but if your content adds value to your audience this trust in you and your business starts to occur organically.
3. Educate Those Around You.
Writing and publishing informative and educational blogs and podcasts help to connect with your community. It also allows you to share resources and ideas. Remember, everything you do needs to meet your original objective of building new business. So, whatever you publish it needs to promote your business products and services to some degree. By acting as a resource and providing value, people naturally want to know more about you. This eventually leads them to contacting you.
4. Promote Others.
You can increase your visibility online by promoting others in the industry. This can be your clients, your vendors, a fellow influencer or others on your team. You can do this via interview, by reviewing their work in a post on your blog, or simply passing along a link to their website. There is a natural reciprocity and they will likely provide thanks publicly via their own medium (their social pages, blogs, etc.). This act will further establish you as a potential resource for future clients and will build relationships with others in the industry.
5. Join or Volunteer for a Cause You Believe In.
You could help a worthy cause by getting involved with a foundation, charity or charitable organization. Many savvy small businesses affiliate themselves with charities as a way to market their businesses. It is a spectacular means for developing a powerful network for you and your business and it helps others in the process. People like to associate themselves with businesses that support causes that help others in a meaningful way. Don’t worry about charities seeing your ulterior motives. They understand your duality of motivation – helping the less fortunate and putting yourself out there. Most charities today understand and and are well-versed at helping you receive a return on your charitable investments. [One key caution with this strategy is that you MUST be invested in the charity you choose in a very personal way. Observers of your involvement and actions will easily see through charitable work solely for the sake of promotion.]
No matter what product or service your business specializes in, you are an artist of sorts. As such, it’s important to remember that you can infuse every facet of our business with some element of artistry. Marketing and promotion are no exception. By engaging in any of the above tactics, you can build relationships that can and likely will benefit your business in the future. These tactics all raise awareness for you and your business without needing you to talk about you. Had you spent all your time talking about yourself directly, you would not have gleaned as much interest from your prospective customers.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of selling yourself, try to use some of the ideas above to promote your business without having to promote yourself. If the above ideas seem out of your comfort zone, let us know. You don’t have to fly solo. Book a Wingman today and we can assist getting you out in front of your company without physically having to be out front.