You are Your Business: Marketing and Self-Promotion
BY: MEGAN TOTKA ON TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013
Often marketing a business and marketing yourself coincide. If you own a small business, your brand identity and your own identity inherently blend. Rather than trying to sidestep this truth, find ways to embrace it. You can boost the positive image of your business by enhancing the way you are perceived as an individual. Here are a few ways to make that happen:
- Fake it ‘til you make it. You may have been brought up to believe that drawing attention to yourself is a bad thing, or a form of negative bragging. You have to forget all of that when it comes to putting your face with your company name. Act confidently, even if you don’t always feel that way, and take bold steps to associate your personal success with that of your brand.
- Rely on social media. Perhaps the best part of social media platforms is that you can promote your business but not always talk about yourself. You can demonstrate what you know about your industry without making every status update or tweet specifically all about your business. This helps to establish your expertise, leading to self-promotion in a less-overt fashion.
- Promote the human side of your business. Let clients see what goes on behind the scenes at your company through photos or videos. You can do this by posting photos of your staff on the “about” page of your website, or creating a six-second Vine video of your office to post on Twitter. Let your clients see who you are as a business owner and what sort of company culture you foster.
- Get out and mingle. Social media is an amazing promotional tool but should never replace in-person networking opportunities. If your business has a strong local base, make a point to get involved at community events or join your branch of the Chamber of Commerce. You should also consider an annual conference budget so you can make connections with other people in your industry and continue to educate yourself too. And this leads me to my last point…
- Connect with other well-connected people. The old saying “It is not what you know, it is who you know” has never been more true than now, in the digital age. People you have never met can be strong allies in helping you promote your brand through simple association. Find out who is following them and what they do well in their own self-promotion. You should also seek out cross-linking opportunities, guest post spots and even online advertisement swaps with these industry giants.
Clients often associate how they view you with their perception of your business. An indifferent image of you as an individual can lead to less emotional investment in your products and services. Look for ways to promote yourself and your business at the same time to build a loyal, interactive client base.
What are some of your self-promotion tactics?