Being a small business shouldn’t limit your horizons in terms of marketing. Sure, you won’t have the budgets that big brands have, but thanks to the popularity of the internet, social media, and connected technology, you have access to all the same marketing channels. Having spent some time in the corporate marketing world, I wanted to share a few methods that you can adopt for your small business to stand out and become a memorable brand.
Create a mission statement
Just reading the title of this section probably makes you think of boardrooms, suits and buzzwords. A mission statement is just a way of stating your purpose, beliefs and goals as a business. It doesn’t need to be long, just a couple of sentences will do. To give you an example, we recently did this exercise at Eco Web Hosting. Here’s what we decided on:
“We believe that the future of the web is a balance between performance, reliability, and sustainability. With that in mind, our goal is to provide our customers with friendly hosting solutions that are better for our planet, without sacrificing speed, security, or features.”
The process of creating the statement isn’t easy, and you’ll reach some stumbling blocks along the way. But bring together your team, have everyone contribute with their thoughts, and write everything down. If you’re the only person in the business, don’t fret! You can bring your customers into the conversation too. Ask them what they think about your business, and what problems you help them solve. Here’s a helpful article on how to write your own mission statement, including examples from big brands that you’ll know.
Hone your elevator pitch
With your mission statement established, it’s time to think about your pitch. Afterall, reciting your statement to every prospective customer might be a bit much!
When it comes to writing your pitch, you might already have something in your head. Think about the last time you talked to someone about what you do. What did you say? What didn’t you say? Think back to the conversation and the moment the person’s eyes lit up, and what made them glaze over. These are all signals for understanding what works when pitching your business. And, of course, you can use your mission statement as a guide too.
You can use your pitch any time you’re communicating to an audience, be that written or verbally. A good example is writing a short biography for a social media profile. You’ll probably be short on space, so use your pitch to write something short and snappy that covers all the key points. Learn more about writing an excellent pitch in this article.
Create a basic brand style guide
Now that you can talk about your business, it’s time to think about how it will look to the outside world. A brand style guide sounds like something you’d find at the core of a global marketing department, and you’d be right. But the fundamental reason for having one is to establish a template for how your business looks, sounds, and feels to deal with.
Still with me? I realise it might sound wishy-washy. But a simple style guide means everything that you create, be that a blog, a banner advert, merchandise, or anything else including your logo, will all follow a common theme. Consistent designs and copywriting really help establish your business as a professional outfit. Big brands do this really, really well. Sometimes, when you watch the TV and an advert comes on, you can tell who the brand is before the logo appears in the outro.
To get started with your own branding guide, you only need to establish a few core elements. This would be your logo; deciding on how it’s used on different documents and on top of different colours. Your font(s); the typeface that you’ll use for everything. Your colour palette; the selection of colours you’ll use alongside your logo to keep things looking consistent. Learn how to create your own style guide in this article.
Now, all that’s left to do is drop in your mission statement and you’ll have a super-effective brand style guide! You’ll then be ready to…
Start a website
Having a website remains one of the most credible things you can do as a business. The rise in popularity of social media makes it incredibly easy for business owners to establish themselves online, but it doesn’t add that X-factor when it comes to building a brand.
Launching your own website has a number of advantages. Firstly, you can drop the link into every profile you set up online, be that a social media account, an e-commerce website, or a directory. This really adds trust to your profiles, as your followers can go check out your website whilst they’re conducting any research.
Secondly, you have complete control over how and what you display. You can start off small, with a basic site structure. And then, as your business grows, you can add to your website, be that customer testimonials, case studies, an e-commerce section, dedicated landing pages. The list goes on.
Getting started with a website is easy. Find a web hosting company and start by picking your domain name. You could use your business name, or even your product or service. It’s up to you. Next, you’ll need somewhere to store your website. Your web hosting company will have different hosting plans to suit your exact needs. And as your business grows, your web hosting supplier will have different products to help your business thrive.
So there you have it. A few things you can work on to take your business to the next level. Often, these sorts of methods can seem daunting, but big businesses are just doing it on a greater scale.