By Jerry Mooney
Many small businesses think that getting the word out about what they do is difficult. But the truth is that it has never been easier for smaller companies to tell the world what it is that they do. Neither has it ever been easier for businesses to get people excited, thanks to the internet and social media. Here’s what successful businesses people have done to get their message out. And you can do it too.
Sponsor An Organisation
Sponsoring an organisation might seem like a big undertaking. After all, it only seems like it’s the large enterprises that have the capital to get behind an organisation. But you’d be surprised just how little money actually changes hands. What’s more, we get a biased impression of sponsorship costs. We’re exposed to very expensive global events, like the Olympics or national sports leagues. What we don’t see are all the many smaller relationships businesses have with outside organisations. It turns out that on a per meeting basis, sponsorship can be an excellent option for the price. Groups that meet regularly will be exposed to your brand on many occasions.
Create An Unusual Giveaway
When you give a customer something as a gift, make sure that it is something fresh and unique. Don’t just choose an ordinary business card. Use something different, like an Alpha Card, to give customers something they can use. For instance, you could give customers a map of your campus. Or you could provide a detailed rundown of how your product works so that they are informed when they contact you.
Support A Cause
Mary Hester is a senior figure at the IT company, LAN Systems. She was concerned about the amount of IT waste going into landfill. Waste electronics are a big environmental issue. And so she decided to do something about it. To celebrate Earth day, she organised a big cook-out. Those who attended were asked to bring their unwanted electronics. Mary saw the cook-out as a way to get people to dispose of their electronics waste responsibly. And it worked. Ultimately, she gathered more than two tonnes of equipment that would have gone to landfill.
People love stories, but in business, they’re hard to come by. That’s a shame because stories are an excellent way to sell your product and get your message out. Todd Schnick of Dreamland Interactive had this very problem. And so he decided to start his own podcast. The podcast was an immediate success. Todd began by interviewing other businesspeople and getting them to tell their stories. The podcast then grew because it was inspirational.
The podcast was also a great way for Todd to learn about his own business and industry. By doing it, he started cementing trust in himself and his brand.
Volunteer And Lead An Organisation
Most small business owners are members of a business owner's’ organisation. It's an excellent way to build contacts and network. But some small business owners don’t just want to become members; they want to lead. That’s exactly what Lisa Calhoun did. She runs a public relations company in Atlanta. One day she volunteered as president of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. And she’s been making great contacts ever since.
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney