The 5 Rules Of Making Your Business Visible And Memorable

In an extremely competitive world, making your business visible and memorable can be difficult. However, there are 5 rules that you should make a point of following in order to start on the right foot.

1. Have A (Great) Brand

I keep repeating it over and over but the fact is that your brand is much more than your logo.

However, NOT having any sort of visual branding is a faux pas. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional operating under your own name or a sole proprietor. You need a logo, plain and simple. Something that will help people remember you. And you need to slap it e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. On your social media profiles. On the images that you publish. In your electronic signature. On your website. On your marketing materials. On your business card. And everywhere else that may prove useful. But please. Hire a professional to do it. A real one, not a fake one charging you $5 online. You’ll have something that not only looks good but is a representation and an extension of yourself, and you’ll have all the proper files to work from in the future. The bonus is that you’ll no longer be ashamed of your marketing materials, you’ll even be proud to hand over that business card, making you look that much more confident.

2. Show Up

Hiding in a closet has never helped anyone. Yes, networking can be intimidating, not everyone are people-persons. But avoiding it can only hurt your business. The good news is that it’s a learned skill that you can and will improve. The more you’ll do it, the more you’ll practise that elevator pitch and the better you’ll become at identifying what works and what doesn’t for your business and how to better position and formulate your message.

If people don’t even know you exist, how are they supposed to work with you?

Although nothing can replace in-person networking, online networking is also really important. You’ll find many Facebook groups directed to entrepreneurs, to consumers looking for good deals or to industry-specific representatives. LinkedIn is also a really useful tool to get noticed, show what you have to offer and maintain connections with people you just met in real life.

But if you’re still unclear on what you want to communicate or how, why not ask the experts for a little advice?

But if you’re still unclear on what you want to communicate or how, why not ask the experts for a little advice?

3. Be Present (Online)

Have you ever Googled a business only to realize they didn’t have an online presence? How did you feel? Perhaps you thought you had the wrong name. Or that it had closed. Or maybe you reacted like me thinking how old school that was and that you weren’t sure you were interested in dealing with such a company, let alone do the effort of trying to find a phone number (in the phone book?!) and call to find out more.

You don’t want to be that business. At a minimum, you want to have a website that pops at the top of the page when someone searches for something that closely resembles your business name, and you also want to have a Facebook page that you update “regularly”. The website will help you provide more information to those whose interest has been piqued and allow you to be found by others who may not know you. Your social media profile is more of a visibility tool as there’s a chance that the people who will follow you are existing customers, especially at the beginning. But being present and visible at all times will remind them of your existence, increasing the odds of them dealing with your business more often and even referring you new customers.

4. Tell Your Story

Beyond your logo, YOU are a big chunk of your brand, which is why networking is so important. But you have to own your message.

Sharing your story is a powerful tool to get noticed and remembered. People like to put a face on a business and will remember your brand much better if it’s attached to an interesting story That’s just how our brains work. Better yet, they might even relay it to other people.

Your story doesn’t have to be dramatic or complex. It just needs to showcase your “why” and give a glimpse of your motivations and your philosophy so that people can relate to you. So that they can FEEL an emotion – an indication of efficient storytelling.

Telling your story doesn’t and shouldn’t only have to be about sharing your life path. It should also be about what makes your business “human”. Its people, its daily life, its challenges and its outlook. This means that even when networking, you should consider how you can unveil a tiny bit of yourself and of the human side of your business to people you may encounter. And trying to see how you may connect with your interlocutor by bringing the conversation beyond the “what do you do”. It may seem uncomfortable at first but if you approach as any normal, ordinary conversation you would have in getting to know someone, you may find that networking can actually be fun after all.

5. Be The Expert

Telling your story is definitely a great way for people to get to know and remember you. That covers your soft skills. But what about your hard skills? Your expertise? Your experience? Sharing your wisdom with the world will not only reassure potential clients but will give you that edge. It will give you that added visibility and will raise awareness about your business.

Don’t think this only applies to service-based companies. Business owners selling a product can also benefit by highlighting the value of their product. Why is a given material better than another? What kind of craftmanship goes into making your product?

Showcasing your expertise can be done in many ways. It can be writing regular blog posts. It can be posting videos on YouTube. Or it can be delivering presentations to your target audience.

