When launching a new business, whether it's an app or an event space, there is a lot of work that goes into getting everything in place and ready for your customers and clients.
But when setting up a new service—whether as part of another company’s offering or something entirely new—there can be additional challenges. How exactly should you go about announcing this new endeavor? And what kind of marketing materials will best represent it?
We spoke with several entrepreneurs who have recently launched their own services to find out how they did it. While each person had different ideas on how to promote themselves and their offerings, they all shared some common tips and tricks. From announcements to graphics, here's what we found.
Announcing a new service isn't hard if you know where to start. You'll need to decide which platform works best for your target audience (social media platforms like Instagram are perfect), consider what type of content would be most beneficial, and then create something unique that stands out from other companies' efforts.
"I think one thing people often forget about creating a brand identity is that you're not just branding yourself," said Sarah Smith, founder of The Artistic Way, a creative studio based in New York City. "You also want to establish relationships between your clientele so they feel comfortable coming back." She suggested sharing a few stories about herself and her team via social media, providing links to articles written by them online, and posting photos taken at events.
Another way to attract more potential customers is through video. If you haven't made any yet, now might be the time! In fact, according to research conducted last year by Adobe Insights, 92 percent of survey respondents agreed that videos were effective at building brands. For many businesses, especially those focused around image-based industries such as fashion design, photography, art, etc., showing off one's work helps differentiate oneself from competitors.
While some may argue that sending emails to subscribers instead of using social media is better for SEO purposes, email marketing is still important. According to HubSpot, 75 percent of marketers say they prefer email over other forms of communication, including text messages and phone calls. However, the same study reported that only 10 percent use email strategically to generate leads. When crafting your first message, keep these statistics in mind. This includes making sure to include a strong call-to-action with clear instructions, as well as relevant information about benefits associated with working with you.
In addition to traditional advertising methods, digital influencers can play a major role in driving interest toward your products or services. By partnering with them on projects, you could potentially gain exposure for yourself while gaining credibility among followers. Influencer partnerships vary greatly depending on the industry, but experts agree that choosing someone whose following matches yours is key.
Once you've decided on the method(s) you'd like to utilize, you can begin thinking about what specific details you'd like to share.
For example, what makes your service stand apart from others in its field? What sets you apart from your competition? Think carefully before deciding upon anything too vague or general, such as “great location” or “perfect environment.” Instead, try narrowing down attributes like “a cozy meeting room” or “an open kitchen area.” These specifics allow your ideal customer base to envision themselves using your service. It gives them something tangible to rally behind, rather than simply saying, “we provide great experiences.”
What else does your prospective customer care about? Are you willing to take risks to put together eye catching designs? Do you offer flexibility in terms of hours/location? Will you cater to special requests? Perhaps you plan to offer free trials, discounts, or even group rates for large parties or groups. All of these factors affect how much effort you’ll invest in promoting your service. Consider asking yourself questions like, “what am I trying to achieve? Who is my target market? Why should anyone choose me?”
Finally, remember to give your prospects reasons why purchasing from you is worth their money. They don't necessarily need to understand every single aspect of your business, but they should see value in whatever you offer.
After determining which promotional channels will best reach your target audience, the next step is actually spreading word about your upcoming service. Whether you intend to host public presentations, send press releases, hold contests, participate in discussion forums, host meetups, or otherwise use social media to spread the news, make sure your messaging is easy to digest.
Try breaking up lengthy posts with short paragraphs or bullet points, and incorporate visuals wherever possible. Your goal should be to get visitors interested enough in what you offer to click onto your website or contact page. Once they arrive, focus less on selling them right away and more on establishing trust. Make sure to address concerns and questions upfront, and always present yourself professionally. Remember to thank users for stopping by, and encourage interaction whenever possible.
If you’re going to post statuses on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Reddit, Telegram, Medium, Discord, TikTok, Periscope, Twitch, Instagram, Flickr, Vimeo, Vine, YouTube, and elsewhere, you’ll probably want to stay consistent across multiple platforms. That means keeping things simple, avoiding overly long captions, and being mindful of hashtags and keywords used throughout. But once you settle on a particular channel, stick to it. Don’t hop around constantly because no one likes jumping between places to catch updates.
Additionally, avoid copycatting other accounts unless you’re intending to impersonate them. Sharing similar images or adding comments on someone else’s status update doesn’t count, nor does replying to everyone individually. Doing so dilutes your impact and wastes valuable time.
