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Just started a business? Learn how to toot your own horn! 

19 May 2019 | 4 min read

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.

Be yourself

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.

A man who owns his own business in front of his business truck

Be specific

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!”

Versus…

“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.

Note: This article contains general advice only. Readers should seek a trusted professional’s advice on financial matters.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited, ABN 11 068 049 178 AFSL / Australian Credit Licence 237879. Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal needs, objectives and financial circumstances. You should consider whether it is appropriate for your situation. Please read the applicable Disclosure Documents before acquiring any product described on this website. Please also review our Financial Services Guide (FSG) before accessing information on this website. Information on this page can change without notice to you.

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