Raise the flag wherever you can.
Three partners in a small business discussed the launch of their new enterprise. One wanted to hire a web designer to craft a new website. One of the others disagreed, asking why a website was necessary. The third partner was on the fence and preferred to focus on client work.
Is there a good reason to you keep your company’s launch a secret? This is the question I encouraged the pro-website partner to ask her colleagues. Rather than be viewed as a spendthrift for taking on marketing expense, turn the tables and ask the partners to justify their reluctance to invest in promotion of their company.
Here are the basics I recommend when launching a business:
- Company website: This is the first place any prospective client or referral source looks to confirm your existence and find out more about your services, products and programs. If you do not have a website, you effectively are invisible. Very few people who do not already know you will take you seriously if you do not have an attractive and persuasive web presence.
- LinkedIn profile: Perhaps this is the second place that people will search for more details about your background. LinkedIn is the world’s largest directory of professionals with 530 million members (as of January 2018). Consider your profile a marketing vehicle and make a compelling case for selecting you as a resource.
- LinkedIn Company page: Many small businesses and service providers are unfamiliar with this opportunity for yet another FREE online presence. Use this page to share your reports and company news.
- Press Release to industry publications, as well as alumni magazines: These newsletters often have a dedicated column for new market participants.
- Announcement to industry media of your target customers: If you operate an accounting firm that advises veterinarians, for example, introduce your business and its principals. An Executive Media Profile presents a professional as a source for comment on trends and issues in that market to the reporters and editors of the veterinarian industry publications that prospective clients read.
- Email signature: Compose a standard email signature for all members of the company. It should include office and cellphone numbers, website URL, tag line and, as appropriate, notice of a recent news article about your business or an upcoming event. Use this FREE real estate to promote your successes and new offerings. Link to your personal LinkedIn profile and/or Company LinkedIn page.
- Facebook company page: Post updates, articles, newsletters and news items here. Create a Twitter account as well.
- Newsletter: Compose a quarterly communiqué to advise your current clients, referral sources, peers and contacts of new offerings, best practices, trends and related insights. Add this link to your email signature. As you become more adept with the format, consider making it a monthly commentary.
This Month’s Tip
Everyone should review these tools and accounts in an Annual Communications Audit. Approach various social media platforms from the perspective of someone who is not familiar with your company and services. Where might they look for information (website, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)? What would they find there? Is the content current (timeless or within the last week)? Take a few minutes to check the latest entries on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and others that your audiences visit. If several months have passed, your profile and activity may appear outdated to a newcomer, so post a new item and schedule a reminder to post at least once a week.
Don’t let your new (or current) business be the best kept secret! Use ALL the available resources to introduce your company and keep its name, executives and services top of mind. Contact me at 212.677.5770 or email Janet@JanetLFalk.com to make sure you are seen in the appropriate places as open and ready for business.
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