Sometimes the set-up of a business isn’t the most daunting task – it's telling people about it. So, if self promotion isn’t your forte, how can you get the word out?
Let’s start with the good news first: you aren’t alone. Most people who start their own business experience times when they can’t handle self-promotion.
Thankfully, there are some small hacks you can make to give yourself the best possible starting point. All it takes is a little bit of planning.
Know your audience
It’s easy to fall into a trap where you feel like you should appeal to everyone. And before you know it, you’re compromising your product or service and agreeing to do certain things that were never part of the plan.
Fortunately, this is easy to avoid. The key is to keep it simple.
Go back to basics and write down who your ideal customer is. It will give you a clear vision of who you’re aiming to target, and something to refer to when you’re feeling stuck.
Do you ever find yourself blasting out generic posts or content just because that’s what you saw someone else do? Then, stop. Clients or customers are more inclined to connect with a business that is personable and intentional.
Talk about your business in a way that makes sense to you. Be yourself and let your personality shine through. That might mean posting on social media every day or it might mean avoiding social media all together. You’ll start attracting people who are like-minded and from there your network will grow.
Be easy to find
There are some really simple, fail safe ways you can open up the lines of communication with people in your network, and beyond.
Set up a mailing list that people can sign up to. This can live on your website or social media accounts. There are some mailing list programs that give you insights on who is opening your emails and you can even see who has clicked on links. It’s pretty cool.
Utilise platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with potential clients and similar businesses and use Facebook and Instagram to connect with customers. Try not to overload your friends and family with information by posting about it on your own social media accounts all the time. You want them to support and help spread the word but sharing the same thing 5 times won’t achieve that result.
One of the fastest ways to build a customer base is through word-of-mouth. When you meet people, be specific with what your new role is.
Figure out your ‘elevator pitch’ - what your business is in one or two sentences. It will come in handy and will help you feel more confident the more you’re asked about it.
Consider these two responses to someone asking what you do:
“I own a florist, we specialise in same-day-delivery of mini bouquets around the city. We change the flowers every day so we can always take advantage of what’s in season!”
“I just started working for myself, just seeing if it’s going to work out. I opened a florist. It’s pretty scary. We have a shop but we also send out these little bouquets every day. Like small versions of normal bouquets? Yeah, we change the flowers that are in them every day.”
See the difference? It’s the same message delivered in two very different ways.
Celebrate your wins
You will wear many hats as a self-employed person. On top of your actual role, chances are you’ll be an accountant, HR manager, marketing manager and a people manager… the list goes on.
There’s also an easily over looked, but equally important, role you’ll need to play: your own personal cheerleader!
It’s so easy to gloss over the little wins when you’re focused on the end result. But as any successful business owner will tell you, celebrating those little wins – especially at the start – will do wonders for your productivity and ultimately your bottom line.
Before you start telling people about your business, set yourself with the right tools. Find out more about Bendigo Bank business products.