Since writing headlines has become increasingly difficult due to technological advancements, sometimes a good headline is all it takes to grab attention. Try brainstorming words that accurately reflect your message, focusing primarily on action verbs like “offer,” “provide,” “come,” and “create.” This allows readers to visualize what they’d receive or experience after reading through your piece. Also consider incorporating descriptive adjectives to add color and meaning.
According to Forbes contributor Rachel Thompson, co-founder of the lifestyle blog The Broke Millennial, successful tweets typically feature either a question or a problem solved. Similarly, she recommends starting sentences with “how to” statements. People tend to respond positively to solutions offered in this manner.
However, both Emily Gorman and Adam Markel of the personal finance site ReadyForZero caution against relying solely on “call to actions” in order to boost engagement levels. Rather, they suggest incorporating prompts such as “read further” or “learn more” alongside enticing language like “free trial period,” “discounted rate,” and “special offers.”
Launching a new service can be exciting, nerve-wracking, exhilarating, and stressful. There’s plenty to prepare for during this process, so hopefully, our guide gave you a little bit of guidance along the way. Now it’s time to really get started. We wish you luck!
When launching your own business, it's easy to get caught up in all the things that need doing - marketing, social media, website updates and so on. But there is one thing that can really hold you back from success...
A lack of focus on how people see YOU!
If you've just started out as a freelancer or small business owner then this is particularly important. The first step for any successful entrepreneur will be attracting clients who want what you have to offer. And if you're not sure about how to attract them, then here are some simple suggestions to start with.
The following tips should help you create a clear strategy for highlighting yourself, your services, products and brand. They aren't necessarily rocket science but they are essential to creating awareness around your offerings.
So let's begin by asking ourselves "how do I highlight myself?"
It’s probably safe to say we know our industry fairly well already. We understand our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (or at least we think we do). So when we look at how others promote themselves then there are certain characteristics we use without even realizing it. These are the 'hallmarks' which make us feel comfortable in our skin. If these hallmarks don't match up with yours, maybe now is time to re-evaluate and change direction.
As entrepreneurs we often like to stand apart from other businesses. This gives us confidence and self assurance. It also means we tend to avoid being part of groups where we may appear less confident. In reality though, having such strong opinions makes us more interesting to work with because we bring something unique to the table.
Here are some ways you could consider bringing those qualities forward into your branding efforts:
Be authentic. You might be tempted to play down your skills and expertise because you believe that would give you greater credibility and authority. However, studies show that authenticity builds trust and rapport between two parties. Your clients won't respect you if you try to hide anything.
Share your values. Be open and honest about why you were drawn to entrepreneurship in the first place. What are the reasons behind starting your own company? Tell stories about how you overcame challenges, failures and setbacks. People love hearing about real life experiences.
Find your voice. Just like every person has their own personality, so too does each business. Make sure you find your character and style as soon as possible. When you communicate your mission statement through words and actions, you'll build your personal identity while giving a hint of who you truly are.
Make it personal. Speak directly to your audience using language and terminology that relates specifically to them. Create content that speaks directly to their needs and wants rather than general statements that apply across everyone. Don't forget to add emotion to your written copy. This helps your readers connect emotionally with your message.
Use visuals. Visual marketing is effective at breaking down barriers and getting noticed by potential clients. Add images and infographics to enhance your communication style. Use photographs, cartoons, charts, graphics and illustrations to convey information clearly and effectively.
Get creative. Think outside the box. There are no rules saying you must follow convention when building your brand image. Experiment with different colors, fonts types and styles until you find what works best for your target market.
Once you've found your signature style, stick to it. Once again, research shows that consumers respond positively to consistency. Using the same color scheme, font type and imagery throughout your marketing materials sends signals that are easily understood by both buyers and sellers.
Now, onto finding your way in the world of promotion.
In order to ensure that your client gets exactly what they paid for, you must deliver consistently high quality results. To achieve this requires careful thought and planning.
You should always remember that your reputation is based upon your ability to serve your customer base properly. As long as you keep delivering top notch service, word of mouth will take care of the rest.
But before you can guarantee consistent delivery, you need to establish a solid foundation for promoting your offering.
Think carefully about the six most critical components of great service. If you can master these areas, you'll earn loyalty among your customers.
