As I celebrate 5 years of Laura Thackray Communications I want to share 5 ways in which you can raise your profile and improve your communications in a cost-effective way. Whatever your business objective – gaining more clients, increasing your sales, venturing into new markets – investing a little bit of time and effort to communicate what you do can lead to new possibilities and big rewards.
Tell people what you do
It sounds so obvious doesn’t it? But do the people in your network actually know what you do? The number one place where I get work from time and again is through my networks and word-of-mouth recommendations. People I know, the people they know and so on.
All you need is to be in someone’s head when they or their colleague has a problem that you have the skills to solve. But in order for that to happen, they need to know what you do. Have a coffee (virtually) with your contacts, tell people what you do and the next time that someone needs a marketing consultant, web designer, fill in the blank, you are more likely to be that person that comes to mind. Don’t forget to also recommend your own good contacts to others too!
Share your stories with the press
A great way to get some free publicity is to write a press release and get it published in a place where your ideal customers hang out. What makes it more likely to get featured is if it has a good photograph to go with it.
Journalists are always looking for new and interesting stories so if you can provide some well written content, using a good hook or angle, then you’re halfway there. Even better if you can tie the content into something that’s already happening in the news or a special date where journalists will be actively looking for content around that topic already.
Do a bit of research around the best place to send it (journalists’ contact details are often easy to find online) and then follow it up after a day or two with a call to confirm they received it and to answer any questions.
As I manage the marketing for one of City & Guilds prestigious Award Programmes – The Princess Royal Training Awards – obviously I believe in the benefits of applying for an award. There are so many different award programmes out there and if you win one not only can you position yourself as ‘award-winning’ you also often become part of an invaluable network of other winners.
Applying for an award when you’ve worked closely with colleagues or suppliers can be a great way of thanking them, especially if you get the chance to attend an Awards Ceremony (although these are mainly virtual currently).
Completing an award application can also be a really positive process, making you think strategically about everything you’ve achieved and encouraging you to think about the wider implications and impact of what you’ve delivered. Some award programmes even provide free feedback!
And if you get an Award then that’s the perfect story to use to target local media and sector press in order to raise your profile further!
Position yourself as an expert
It’s great to tell the people you know what you do but it’s also great to tell those that you don’t know. Join online groups and networks in topics that are aligned to your work and begin to comment and respond to posts. Look for opportunities to speak, deliver workshops or mentor others and you begin to build your profile. Whilst all of this activity is usually ‘for free’, this is a strategy with a longer end goal. It opens up new networks and avenues, positioning you as an expert in what you do to whole new markets and who knows what opportunities may then arise?
Remember to communicate regularly with your existing and future customers
When you’re busy it’s easy to get your head down and work on your immediate priorities. But communicating with your existing customers – whether through a blog, social media posts, e-newsletter or email – is a great way to re-connect and keep them updated on all of your news. Also it’s how new customers can find out about you. Keeping your website updated with your news and writing new content can push you higher up search engine rankings and make you more visible to new audiences. Investing some time updating your social media channels with interesting content means that your followers and reach will increase.
Spending a bit of time creating a content plan can help to join up all of your marketing activity and keep you on track for those weeks when you’re busy doing 101 other things.
If you have any questions or need a bit of support with your marketing, please get in touch.