This past weekend, I traveled to Washington DC to speak at the Code(Her) Conference. It was exciting to present at the Washington Post about one of my favorite topics – How to Promote Your Business Without Breaking the Bank. My message and mission holds true anywhere in the world. You don’t have to be a millionaire to market you brand, you just have to know how to do it. And, do it!
It’s always rewarding to teach budding professionals and socially conscious entrepreneurs how to share their message in an authentic way. Clarity is important as it provides a foundation, but from years of experience it helps to have a sounding board. You can start a business on your own, but you can’t build a brand by yourself. So, get some help and make it a team effort. Then, everyone can be part of the success.
- Be clear on who you are and where you want to go. Don’t sell yourself short. We often think we can’t go as far as we’d like. That’s just a story we tell ourselves to be safe. It’s BS. Go for it. Learn. And keep going.
- Create a roadmap for your particular goals. If you’re looking for quality leads, take a look at where your best customers are coming from, or research what successful competitors are doing. Consider every option to get the biggest bang for your buck, then choose wisely.
- There are 100’s of ways to promote your brand for free, but a savvy marketer will start small, see what works and then build out. Mistakes are part of the process. Get over it and move on!
- Use PR and Marketing tools to attract a base of raving fans. If women are your target market, try Pinterest. If that’s working, add Instagram. Then create a series of videos to launch a YouTube channel. If you’re a visual brand, be visual.
- Consider speaking. Even if you’re not getting paid, speaking builds credibility as an expert. It also fuels sales, presuming you’re in front of a room of your target audience. If you’re not presenting to ideal prospects, look at hidden opportunities. Work the room, so the work comes in.
Above all, whether you’re speaking, networking, online or offline – just be you. Align your work with your personal and professional core values. Write down what you want to do with your business and life, because they work together. And of course, make time for fun. You know life isn’t a dress rehearsal.