There once was a business known as the best kept secret in its sector. The End.
Well, it would have been, had someone not intervened and worked on its profile. It has to have been one of the most unusual selling techniques I have come across in my twenty odd years in business.
You do not want your business to be a secret, you want it to be there, in people's sight as often as possible so that they think of you when they need what your business has to offer. You don't want to litter the streets and every doorstep in the nation every week like some pizza companies do, but you do NEED to be out there.
Word of mouth is all very good, networking can prove to be hugely useful but should you stop there? What happens when someone wants to check out that business card they picked up or check out the services you offer because they spoke to too many other business people at their 6am networking event.
They look for your website, they try to follow you on twitter, they check out ratings on listing sites, they look for your testimonials and they check out your expertise. What? Not got anything? Then it is time to get started.
1. SHOP WINDOW - I recently read a great article on how your business needs a shop window, Clients need to see what you have to offer. The best way to do this (unless you actually have a shop window) is to create a website.
2. SHOUT OUTS - Twitter is your opportunity to shout about what you do, who you know, where you are working and why you believe in things. Clients will see you and your brand pop up again and again if you use it wisely and what better way to keep in the forefront of their minds.
3. PROFILING - You can let people know your CV, your experiences and skills through the wonder that is LinkedIn. Also a really useful place to show your connections and share them.
4. BLOGGING - If you are selling your skills and experiences, then you need to ensure that people can see what you stand for, how you work and what you can do for them. By blogging you do exactly that. Write from the heart so that clients can truly resonate with your words and relate to what you have to offer.
5. UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE - if you walked down the street and the butchers window had old meat in it, or the grocers had mouldy fruit or the clothes shop had cobwebs in the window, the chances are, you would walk on by. Your website, your blog, your twitter is just the same thing. If it is out of date, inactive and tired, it won't get you anywhere.
These things don't come naturally to all of us. Most business owners started their business because they had something to offer that they were good at and wanted to offer, so how does all this promotion fit? Well without it, there will be no delivery of your services to carry out.