by: Keeyana Avery (@KeeyanaAvery)
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve recently started a business or you’re looking for creative ways to improve an existing one. As an entrepreneur, you’re responsible for a variety of tasks such as accounting, human resources, customer service and even public relations.
If your budget is tight, the latter may be the first to fall by the wayside. But even if you can’t afford to retain continuous PR services or hire someone to handle it in-house, there are a few basic things you can examine and adjust to make sure your business is properly positioned for success.
Identify Your Ideal Customer
Many business owners are so focused [on creating and launching a product,] that they don’t take the time to really understand or identify who their target/ideal customer is. One of the things I often hear when I consult with brands is that their target audience is everyone. However, there are a couple of reasons why this doesn’t work.
If you’re not focused on a specific target then you won’t know who to talk to or the best ways to sell your product or services. Have you ever gone out to dinner with friends and decided to have a conversation with everyone in the restaurant? That would be a bit difficult, right? And, most people would probably ignore you because they wouldn’t know whether you’re talking to them or just talking in general.
Luckily, it’s never too late to go back to the drawing board to identify who your ideal customer should be. If your business is already up and running, research your current customers to learn more about where they live, what they buy, what kind of car they drive, how much money they make, what kind of food they eat, or other things that are relevant to your industry. Then, create a customer/client profile based on those demographics to help you understand who they are. Not only will this help you understand your customers better, it will also help you to create better messaging.
Get Crystal Clear on Your Messaging
When you’re still in the building phases of your business, trying to figure out what message to convey to the public can be tough. Because of this, you may get the urge to skip right over this step and go straight into marketing.
But, if you don’t spend time developing clear and direct messaging around your brand, you run the risk of confusing your audience and alienating your ideal customers.
When consumers are confused about your message, they won’t do anything; which means they aren’t buying from you, they aren’t visiting your website and they aren’t engaging with your brand.
Feeling like your message hasn’t been so clear? Here’s how you can change that: focus on who your target audience is and build your messaging from there. Create key ideas and concepts that articulate your brand in a way that will resonate with your customer. Communicate the many ways your customers can benefit from your product or service. Be clear on showing the value that you add and why that should be of importantance to them.
Develop a Unique Strategy for Your Business
No matter what stage of growth your business is in, it’s important that you have a well thought-out plan for your marketing and PR efforts. In today’s competitive business world, it can be easy to want to jump on the latest trends or mimic what another brand is doing; especially if it seems be to be working for them.
However, it’s important that you look within your specific business and industry in order to develop a unique strategy that will resonate with your ideal customers. When developing this strategy make sure that your business goals, audience and messages are all aligned.
Evaluate your current strategy to assess where you are and where you want to go in order to identify the gap. Once you have a clear understanding of what your goals are and the results you’d like to generate for your business, you can get to work on developing a plan of action to bridge the aforementioned gap and get you closer to where you want to be.
Even if you have limited resources, your business can thrive once you go back to the drawing board and focus on these three areas.
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Keeyana Avery is the founder of Agency Seven PR where she connects bold, purpose-led brands to the world. You can find her on twitter @KeeyanaAvery.