Do you think of PR as something you can stick onto your small business? Like a large colourful flag that will turn heads?
Thinking of PR in that way is like believing that dancing faster or singing louder is better. It just doesn’t work like that. Other stick-on marketing techniques include expensive advertising; approaching the most people at a networking event; or posting prolifically on social media. It might look good, but does it have heart?
Effective PR requires you to get to the heart of who you are and why you’re in business to find meaningful ways to speak to your market. It’s more authentic. It’s more thoughtful – less in the style of a large advertisement and more like a good read. Less like a speed date – more like a heartfelt conversation.
Let the manner and tone of your business communications say something about how you like to do business – that is, with heart. Think about how you want your clients to feel, and encourage those feelings in your communications. Base your messages on sharing, inspiring, nurturing and nourishing. Not only is that how we’d like our clients to feel, it’s also how we’d like our service providers to treat us.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business marketing section.
When putting together your marketing plan for this year, ask yourself – how can I talk to people in a way that connects them more closely with me?
Here are some ideas I’ve come up with:
- Start a LinkedIn group for clients with common ground – connecting them to each other, as well as to you.
- Run a client event (or run a whole series); again, introducing clients to each other and allowing relationships to form and flourish.
- Invite your most important clients to a business awards event. Attend six in a year, giving six great clients an inspiring day out.
- Buy copies of a business book you love and mail them out. Call the people you’re mailing them to for a chat. Inject some of the book’s wisdom into your call.
- Ask clients about issues they feel most challenged by. In response, write a business proposal or even write a white paper or blog to support them.
- Offer a one-on-one free brainstorming session with valued clients. Bring one of your best team members along, too. Devote one or two hours just to this client.
These are just a few ideas to get you warmed up.
Now, I’m off to put my marketing plan together!
What other small business marketing ideas with heart can you suggest?