Thanks to the internet, many sales practices that worked ten years ago, really don’t work as well today. A combination of some traditional styled effort mixed with social media marketing is really the best way to build credibility and your bottom line. Here is a list of a few essential practices to help consultants and other B2B professionals strengthen their brand.
1. Get comfortable with social media: This is extremely important and if you are a consultant who is not maximizing social media, then I suspect that you have noticed a sharp decline in your business over last few years. Did you know that search rankings for your website depend on your website being verified through Google and on you having a presence on Google+? So, which social media sites are the most influential? The important thing is to make sure you have a web presence in the places where your customers and prospects spend time. Learn which audiences social media sites deliver to, and publish there frequently.
2. Publish educational content: I always tell people how important this is. The only way to have an impact with your content marketing is to make sure it is valuable. The more helpful you are in your posts, the more people will believe in your ability to help them. I published a little e-booklet called 20 Content Marketing Tips That Will Supercharge Your Sales.You can download it for free from my website to learn more about how to make your content marketing more effective.
3. Write articles for trade journals: Editors are always looking for free content that hasn't been previously published. Connect with some editors and offer your services. If you are not a good writer, then get someone like me to write an article for you and publish it under your name. PR professionals have connections and usually talent in that regard, so if you are not up to the task, there are other convenient options.
4. Be a guest speaker: Which organizations have potential buyers among their members? Come up with an interesting, educational and relevant subject and ask if you can be a guest speaker at one of their meetings. Otherwise, submit proposals to speak at conferences. These are huge credibility boosters. Make sure you create an opportunity to collect business cards by offering a copy of your free book, or some other form of a prize. Do the traditional sales thing and follow up afterward to start a dialogue.
5. Hold events: In addition to being a guest speaker, consider holding your own marketing events. Don’t make it a heavy sales pitch. It will turn people off.Webinars are less costly than conference room rentals and no one can tell how many people are in attendance, so you can master the art of perception much more effectively. You can also record them, post them on your site and make them shareable through social media. The broader your reach, the better.
6. Be consistent with the look of your web and print marketing material:A big part of branding is being consistent with the look and feel of everything you show to people, whether it is a business card, brochure, website or blog post. Your brand needs to become recognizable visually. My friend, Val Sanna from Ignition Design does excellent work.
Tell me what you think of this branding check list. I limited it to just six, but I know there are many more things B2B professionals can do to boost their brand. I'd love to hear your ideas!
Renée Cormier is a Public Relations and Communications Professional in Burlington, Ontario. Need help with your marketing communications or public relations efforts? Visit www.reneecormier.com