Statistics from the Small Business Administration suggest that businesses around longer than five years have already beaten the odds. More than half of new enterprises don’t make it that long.
Five years isn’t very long in the big picture, but it’s longer than you think for a nascent company struggling to make ends meet every day. And it’s way too long for a company to remain pre-revenue, no matter how deep its investors’ pockets.
The secret to staying in the game longer than the competition is clear: market visibility. Consider these five tips to improve yours.
1. Run High-Visibility Social Media Contests
Don’t worry too much about the size of your social media following right now. Enticing contests that draw in participants will do much of the work to build your audience. Think outside the box, the better to encourage broad sharing or outright viral traction.
2. Consider Inclusion on Notable Industry Lists
Make a list of lists — the industry “best of” lists on which you’d most like to see your company. For example, earning a spot on a list of the best-performing banks was a major win for one Dallas based bank; you can certainly think of a relevant list or two on which you’d like to see your own company name.
3. Highlight Individual Executives’ Achievements
Your executives aren’t wholly defined by their work for your organization. Be sure to tout their good works in the community and their professional achievements outside your company (such as honorary degrees. Every feather in your leadership team’s cap builds trust and credibility with your audience.
4. Sponsor Regular Customer Appreciation Events and Activities
Set aside at least one customer appreciation day per quarter and make it memorable by giving away free or heavily discounted products or services. Consider these ideas from HubSpot, if you need inspiration. Whatever you decide, market the event widely.
5. Cultivate Your Company’s Reputation As a Great Place to Work
Become known as a great place to work and you’re likely to end up on a notable industry “best of” list sooner or later. But a reputation for treating your employees well will take you much farther than that. Think of your employee-friendly reputation as an extension of your word-of-mouth marketing efforts — an extension that, though it may require some capital expenditure and a shift in your internal priorities, is nevertheless much cheaper (and more effective in the long run) than a traditional marketing campaign utilizing legacy media.
What’s Getting Your Business Noticed?
It’s time to step back and take stock of what’s getting your business noticed today. What could you be doing differently? Is it time to try any of the strategies on this list, if you haven’t already exhausted them?
Next, it’s time to ask whether you’re doing everything realistically possible to ensure the success of your efforts to cultivate attention and visibility for your enterprise. It’s not enough to merely do, as you know all too well from your role as a leader. Those who merely do tend not to last very long. Those who excel, by contrast, rise to the tip. Empower your organization and its team to excel, rather than simply do. You’ll be glad you did.