Continuing May’s theme of promotion for your small business, today’s topic deals with how your presentation of yourself as the owner of your business can help (or hinder) your marketing efforts. Turns out, our Head of Marketing has recently had a lot of experience on this front, so we’ll turn this one over to Rochelle:
No matter how much time and effort you spend on creating a compelling and consistent brand for your business in order to have effective marketing and promotion, there is one element many small business owners overlook: their own personal brand. I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently in my personal life. My husband and I bought a new home in September, while we’re committed to doing a lot of the work ourselves, we are currently interviewing for some of the more difficult jobs.
So over the past month, we’ve met with professionals ranging from general contractors to landscapers to plumbers. It’s been interesting to whether or not the business owners or representatives match the company elements we’ve seen online (including the company website and profiles on sites like Yelp and Angie’s List).
Some of these professionals have really “lived the brand”–the things that they tell us are consistent with what we’ve read online, and they’ve been very professional. Others have been really…surprising. One landscaping company owner came to our home with no information or marketing materials, was rather disheveled, and provided a quote that was three times the cost of other quotes we had received. While his website was beautiful and he got very strong reviews, our experience with him in person was so poor that we wouldn’t even consider the additional cost.
In so many ways, you are “the cover” of your business, and like it or not, people will judge your business on your own presentation. And as a small business owner you may run into potential customers and partners at any time, making it even more important to “live your brand” at all times. While it might be additional work in the beginning, the dividends will pay off in the long term. Some simple things you can do:
– Keep business cards and branded note cards handy for chance meetings.
– Craft your customizable “elevator pitch”. Anything that feels too practiced is inauthentic, but try to have a few key takeaways that you can work into a conversation organically that will really resonate. Examples: “we’ve transformed over 40 homes in this neighborhood by refreshing the colors” or “we’re so proud to have been rated the top Tex Mexican restaurant in the area for the past 3 years.”
– Always follow up on promising conversations, either personally or through social channels like LinkedIn. Customize your communication by referencing things you discussed, and request next steps that don’t require a lot of work from the person you’re contacting.
About the Author: Rochelle Sanchirico is Head of Marketing at Webs, where she oversees all marketing, analytics, and customer support operations.