My little mantra is a good day always follows a bad, but a bad doesn’t necessarily follow a good. I also use this with minutes and hours too when things are particularly rocky. I’ve applied my mantra for over 25 years’ in business and, I promise you, it works.
With this in mind, 2021 is going to be better than 2020. It’s fair to say that the new year owes us, but I totally believe it is our job, in business, to owe it back; to build sustainable futures for our own businesses, our associates, our suppliers and our networks.
The thing is…
Businesses buy from businesses because they trust them. Quality and service is given. Your brand (personality, values, DNA) is what makes you stand out; and this is what you need to focus on in 2021; with a constant drip feed to your marketplace. Tell stories, build trust, push your values (create them if you don’t have), and build your profile on and off-line. Get noticed, look and sound the part and be bold. And make sure your clients and prospects have total confidence in using you.
To help you get motivated, and start January off the right way, we have compiled the following shopping list of clever design, marketing and creative ideas.
Social media plan
If you haven’t already got one write a social media plan and outline the content and frequency of posts and topics for the year. Break it down to weeks, and resources.
People value real insight. Blogs have double the power as once written they can then be uploaded to your website, social media and in fact any comms – newsletters, eshots, content for videos. Google loves blogs too. Read our blog ‘Why writing blogs is good for business’.
A tour of the office, to show the brand, a quick wave from the team (virtual works) – make it quick, simple fun. I also suggest Q & As with you or your management team to talk about your vision, why you are different etc. Talk about the business personality, yours too.
Use the videos to boost your brand
Once you’ve created your videos, get sharing – on social channels, business development presentations, staff communications, seminars and conferences. The beauty of videos is they work well for virtual and real time meetings.
New team photography
Have a look at your team photos? Has your team changed or developed? Do they represent your values, your brand and you? If not, get new ones. Apart from helping to boost the correct image for your business you can also then use on LinkedIn too. If your profile is currently you, tipsy at a wedding, change it!
As an alternative to, or to complement a video I recommend creating an animation to run through your services, products values, passion etc. Animations are fun and quick to digest. We all know we don’t have the time and patience to read through mountains of sales bumf so why should our customers. Make it engaging, simple and enjoyable. And then share on social.
Meet the team
Written profiles of your key team provide great content. People love reading about what makes the company tick, who is behind the decisions etc. Include background of your experience, specialist areas, awards, top 4 career achievements. Really market yourself. If you find this difficult or a bit cringy, get your marketing team to do it for you. You could also include some personal interesting facts about the person behind the name and job title as well. Then share – social, tenders, BD etc.
I know, creating brilliant values is not easy, but with a little dedication and, often, external support, crafting values will really help to build your brand personality. Be sure to promote internally and explain the thinking behind them. Make sure everyone understands why they are needed and use throughout all staff reviews. Once done, review every year to make sure they are still relevant. If they are not, do not be afraid to change.
As with a Company vision. Think big, think almost unobtainable. A strong vision needs to feel like hard work for a reason. Craft it, share internally and then communicate everywhere. Be proud of what you stand for.
You may already have lots of these but haven’t shared them. Create into stylish graphics or use in your animations. Video your customers too talking through why they use your company.
There is so much ‘screen noise’ at the moment that a lovely, sophisticated and professional brochure or newsletter is a good idea to help build on the company values, outline the services and to creatively push the brand. Print few, use selectively and send to associates, contacts and hot leads. And it’s ok to send to people’s homes too. Just make sure your GDPR policy is up to date and you communicate this. It’s all about building the brand.
January campaign & landing page
Is there a campaign, an exciting message or new initiative you can push in January? Even if it’s not new, make a list of achievements in 2020 and use creatively. Design and build a landing page on your existing website and then do a digital marketing campaign to push people to the site.
Consider a LinkedIn / Google Ad campaign
To push the said campaign, consider LinkedIn and Google Ad campaigns. Combined with organic SEO, e.g., your own blogs, social media it will really help to push your brand, to the right, targeted audiences.
Join Business Associations
Regardless of your industry there will definitely be a great association to join. Whether this is trade or business related the support, learning, contacts, advice and often lobbying on your behalf is just so invaluable. Locally in the Central South area Business South – is brilliant. I am a Chair of the Lifestyle and Culture Action Group (one of the Business South’s action groups) and have developed some fabulous connections. Business South is an engagement, network, lobbying group but also has brilliant events and dinners (when allowed). My Network Club is also really good for smaller companies.
Run your own event
Bradley Hatchett from My Network Club is a useful go to with this. As is the brilliant Shirley Wynne-Jones from Destination Southampton. Hosting your own event (you’ll need a good topic, speaker or offer) is a great way to get to know and build a community and lovers of your brand.
Don’t be afraid to start
I know, I’ve thrown you quite a big list, but you only have to push the on button, and start small. If you have a marketing team, use them, if you are the marketing team, fire up your creative juices and if you don’t, team Glow is always free for a chat.
So, dust off the Christmas hangovers, finish off the last of the Baileys and get going!
Oh, and did I mention I’m 50 this year (shh) and Glow is 21 so we’re planning big things too!