Owning a business means more than just providing a service or product and hoping people turn out to buy it. You can provide the highest-level service, have excellent customer service skills, have a top-of-the-line product, but if no one knows about you, then you’re dead in the water.
Showing up for your business means putting yourself out there to spread the word. It means not only getting online to start conversations but going offline to have real conversations in person. It means living your brand in every aspect of your life. It means spending the extra time and energy to tell everyone you will listen about what you do.
But how do you put that into action? Follow these three steps to start showing up for your business to help it grow.
1. Join Your local Chamber of Commerce
A Chamber of Commerce is designed to help businesses network with one another and get in front of an audience you may not have access to in your everyday life. It sets you up as a business owner to be taken seriously and gives you a certain level of credibility in the business community. But it only works if you work it, which means showing up for meetings, attending events, and putting yourself out there to have conversations about your business. You also have to be prepared to be the living embodiment of your brand, which means dressing professionally, being personable, and making intentional connections with other business owners who align with your business goals.
2. Be Active on Social Media in the Right Way
There are a ton of ways to be active on social media as a business owner. Not only should you have a regular social media presence on your business page (we like this social media how-to blog from Maven Media), but you need to be active in other business groups, groups that are focused on your industry, and posting about your business on your personal accounts. If the people who follow you on social media don’t know what kind of business you own, you need to talk about it more. You want everyone who interacts with you on social media to know that you are the owner of your business. You want them to associate you with your business automatically. On your personal page, it’s also important to focus on what NOT to post: foul language, inappropriate content, slanderous sentiments about competitors, and generally anything overtly negative. Remember, as a business owner, you are the living embodiment of your business, so don’t turn people off with the content you post on your personal pages.
3. Network, Network, Network
Networking doesn’t always have to take place at a networking event. It can happen when you go out in your personal life, when you’re at a sporting event, or when you’re at the dog park. As long as you are prepared to talk to strangers and get to know people in a lightly personal way, you can network and talk about your business. Think about it: how many social events have you been to where you strike up a conversation with a stranger? What’s one of the first things you ask each other? Nine times out of ten, it’s, “So, what do you do for a living?” There’s always an opportunity to talk about your business. Don’t always start conversations this way, though. Get to know the other person. Ask about their lives, the sporting event, the live band, their family, and show some interest in who they are. That way, when you start talking shop, they feel more inclined to listen and be interested in your business. Get professional business cards made (don’t always go for the cheapest ones, as this card represents your brand when you’re not around), and be ready to pass them out wherever you go.
These are just a few ways you can start to show up for your business in your everyday life. If you find yourself reading this and thinking, “I haven’t done any of this,” then now is the time! Your business will only be as successful as you want it to be. So show up for your business and it will show up for you!