• Anna Abignano

Don’t follow the herd when it comes to promoting your business.

Many a first-time entrepreneur dives into a new venture without formal business training and they can still do well this way, but it leaves them with little knowledge about ways to effectively reach their audience.

Social media is the go-to method of promotion these days because, let’s face it, it’s fundamental in today’s digital age, but you must clue yourself in about other promotional avenues if you’re to effectively reach your audience or position your business as a market leader.

Advertising (social media and traditional forms) should be part of any good promotional strategy, but team it up with Public Relations (PR) and you telling your story, informing, educating, building trust, creating loyalty, and developing long-lasting relationships which leads to repeat business and customer loyalty. It’s a solid and exciting recipe for potential business domination.

Bill Gates says of PR, “If I were down to my last dollar, I would spend it on Public Relations”, and the billionaire says that for good reason.

Well thought out, valuable PR efforts cannot be bought. They are earned. Public Relations is all about connecting and forming loyal relationships with your customers and creating positive relationships in any scenario is what keeps people coming back, right?

Adopt no-cost or low-cost PR into the game and you’re casting a much wider net and using multiple avenues to reach your customers. First, you MUST put both time and budget aside. Secondly, look into the behaviours and whereabouts of your customers. Where are they? What do they read? What do they watch?

Next, do all you can and become your own PR expert. Do internet research, enroll in a course, engage the services of a PR consultant. This can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand, so if you don’t have the budget, I would advise getting yourself a PR mentor and empower yourself to execute your own PR. Any amateur marketer can learn. Here are my top six PR activities that I recommend you learn to become a pro at:

1. If you have a good news story, approach the media and offer them the story. They are after relevant content, you are after exposure.

2. Offer a website or blog your expert top tips or offer yourself as an industry spokesperson.

3. Events are crucial to generate hype, create memories and cement loyalty. Throw a launch party for industry, customers, media and other influencers. Throw customer days like Gelatissimo gelato do so well with their Gelato-free days.

4. Attend industry events – network, network, network! I have clients who have raging businesses purely from the face-to-face relationships they have made at networking events.

5. Get your brand noticed and the attention of the media with a publicity stunt. Think Havaianas annual thong challenge at North Bondi or the clever red balloons peeking up from city drains for the movie IT (genius).

6. Off regular specials or discounts for annual calendar events such as a free meal for Mum on Mother’s Day or refer a friend and receive 50% off your first consultation

.. and more.

Bestselling American author and business executive Seth Goden said, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.”

In the world of business, that sounds like something worth striving for.

Happy trading!

Anna x

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