All In All…

No matter the niche, getting people to discover your business, engage with your brand and ultimately become a client of yours is not easy. Following these 5 rules will definitely put you ahead of the game but should you need some advice or would like to explore the different services we offer to help you be more visible and memorable, send us a line!

 

What the hell is storytelling anyways?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“We’re seeing this expansion of what non-fiction can be in storytelling, I think they’re more thrilling than a lot of fiction films.” These are not our words but the ones of Laura Poitras, an Oscar-winning American documentary film director and producer. You think your story is boring, or worse, that you don’t have any? Think again. Everyone has a story, it’s just a matter of asking the right questions and finding the right way to present it to do it justice. Real life stories of “ordinary” people are often the best.

But what is storytelling and why should you care? In marketing, storytelling is the art of using your story to engage with your audience and build your brand. It’s telling who you are as an organization, where you come from and what you aspire to. This way, your audience can gain a better understanding of your DNA, relate to your experience and connect with your brand. Some organizations rely heavily on their leader’s story and vision, using their persona to brand themselves, while others prefer to let the brand shine on its own.

As the founder of his business, a visionary and a great communicator, Steve Jobs was an excellent example of what a charismatic persona can do for a brand. But not all leaders can do that and sometimes, it’s best to have them work behind the scenes in favour of the brand. The example below is interesting in that although it’s certainly not Steve Job’s most memorable speech, when compared to Bill Gates, it’s clear that telling a story is much more natural to him than it is to his Microsoft colleague.

Note: our objective is certainly not to make fun of Bill Gates but you may find yourself smirking while watching this video!

Like it or not, consumers have never been so solicited and they have the luxury of choosing where they spend their dollars. Globalization has flattened the offer and although this can be comforting to some, it’s harder than ever to stand out in the crowd. The result is that consumers are somewhat “blasé” and good customer service is no longer the norm. But when faced with it, people notice and acknowledge it. While we can argue that traditions are still valued by some, novelty – or at least the capacity to reinvent oneself – gets a lot of traction. Ultimately, you don’t want your business to be a trend that will soon be forgotten but you don’t want it to be an antique either; you want to show people that you value where you come from while being able to evolve and adapt. At the end of the day, telling your story can help you keep your existing clientele AND tap into a younger demographic.

How to tell a story right

Ever read a book that you can’t seem to put down or watched a movie a 1,000 times? Well that’s probably the result of good storytelling. Those stories may have been fictional but there’s no reason why the same formula can’t be applied to your own story.

Think about it. What are the ingredients to a good story? First, the plot. It has to be consistent so that it makes sense but it also needs to have a few punch lines to surprise you and pike your interest. Second, the characters themselves. Perhaps you feel a connection or perhaps you’re intrigued by the fact that they are total opposites of you. And there’s always some sort of villain, that you just love to hate. Lastly, there’s the way the story is told. In the case of books, some like the narrative to be extremely detailed so they can picture exactly how things would look like in reality. On screen, there may be a narrator but things like music, costumes, lighting, decor and the actors themselves all have an influence on what the final product will look like and how you react to it.

All of this to say that whether you are literally writing your story, creating a video, recording a podcast or assembling images for a presentation, you have to think about all the elements that will make your story a memorable one.

The power of storytelling

What you have to know is that length is not necessarily a gage of quality, nor will it guarantee that people engage with your brand. In fact, in some instances, it could well be the contrary.

Remember the picture of the Napalm girl? If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then you will probably remember that internationally renowned picture of a young Vietnamese girl running naked surrounded by a scene of horror. Although some truths behind this picture have lately been questioned, if you had never seen it, it would be fairly easy to put the pieces together. Perhaps your version of the story would be slightly different than the real one but the fact of a matter is that there would be a common thread between your story and others’ as the sense of desperation emanating from that little girl can’t leave anyone indifferent. A picture worth a thousand words; these are the keepers in all of their glory and their horror.

Minus the emotional aspect of it, infographics can have a similar powerful impact. The good ones in particular can relay information of a more practical nature efficiently and quickly while adopting a more playful tone that will help position your brand.

And while short written stories often don’t allow to describe something as much as we’d like them to in order to set the tone, the reality is that people’s attention span is nowadays extremely short. In order to grab their attention, the best is often to combine imagery, written words and video for maximum impact, and to divide your story in multiple short stories so to benefit from a repeat exposure and ensure that people heard and now understand what is your story.