When you’ve gone through all of the rigmarole of starting your company, from the legals, squaring up your finances, hiring staff and starting your office, it’s time to get down to the real stuff. New companies can do everything right during setup, but if their marketing and PR isn’t on point, the company is at real risk of not generating the client base it needs to succeed. It’s all about getting your name on the map, and for all the right reasons. If people don’t know who you are, and what your expertise is, they’re far less likely to approach your business when the time comes for requiring services. Here are just a few ways you can ensure your startup is on the map to help to guarantee a customer base which grows as fast as you need it to.
Perfect your PR skills
It may come as a surprise, but your local media may well be interested in the new company that is starting up in the area. While a simple press release might not pique their interest, an exclusive introductory event might turn heads. Your PR is essential throughout the life of your company, and it is most effective when it is making use of interesting events in the lifetime of the business, and what more important event is there than its birth? Throw a party, invite the press, easy peasy. If you have no experience with PR, take some time learning the basics - it’ll come in handy repeatedly throughout your time as CEO. The essential thing once you’ve got yourself in the minds of the local media is to maintain momentum. Don’t accept the occasional article, keep them updated with any major change. Developing a relationship with the local press, especially the relevant people, will keep you in the news, and could be some of the most essential business contacts that you create. Sponsoring local events, teams, and publications is also a great way to stay in the public eye, and the more often people see your branding, the more likely they are to think of you first when the time comes that they require your services.
Make the most of your branding
Your image is everything to a new company. A comprehensive and cohesive brand image is what will cement the public’s opinion of you. It isn’t just a logo, it’s everything from a color scheme to your personal image, and it has to be uniform across the board. From advertising to ID lanyards, the more the branding is seen, the more readily people will make the association with you. You may choose to outsource the job of branding and marketing to help to create an image you’re pleased with. Spend time choosing the right person - don’t just go for the first quote you receive. The company you go with should understand your ethos for the company, and your vision for the future. Great branding with reflect these things, seemingly effortlessly. And be sure to choose something you love - it’s going to stick with you for a few years, after all.
Create the perfect online presence
In this day and age, companies just can’t get away with ignoring the importance of social media, mobile marketing, and their web presence, especially during the startup phase. This is the perfect time to cement your image in the minds of your locals, but also the make the most of what is essentially free marketing. Keeping a blog, especially one which makes the most of SEO, or search engine optimization, is a great way to ensure you’re relevant when people Google local businesses. Establishing yourself as a Google Maps marketer is perfect for putting your company on the map, so when people are searching for local businesses, your company will pop up on Google Maps. It’s about using the right keywords for SEO to make your company relevant to your local area, as well as the industry. Keeping a blog is also about demonstrating your expertise in your field. Clients are far more likely to choose a company who seem as though they know what they’re on about, of course.
Get people talking
When you’ve finished a job for a client, ask for a testimonial or a review. The more people talk, the more new people will hear. This is the center of a great marketing strategy. As advanced as technology has become, people still use word of mouth and recommendations from trusted friends and family for a huge percentage of the businesses they choose. So get testimonials for your websites and build a great TripAdvisor or Yelp review, but also make sure every customer leaves happy. Sometimes, it’s worth going above and beyond your pay to create an experience so outstanding for your client that they’re certain to rave about you to everyone they know. Word of mouth will always be one of the best means of advertising. Facebook is becoming more and more about reviews, and it is now possible for Facebook friends to leave recommendations for each other one there, which automatically link to your social media. For this reason, it’s essential that your social media accounts are relevant, up to date, communicative, and full of great reviews.Be proactiveResting on your laurels is never the right way to get your company noticed. Taking small risks to get yourself on the map, either through social media, the press, or word of mouth, is what will guarantee that you get noticed. This means going above and beyond for clients, creating fun events or promotions, and keeping your online presence exciting and interesting. There’s no time to become lax when competition is so fierce. The only way to guarantee success is by working for it, and your PR and outreach should be one of the things that is a priority alongside building the business. Putting your startup on the map is an essential part of creating a successful business with longevity. Getting your name out there, building trust with customers, and establishing yourself as an expert in the field is crucial.