Jeremiah Owyang has a post on his blog worth a read – How to Get Noticed – about how to get yourself (and your work) noticed both online and offline. I’d like to expand upon Jeremiah’s ideas and add a few how-tos to his list to expand it for business use. Here’s a summary of Jeremiah’s points:
- Have a goal
- Develop a unique brand
- Get personal
- Attend local events
- Lead events
- Be interesting
- Archive your achievements
Jeremiah’s post is mostly about how to get yourself noticed, but these also apply to your business as well. Starting at the top:
Have a goal
One of Jeremiah’s most important points is to have a goal, which is something I think many businesses forget about when they develop their websites and use online services. Anytime you’re taking a look at a new feature for your website or looking at a social network or online service, keep in mind your business goals. If you understand how something new is going to help you reach your business goals, you’ll be able to properly plan for its implementation and budget for any expenses.
Also, keep your business goals in mind with the content on your website. You’ve probably heard that content is king. Think about how can you continue to improve and add to the content on your website to help reach your business goals. Your customers and potential customers come to your website looking for information. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, maybe you need to create a few more pages to help them out.
Develop a unique brand
If you don’t have a strong brand, think about what you can do to make it stronger. What does your business stand for? Once you have a good branding idea, stick with it and make sure it is obvious in everything you do. But don’t be afraid to step out of the box – brands don’t have to be boring. Brands with personality (especially that matches your own) are easier to promote and have an honesty about them that is enticing.
There’s nothing wrong about having a distinctive voice on your business website. It’s also important to connect to your customers and have a conversation which is both listening and talking (remember to listen!). Social media makes this much easier through blogging, twitter, social networks, etc. If you have a personal voice when speaking with your customers, they will appreciate your openness and honesty.
Attend & lead events
Events are a very important networking tool. However, even if you have a national audience, don’t overlook regional and local events. Getting to know other local business people can be important when you’re looking for partners and new contacts. Leading events is very important to establishing credibility for your business. By sharing your knowledge with others, you may find new business in unexpected places.
This one may be a little bit difficult if your industry is fairly static (not many new changes, etc.), but there isn’t any reason why your business has to be static. Be interesting in what you say and how you say it. Being interesting while networking and attending events can also be helpful. Sometimes just having a catchy t-shirt or business card can set you apart when customers look for a new vendor.
Archive your achievements
It may feel strange to toot your own horn, but if you don’t, who will? Either through a blog or a news section on your website keep your customers updated on what you’re up to. It’s cheap publicity, keeps your customers involved, and provides a great historical archive that shows that your business has continued to expand and achieve.
How do you get your business brand noticed? What works for you? Please share in the comments below.