22. Target students
James Lott is the co-founder of business management tool provider The Working Knowledge Group, which runs competitions with university students as a way of promoting its products and services. “Students use a derivative of our strategy tool,” he says. “Throughout the competition, they keep seeing this tool and think ‘I could use this in my future business’.”
23. Be transparent
Today’s consumers are demanding more information about the products they buy and the companies that supply them. Tapping into that can help give your business a better profile. Take vegetable company Albert Bartlett.
Bartlett says: “Our packaging tells you the name of the grower and you can also read about them on our website. It’s good for everyone, as the growers are focused on promotion as well.”
24. Get sporty
Bulldog is the official grooming supplier to rugby team the London Wasps. “We sponsor the back of the shorts,” adds co-founder Rhodri Ferrier. He says that while it’s hard to measure the tangible benefits of sports club sponsorship, the club did get a lot of publicity during the Rugby World Cup. “It’s a great tie-up because it’s a good club that stands for the things we stand for.”
25. Apply for a business award
Many organisations, Real Business included, give out annual awards to the great and the good in a particular area. Winning an award can earn you coverage in the press, the respect of your peers and make potential clients aware of you.
26. Jump on the bandwagon
While we would never advise changing your business to take advantage of trends, it’s worth promoting a particular side of your business if it’s relevant to a hot issue.
Kelly Smith’s company, Smartbunker, offers customers a data centre that uses zero-carbon energy and green technology. “We have a truly unique proposition, which marks us out in a crowded marketplace – that’s why we’re getting so much publicity,” he says.
27. Be consistent
No one is going to take you seriously if you don’t come across as genuine or consistent. Germain says consistency is often a problem when people cross from offline to online: “A lot of people feel they can write stuff online and act in a certain way, then be very different offline. Everything on the web can be googled.”
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