Small business owners need to be more visible – 5 easy ways to be seen

Several times this week I have heard myself say to clients “you need to be more visible in the local community” and it occurred to me just how important this is for the small business owner. Potential clients don’t know that you exist unless you tell them. Being out in the community is a great way to do that.

Everyone knows about traditional marketing strategies. Websites, print advertising, social media… But what about good old fashioned networking – getting out in the community and becoming visible, more recognizable?

The impact of traditional marketing is substantially increased when you combine it with in person appearances and relationship building. Here are just a few easy ways to make you and your small business more visible:

Attend network events - most cities have more networking events that you could ever attend so choose ones that reflect / match your target market. Attending at least one or two a month will make you a familiar face to other business owners and the more you join these events, the easier and more enjoyable they become. I always recommend teaming up with another business owner and attending the events together. This increases your own accountability and the likelihood that you will follow through – it also makes the event far more enjoyable. Once you are comfortable participating in networking events, consider hosting one to increase your visibility even more.

Become a walking billboard – many small businesses can benefit from personally displaying their logo and brand. This can be achieved by logo’d shirts / jackets or by adding advertising to your vehicle. This form of marketing is extremely cost effective since you pay for it once and can use it repeatedly, indefinitely. Also, since you are constantly changing locations, your advertising gets exposure in a wide variety of settings.

Become the local expert in your field – you likely know more about your business than anyone else so why not write or speak about what you know. Social media, blogs and community publications provide great platforms to demonstrate your knowledge and provide value to potential clients. The material you create can also be transformed into contents for a speaking engagement – another useful avenue for building visibility.

Create strategic alliances – a strategic alliance is typically formed with another business that shares your target market but is not in direct competition with you. Combining your resources to reach the same client base is very cost and time effective. Look for other businesses that complement your own. As you start talking to others about this idea, you will quickly find business owners that share your vision of collaborating to grow their business.

Volunteer at local events – Volunteering in your local community is a rewarding activity all on it’s own but why not have your company be the entity that volunteers / donates / adds support? Chose a cause or charity that matches your company’s beliefs and let your customers know what you value and that you respect and appreciate the community they live in.

Whatever your product / service and your current marketing strategy, engaging in tactics that increase your visibility will substantially enhance your credibility as a business and should be considered a crucial part of your overall business development strategy. Experiment with just one or all of the tips above or create a new way to become more visible. However you decide to do it, just get out there and be seen!