For a business to grow, you need to turn up the volume. Get the word out. Market yourself! That can mean using a lot of different tactics, but it starts with knowing who you are, why you’re doing what you do, what you have to offer and how you benefit those you serve. This part of the equation is critical, but it’s not what we’re going to talk about today. If you’re not sure what the answers to those critical questions are, that’s where you need to start. Once you know your purpose then you’re ready to amplify your business!

There are several ways you can start spreading the word about what you do. In fact, it’s easier now to build an audience because there are more low-cost options. This can be critical for a new business that’s watching the budget. Before you start, though, make sure you have a solid plan in place. It needs to be manageable so you’re consistent. It needs to be strategic so you reach the right people in the right places. And it needs to be realistic.

Here are some ways that you can amplify your business to attract new clients and customers:

1) Networking

If your market is local, get out and meet the people! Ottawa has so many great networking groups – practically one for every single interest group there is. The WBN proudly supports the business success of women. Our members have diverse needs and many participate in other networking groups, such as some of the local chambers of commerce or industry associations. Find the combination that works for you, make a plan and then use your membership.

2) Social networking

Using the plethora of tools available to you online, you can build an audience that has an interest in your business. The thing about using these tools is that they’re full of distractions. Like any marketing tactic, it’s important to have a plan. Not just a strategy for promoting your business, but a process for implementing your strategy. It’s also not enough to know how to use Facebook or Twitter because you’ve been on it for years. If you don’t know how to promote yourself well, you could spend a lot of time getting nowhere. Get help from an experienced digital marketing consultant that can give you great advice tailored to your needs and your business.

3) Traditional media

Newspapers, despite what some may think, are not dead. Neither are TV commercials or magazine ads. Many of the traditional mediums are still valuable for businesses to promote their products and services. If your audience – the decision-maker/buyer – is still consuming media through traditional means, that could be more valuable to your business than ten ads on Facebook.

4) Speaking engagements

If one of your goals is to become a subject matter expert, one way to build that reputation is to go after speaking engagements. There are different ways to make speaking work for you. Unpaid opportunities can be a valuable way to reach your target audience if you’re getting requests to speak to audiences that consist of people in your target market. Paid opportunities can help you gain credibility in your industry and with prospects as a whole, because you’ve been paid to share your knowledge. Both are powerful ways to amplify your business.

5) Strategic partnerships

As you build relationships with other business owners, you may find that you develop symbiotic relationships with a handful of people who can mutually benefit each other. I know of several small groups of WBN members whose businesses are complementary to each other and they work together regularly. These kinds of informal and formal strategic partnerships can have incredible value because you can reach a broader audience, you have people who understand your business to give you quality referrals and in return, you have trusted vendors to refer clients to when it makes sense.

Bonus tip: Don’t forget your current clients

As you work to get the word out about what you do and how you can help your clients, it’s important to remember that your existing clients need to be nurtured. It’s much easier to keep a client/customer than it is to gain a new one. How can you add more value to clients and customers who’ve already purchased from you? Think about that and then amplify your business to those clients again.

Amplify your business to grow

You’ve got a lot of value to offer clients and customers. Don’t be shy about sharing what you can do and how they’ll benefit. As my dad told me over and over and over again: If you don’t toot your own horn, no one’s going to do it for you. Get out there and make some noise!

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Happy Holidays!

Join us next week for our last Breakfast Mix and Mingle of 2016! After that, we’ll be winding down the year as we all prepare to celebrate the holidays. I wish you and yours the happiest of holidays and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. I’ll see you in 2017!

Karen C. Wilson, WBN President
WBN President, 2016-17
Marketing Writer at Halogen Software