Recently, I have been asked to share the steps I have done to get my business brand reach as far as it is. Now to be honest this took me by surprise because in no way do I feel like I have made it, but it did get me thinking about the advice and research I have done along the way and allowed me to reflect on what worked, what didn’t or hasn’t at least shown ROI up till now. Once I shared a bit of information others reached out to me for advice and since I was in their place a short time ago and received fantastic advice from others it is my turn to pay it forward. I decided to prepare in this Blog kind of a step by step guide for the ways I have found to be successful in marketing my brand. I in no way consider myself an expert but these steps worked for me and I am confident that they can and will work for any new business owner. My business Rule of Thirds Productions, is a service based business so some of the things we have done are specific to that, however I feel that a product based business would be simpler because you only have to market your products and they can sell themselves by being good. This will be designed to open up more questions and hopefully answers by those out there that have achieved far more success than I have so far.
Step 1 WEBSITE:
Now I am of course assuming that you have already done all of the paperwork for fictions name and Tax ID info and you have your business identity ready to go. I stress having a functional evolving website, more on that in a minute. Many of the techniques I will discuss are about improving your SEO and Google ranking and while you don’t necessarily need a website to operate, it does help you get found using the techniques I will illustrate. Ok so back to Functional evolving website what I mean is that if you think that paying for someone to build you a beautiful website, complete with email addresses and nice product photos, with text and descriptions are going to help your business grow, you are sadly mistaken. That is the baseline of every website meaning congratulations, your business is exactly like every other business’ out there. This is a great tool for your current customers, they have a place to go that they already know exists and they can function, place orders etc. However you will most likely not come up in generic searches like this so no new customers will find you simply by searching. You need to improve SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Keep in mind that you could pay for ads and hurry this process along but if like me you didn’t or don’t have the budget to do that you need to do it organically. If that is the case the word of the day is Patience, Patience, Patience. How we do that first and foremost is through the use of video….and lots of it. You see Video has an advantage that nothing else has in the eyes of Google in that it gets ranked twice. It gets ranked as a video as well as a part of your website so every time someone does a search and finds your video and clicks on it, Bingo instant double points. Now video can be versatile and be any type of video that will hold your audiences attention for at least 8 seconds, including product demo to tutorial, Testimonial, Page introductions, and stories (I recommend using some form of each on your website. You can also use them on Social Media at the same time and we will get into a few ways later. Once you have that setup on your website I also recommend doing a blog, it could be video blog (RECOMMENDED for best results) but this can be time consuming as well as costly if you don’t know what you are doing. There are companies who you can shoot the video on your phone and then file share the clips to and they can add graphics and music etc for a small fee. My company does this if you need it. Sorry shameless marketing time. For most though written Blog (like the one I am doing now) is the most practical. Host this on your website and share the link on Social media so that every one who reads it is directed to your website gaining you more clicks they are taking a few minutes to read it giving you “Sticky” points with Google and improving your Ranking. So Website is a very vital tool, but only if you use it correctly. Everything in your website navigates them through not only the site but also back and forth from your social media as well as offer help to other tools your targeted Clients may need. I recommend having a favorite vendors page that you share on social media. The thing is we are a community and while the competition can be fun and motivating, we all have different styles and rather than provide my style for someone who is looking for a friends style more, I would rather be a pathway to my exactly what the client wants whether I can deliver it directly or not. I don’t count on other businesses to do that for me, but it is just something I feel has been helpful in growth.
Step 2 GOOGLE MY BUSINESS:
Ok so now your website is up and running and I will assume you have already been on Social media promoting your brand . Hopefully you have already created business pages on Instagram and Facebook, if not we will get to that next. Google my business is essential to improve your business’ SEO, it puts your business on the map…literally when you go into Google a business say electrician near me the map pops up and you will see the electrician with the high rankings listed on the map now while it isn’t the search engine rankings yet, the map is better because it shows up first on the page and people can click to your website right from the map. This is vital so make sure you fill out all of the info when setting up the page. Use Photos and Videos to really make it engaging. Think of it as a contest the business with the most photos and videos on their Google my business page wins. Next is Google reviews once you have built your Google my business page (Also if you don’t have the funds or knowledge to build a website Google will let you create one in here, pretty simple kind of like building a FB page) Now is the time to get Google reviews, request all of your customers do it, I would even recommend some kind of incentive or discount for those who do one for you, it will be worth it. The more reviews you get (Albeit good ones) the higher Google’s Algorithm will rank you and faster too. I would recommend adding a link to your email signature so that it is always there for clients to click on and do the review. This should be always changing as well so always keep uploading new photos, create posts etc. The best news though is once your website is fully functioning, Your Google my business will grab all the blogs and videos you do as listings so you won’t have to do it quite so much. (FYI I do also recommend you go through a listing consolidator company like Thryv to get you on as many listings as possible. You can do this yourself but it is very tedious and quite frankly you could have them do it relatively inexpensively.) what this does is get you all of the other search engine listings such as Bing, Yahoo, Yellow Pages etc.
Step 3 SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIES
Social media can be your business’ best friend or most frustrating and many times both at the same time. Facebook ads seem like they get traction but rarely did I see ROI from them, I got leads but they were not serious ones but it did help grow my brand awareness so they are not all bad. What Social media platforms should you be on, the short answer is as many as you can be. I will admit however that I hate Twitter, am not really a fan of Instagram although lately it is growing on me, I do not like Snapchat at all so I stick mainly to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
and YouTube. If you are selling B2B or business to business you need to be on LinkedIn and posting and engaging everyday. If you have products Instagram and Facebook Marketplace are essential and again engaging everyday. Make sure like on your page especially if you are in the service industry that your business can be seen from your personal page. Create Multiple pages on Instagram that deals directly with the different facets of your business, for example my company does B2B video productions, but we also do wedding and event productions including DJ Services, Photography, Wedding Officiant etc. It is important that each one of these has its own Instagram Channel so that those looking for them can find them and it is all about what they are looking for. They are not buried among all of the other services we provide. Facebook you can’t really do that so it is going to be all inclusive there. The cool thing though is you can create posts in whatever instagram will call them channels you want and then share directly to your FB in one click.
Step 4: VIDEO, VIDEO, VIDEO
I know I have mentioned this a lot but it truly is the best way to stay engaged with your clients and it is so easy. First Hire a professional to guide you through how to tell stories through video, have them shoot and edit videos for your social media and website so that your most compelling informative stuff is done professionally, however once you do that you are good to do your own for a bit. Our phones have fantastic cameras in them and while the audio sucks, there are ways to improve that with a few tricks. Create funny, informative compelling videos showcasing your products, your staff and yourself and host on your Youtube Channel that you link from your website and share on Social Media…it sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t. Once you do these 4 steps I am confident that you WILL see results in followers, and brand recognition improvement and depending on how vigilant you are with getting reviews, posting blogs and videos, the results may happen fast. If you need any guidance on building your web page, setting up your social accounts or video creation, you can always contact Rule of Thirds Productions (If you are reading this, you are already on our website ) where we can do all or some of it for you and walk you through every detail so that you can maintain and watch your business grow.