Whether your company is brand new or well-established, you’ll always need to implement strategies for continually drawing in new business. To increase your reach and widen your audience among potential customers who haven’t heard of your company yet, you’ll want to focus on using the most effective resources at your disposal. What is the best way to gain more exposure for your particular brand?
Developing a strategy to expand brand awareness can be more difficult than it sounds, especially if your growth has slowed or plateaued. That’s why we asked the members of Forbes Coaches Council what they recommend entrepreneurs do to reach new audiences with their brand message. See their thoughtful tips below.
1. Let Your Unique Purpose Light The Way
Follow your purpose and share knowledge as a subject matter expert. Build your brand by leading with your story and focusing on your product. Expressing thought leadership to an audience that you have captured with your words will help bring awareness to your brand. Delivering unique information and client solutions will create a competitive advantage. – Reena Sharma, Agilis Executive Consulting
2. Study Your Customers’ Influences
Three quick tips: First, understand where your target customers live on their devices and tell the story of your solution there, utilizing the best practices of that medium. Next, understand who influences your target customers’ buying behaviors, and win those people over. Finally, leverage your connections with influencers, and ask them to share how your solution surprised and delighted them with their audiences. – Tracy King, InspirEd
3. Share Your Expertise Freely
Help people make better decisions. Share insight and guidance from your experts and creators often and freely. Prospects will not buy what they don’t understand, so help them come to know you as a source of expertise and authority through consistent, no-strings-attached, soft-sell communication. – Stacey Staaterman, Stacey Staaterman Coaching & Consulting
4. Deliver Great, On-Time Service
Delivering great food or service on time and delighting your clients or consumers as a foundational strategy is important. Is this marketing or operational excellence? It’s both. No amount of business development or marketing is going to overcome “meh” or bad outcomes. This is true of old and new businesses. The final mile is often the most difficult. – Gene Russell, Manex Consulting
5. Tell Relatable Success Stories
Become a storyteller. As you work with customers, consider what led them to work with you, and what specifically changed for them as a result. Think of it as a fairy tale: First, “Once upon a time…” What problem did they face? Followed by, “And then…” How specifically did you help them overcome the problem? Finally, “And they lived happily ever after.” What good things came from working with you? – April Armstrong, AHA Insight
6. Think Beyond The Obvious Ad Buys
I encourage business leaders to think beyond the obvious and separate their advertising buys from their branding strategy. To expand brand awareness, find new purposes for your offerings that align with the unmet needs of your target markets. Partner with credible organizations that cause potential customers to do a double-take. Be radical and intentional without compromising your brand promise. – Cheryl Procter-Rogers, A Step Ahead Consulting and Coaching
7. Earn Your Place In The Media Spotlight
An effective strategy for expanding brand awareness is getting media coverage. Publicity in the media is a surefire way to gain exposure, whether you’re a startup or established business. Start by developing relationships with local media stations and reporters. They are looking for intriguing stories to tell. The key is learning how to tell your brand story while relating it to a hot topic. – Lori A. Manns, Quality Media Consultant Group LLC
8. Diversify Channels To Be Seen As A Contender
Short answer: Focus on top-of-mind awareness. When your business is seen in multiple places, consistently and over time, this establishes your enterprise as legitimate, and it also shows that you are a serious contender. According to research by Google, the number of brand touch points consumers saw along their paths to purchase ranged anywhere from 20 to more than 500, depending on the product or service sold. To make sure your business is recognized, diversifying your channels ensures that you’re the one that people think of when it’s time to buy. – Anna-Vija McClain, Piccolo Marketing
9. Ask For Suggestions And Recommendations
Why guess here? Get closer to your customers. Invite them to share their opinions. Find out what initially attracted them to your company’s products and services and what keeps them loyal buyers. Ask them for suggestions to help expand awareness of your brand. Then, ask if they’d personally commit to spreading their word-of-mouth recommendations to friends, business colleagues and extended family members. – Jay Steven Levin, WinThinking
10. Center Messaging Around Differentiators
Brand awareness is only part of the equation. The other part is brand differentiation. What makes you different from countless global competitors and allows you to stand out from others? Once you can answer that question, you can start driving your message home to your potential customers through content, interviews and other means to be seen as the expert you are. – Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
11. Build Partnerships Within Your Market
Partner with businesses serving the same market. Share infographics, blog posts and guest articles. Be a podcast guest. Accept invitations to contribute to virtual summits and online communities. Help other businesses, and they’ll help you. – Christine Rose, Christine Rose Coaching & Consulting
12. Seek Out Valuable Referrals
After more than 14 years of running my own business, one of the strategies I have learned is to maximize the value of a referral. I used to spend countless hours telling my story to whomever would listen, but I spend much more time now asking trusted clients and friends to connect me and refer me to others with whom I wish to work. Never underestimate the value of a referral from a trusted client. – Dan Ryan, ryan partners
13. Create A Following With Engaging Content
Expand your brand awareness and attract new customers by establishing your expertise and credibility through thought leadership. Create engaging content that can be openly shared across the social media channels connected with your brand. You will be able to build a following and expand your reach and impact, thereby expanding your customer base. – Jonathan H. Westover, Ph.D, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC
14. Highlight Solutions For Pain Points Via Social Media
Social media is still underutilized yet very effective for building brand awareness. Toss out everything you thought you knew about your target customer. Ask them where they go on the internet, what they read, where they buy your products or services and who they think your competition is. Highlight your new customers’ pain points and how you provide the best solution at the best value. – Dana Manciagli, Job Search Master Class
15. Own Your Area Of Expertise
Increase your brand awareness by claiming your category of expertise, sharing your unique point of view, and growing a loyal audience. Give your message a platform through speaking or writing, and amplify the impact of that message through leveraged channels. You will rise above the noise and be seen as an expert in your category, enabling you to quickly grow a captive audience of fans and customers. – Michela Quilici, MQ Consulting and Business Training, Inc.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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