You’ve started your business, now what?

Congratulations, you’re a small business owner! What’s next? Now it’s time to get your business in front of potential customers, but how do you build the brand recognition necessary to be successful? While each business is unique in exact strategy, all small businesses share the following marketing building blocks:

  1. Search Engine Listings: Google My Business and Bing Places are the two primary search engine listings every small business should sign-up for. Consumers use search engines to find local businesses with the products or services they’re looking for. Consumers use search engines to find local businesses with the products or services they’re looking for. Search engines display results based on relevance and location. These search engine listings include your website, phone number, and address, if you have a storefront for customers to visit you.
  2. Website: Don’t ignore the importance of having an up to date website where visitors can learn more about your business and start the buying process. We recommend building your website with WordPress for easy access to plugins that enhance the function of your website and ease of use when it comes to adding or editing content. Connect your website to Google Analytics to understand who is visiting your website and what pages work best for converting visitors into customers.
  3. Social Media: An active social media presence is important for building a reputation as a trustworthy brand in your community. Choose the three social media networks that have the audience best resembling your customer profiles. Develop a content strategy plan for delivering posts that engage your audience. Focus on educating and entertaining rather than directly selling your business.
  4. Business Cards & Brochures: It’s important to have something to give connections and prospects that tells them about you and your business. These items should be designed to complement your brand, using the colors and fonts from your branding guide. Make sure there’s plenty of contrast between your text and background, especially if you’re placing text onto an image.
  5. Email Marketing: Email is an effective way to both win new business and encourage repeat customers. Focus your message for smaller, more specific groups instead of sending everyone the same email message. Plan an email campaign for each landing page on your website and an introduction for people you meet at network groups and events.

A successful marketing strategy for small businesses includes multiple channels of communication. This is especially important for businesses that are just getting started. In the early stages of your strategy, your plan must consider building the brand recognition necessary to thrive in your community. For help getting your business off to a great start, we have an 8-week Build Your Local Brand program with everything you need to jump-start your marketing strategy.

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