How to get your business out into the world

So you've come up with an awesome idea. You've spoken to lots of others who all agree. You've done all that hard work to get your business set up and now you need to spread the word. But it's a minefield out there! There are so many options! I do not profess to be an expert, far from it, but here are my tips for getting your business out into the world...

  1. Know your audience - this is the most important of all because if you don't know where your audience are likely to be, how are you going to reach them? Think about age/ gender/ interests your target audience might be/have. What do they care about? Keep coming back to this when you're writing content.

  2. Create a strong brand - If you can, it's worth investing in a brand designer as you'll end up with a brand that is consistent, strong and recognisable. But if you're going to do it yourself, think beyond the logo. Think about what feel you want your business to have, what colour schemes, a strapline/slogan that tells people a little about your product. Think about what you want your brand to say about you and your product and how you can show your Unique Selling Point. You are going to be living and breathing this brand so make sure you're comfortable with it and you understand it.

  3. Think about your online presence - refer back to number 1 but these days you are most likely going to find at least some of your audience online. And the great thing about a good online presence is that you don't have to spend an absolute fortune. Social media is an obvious place to start because it's free. Before StonesThrow I was not a huge social media user so have had to learn a lot of it on the job; I was surprised how much there was to learn! One thing to remember is to show your journey as this is engaging for your audience; they will like to see the progress you're making. There are tools out there to help you manage everything; scheduling tools like Buffer will mean that you can think about posts in bulk and image tools like Canva can help you to maintain your strong brand by keeping your colour palette and style consistent. You can also build your own planner if you're finding it hard to create content, for example every Friday you could do a post about your success of the week. Other online aspects to think about are ideally your own website, other websites that are relevant to your product, and Google My Business (and don't forget about Apple and Bing too). Also think about your SEO to ensure your audience can find you. Another idea is to have a go at blogging! We spoke to marketeers to help with the minefield of all of this and we found that it was well worth the investment.

  4. Networking - We have found networking a great way to get the word out and the small business community are very supportive (see my previous blog for more on this!) One thing I would say is that again there is a lot of choice out there and you only have limited time so don't feel you have to go to everything!

  5. Good old fashioned paper - We've found leaflet dropping and physical advertising is powerful too and there is something about holding something visual and tangible. Again refer back to point 1 to help you decide where is best.

  6. Build your army of supporters - every time you have an interaction with a customer or potential customer they go away with a sense of you which they will communicate to others they speak to if the subject comes up. If you are generally well known for being good at what you do and genuine, you'll find you build up a network of people who advocate for you on your behalf. People are likely to listen to recommendations from friends and family and so word of mouth is a powerful thing.

  7. Be open to other opportunities - finally, you need to be open to the whole process as opportunities may present themselves as you go on your journey from people you meet along the way. Be alert to those as they could be gold!