The Formula for Success
Woody Allen, the great American comedian once said that 80% of success is showing up.
And I would have to agree with him. After all, if I hadn’t entered this competition I wouldn’t be writing this blog post now for you all to read!
Of course there is more to success than that – and I will look at some of the other ingredients in the other blog posts this week.
So how can you make your business more successful by showing up?
Here are 3 effective ways.
– SEO your Website
3 little letters that can strike terror into the heart of small business owners! Getting your website on the first page of Google seems to be comparable these days to finding the Holy Grail! There are a lot of ways to improve your visibility. I’m sure you’ve already heard of keywords so I’ll just say one thing about these – remember to use as your keywords the type of phrases that your customers will type into their searchbar – avoid jargon at all costs!
You can also raise your ranking by having lots of links to your site on other websites. You can do this by listing yourself on directories. Some of these are free but some do charge. I’ve put together a Links Directory of all the places I’ve found to link to my site – not all of these links will be relevant to your business but a lot of them are generic – to get it email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the words Link Directory in the subject bar!
One of the best ways to build peoples trust in your business is for them to meet you or have you recommended to them by someone that knows you. There are lots of different networking events so it’s possible for everyone to find a group they feel comfortable with. To find an event in your area go to http://www.findnetworkingevents.com/ or http://www.bni-europe.com/uk/
When you go along to a group look on it as an opportunity to build relationships, not as an opportunity to sell. If you walk in and try to push your product or service down people’s throats all you will do is alienate people so instead approach it with the attitude of getting to know people and seeing how you might be able to help them.
Also, you need to speak to people! Sounds obvious I know but I can’t count the amount of networking events I’ve been to where I’ve seen someone cowering in the corner. I always make it a point to go and speak to these people – if you are a little nervous yourself this is a wonderful thing to do, the person you approach is certain to feel grateful and relieved that you have ‘rescued’ them.
There is likely to be too many people at the event for you to talk to everybody there. You’ll be lucky to talk to more than 3 or 4 in depth. This is one of the reasons it is important to attend the same groups regularly.
– Use PR
Get yourself in the local paper! Or a national paper! Or on radio, TV or in a magazine! The choice is endless. And the media is in constant need of new stories so if you can provide one for them you might be surprised how willing they are to run it!
To do this you need to mentally step outside your business and look at it from a different angle – what is newsworthy about your business? Have you won an award? Are you expanding? Are you having an event or supporting a charity? Is it YOU that’s interesting? How did you get to where you are now?
One good site to upload these to is http://www.free-press-release.com/
If you find it really impossible or too time consuming to do this yourself there are plenty of excellent PR companies out there.
Ok, got to go put my shades on now as you are all set to dazzle!