As a small business owner, you may not have a ton of money to spend on marketing yourself or your brand. However, the concept of promoting your business is a fundamental strategy to get your message out to the public. As a small business owner, it helps if you promote yourself online as well.
Before the Internet, business owners had limited methods to promote their products and services if they had a small or limited budget. However, nowadays, you can promote yourself and your business very effectively and inexpensively as well.
The question is, as the business owner, should you promote yourself or not? There are some people who struggle with whether to brand themselves or brand their business? And others can’t decide if they want to promote themselves or just promote the business. The fact is, if you are an entrepreneur operating a micro or small business, you are the brand.
Watch this video as I share why you should be promoting yourself if you’re in business.
I believe that entrepreneurs should definitely promote themselves online as well as whatever it is they are selling (products/services). There are several free to low cost options you can utilize to market and promote your business. For starters you should be registered with Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Bing Places. Additionally, as a small business owner, you definitely should have a YouTube channel. These options are of course the base line point for promoting yourself these days. I am referring to these options as baseline not only because they are free but because Google, Yahoo, Bing and YouTube are the biggest search engines on the Internet and a very basic place you should start when it comes to promoting yourself online.
Promoting your brand in this day and age is practically a no-brainer. The word promote means to further the progress of of something, especially a cause, venture or aim. If you’re in business you should be aiming to grow that business. And unmistakably, one of the best ways to grow your business is to market and promote it. And guess what else? When you market and promote yourself, as the business owner, you’re two steps ahead of the entrepreneurs who don’t.
Many entrepreneurs depend on word of mouth advertising and fail to invest in proper promotional branding and marketing strategies in order to consistently get leads and generate new business.
With any business strategy, there are advantages and disadvantages. The key is to be willing to accept the good with the bad and have a methodology for handling both.
When it comes to entrepreneurs who are solo-entrepreneurs or self employed, you are the brand. That’s said, it’s practically a necessary evil to promote yourself as well as your business.
Here are 3 disadvantages for promoting yourself.
One thing about promotion is that if you do it often enough, you will get noticed. And once you begin to get noticed, you are no longer anonymous. Getting yourself out there in a bigger way for some people may be the exact opposite of what they want because they don’t want to be famous or well known. They are content to be behind the scenes.
If you’re someone who is uncomfortable promoting yourself, then you should probably hire someone who will serve as the Director of Business Development or Community Engagement who will represent your company to the public..
Subject to criticism
One of the negative things that comes with promotion is criticism. There are some people who seemingly troll websites, blogs and social media as a full time hobby. These people like to comment, reply and respond to whatever they see on the Internet. The worst part is, their comments are not always positive or constructive. Therefore if you’re a content creator who is constantly putting out information for the public to consume, you must develop thick skin. You can’t let everyone get under your skin. The fact is everyone has an opinion, just like everyone has a fingerprint and a butthole. However, the truth is, you should not care that much about their opinions as long as you’re doing your best. Your goal in promoting yourself and your brand is to constantly get better, get noticed and get paid. You should be focusing on progress not perfection. So who cares what people have to say? If the feedback is constructive, take the good parts, throw away the rest and keep it moving.
Challenge of Creating Content Consistently
Many people fail to promote themselves because they have a big challenge around creating content. As a content creator, I can definitely attest to the fact that it takes time to plan, create, and publish content. Whether it’s a video, blog post, or infographic, the process is the same. You must create an outline of the message you want to convey, write out the draft, edit it and decide how you’re going to deliver it and on what platform. Creating content takes time, patience and planning.
Here are 3 advantages for promoting yourself.
Increased Brand exposure and visibility
The more people know you, like you and trust you, the greater your chances are of growing your sales. Getting eyeballs and ears on your marketing materials increase the likelihood that you will gain buyers and supporters of your business. Once people begin to see you, your company and your brand in the marketplace, you get noticed and become known. When people begin to notice you, you gain recall action. Poof, just like that, you’re a recognized brand. When you get brand recognition on any level, you’re well on your way to having brand equity. Brand equity is priceless.
Be seen as an authority figure or thought leader.
It helps to be seen as an expert in your industry or niche. Not only does it increase your media and public relations opportunities, it positions you as the “go to” expert in your area of expertise and business category. There are huge advantages to being the person everyone thinks of for the thing that you’re good at. What’s better than being viewed as the creme of the crop in your field? Hmmm. I’ll wait.
If you want to get found online, you must promote yourself. The Internet has changed to game for businesses in the 21st century. These days if you’re not online, you’re missing a huge segment of the population. Digital marketing which consists of digitized content such as text, graphics, audio or video that can be transmitted over the Internet or Computer networks, is definitely the hottest trend in brand promotion right now.
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for promoting yourself online or in general. However, the bottomline is, if you want to grow your business, you’ll have to get used to the idea that promotion and marketing (particularly online) comes with the territory.
What about you? How do you feel about promoting yourself online? Are you kicking and screaming the whole way or is it a piece of cake for you?
Weigh in via the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
Author, Lori A. Manns is a multi award-winning marketing mentor, sales coach and trailblazing business strategist who works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them grow and scale their businesses. She specializes in sales and marketing strategies that result in her clients attracting their target market, gaining brand visibility and growing revenue. Lori is President of Quality Media Consultant Group, a consultancy firm specializing in media, advertising, marketing and sales. She is the founder of the Trailblazer Business Mastermind where advancing entrepreneurs go to learn growth strategies and how to run a profitable business the soulful way. Lori is also the creator of the Sponsorship Sales Secrets System;™ which shows business owners how to get more corporate sponsors and sales for their business, guaranteed. To learn more about the work Lori does to help business owners and entrepreneurs all across the U.S. to accelerate their revenue and succeed in business, visit www.qualitymediaconsultants.com