1) Know your customers inside out. Understand their pain points, goals and motivations. Find out what keeps them awake at night. What struggles do they face day to day? Knowing what your ideal client likes, dislikes and fears will allow you to design solutions tailored to their specific requirements.
2) Build relationships in advance. Before you ever send over an invoice or checkbook, spend time talking with your prospect. Ask questions about their business, career path, hobbies and interests. Listen intently and ask lots of relevant questions. Then, share your knowledge and experience with them. Showing interest in another person goes a long way towards establishing trust and making connections.
3) Take ownership early on. Actively listen to feedback and ideas. Offer free consultations. Consider partnering with experts who specialize in related fields. Become known as someone who cares.
4) Keep track of everything. Do whatever it takes to stay organized and efficient. Have systems in place to manage projects, deadlines and finances. Track leads, sales and referrals.
5) Deliver above expectations. Always go above and beyond to exceed your customer's needs. Give extra attention to details and pay special attention to the little things. For example, if you've been hired to write blog posts, double check to make sure that your grammar and punctuation is correct. Remember, once you leave your email address, you become instantly accessible 24/7.
6) Stand out from competitors. Position your business as the expert in its field. Get to know your niche inside out. Develop a plan for growth through networking events, presentations and speaking engagements. By taking advantage of local and national conferences, trade associations, workshops and seminars, you'll quickly position yourself as the leader in your area.
Your customers are the reason you exist. Without them you wouldn't have enough energy to put food on the dinner plate. Now imagine trying to sell a house without a buyer. How much harder would that task be? That's essentially what happens when you lose sight of your customers.
Customers buy from people they know and trust. Therefore, you need to develop strategies to ensure that your prospective buyers feel connected to you.
There are many ways to showcase your value to potential customers. Some examples include:
Events & Meetings. Host community gatherings focused on providing education or entertainment. Hold group sessions in conjunction with corporate meetings, seminars and conventions. Invite speakers, entertainers, authors and trainers to speak at your location.
Webinars. Record webinars featuring guest lecturers and present them via video link. Webcast live discussions and answer viewer questions regarding industry trends. Send recorded highlights to subscribers after completion.
Blogs. Write informative articles that outline your vision, philosophy, history and future plans. Incorporate links to your site within the article body.
Social Media Marketing. Promote your online presence by sharing news, promotions and discounts via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+
Presentations. Present your idea(s) during public forums, workshops and expositions. Demonstrate your ability to solve problems, educate and inform.
Newsletter. Publish periodic e-newsletters designed to reach your targeted audience. Share valuable insights and resources that relate to your business.
Q&A Sessions. Conduct question and answer sessions online, or attend conference calls and interviews. Answer questions honestly and openly.
Ezine Subscriptions. Design your newsletter to appeal to your target demographic. Include promotional offers, coupons and special deals exclusively available only to newsletter subscribers.
No matter what kind of relationship you wish to cultivate with your current or prospective customers, it starts with understanding what motivates them.
Understanding your customers' needs and desires allows you to better meet their needs. Ultimately, this translates into greater profits for your business.
To succeed in today's competitive environment, it's crucial to continually improve your operations.
While technology continues to evolve, human interaction remains the core ingredient needed to turn a good profit into a phenomenal one. Customers expect nothing short of excellence from companies they choose to purchase from.
Here are a few quick tips to improving your overall performance:
Communication. Communicate regularly with employees. Letting workers know how their behaviors impact revenue and productivity will lead to increased collaboration and efficiency. Also, be transparent about financial health and internal processes.
Customer Service. Ensure that staff members treat guests appropriately. Provide training on etiquette and proper protocol. Allow your team to practice interacting with clients in front of a mirror. Train them to anticipate issues and handle them professionally.
Leadership. Establish guidelines that encourage teamwork. Encourage innovation and creativity amongst your workforce. Give credit for successes and rewards for hard work.
Problem Solving. Identify and resolve recurring complaints. Regularly survey your team to determine their level of satisfaction. If necessary, hire additional support personnel or upgrade existing ones. Hire managers that will coach and mentor your employees.
Launching your own small business is an exciting journey, but it can also be nerve-wracking. From choosing a name and registering with the state to sourcing suppliers and managing clients, there's so much to consider — not to mention keeping up with all of that while trying to run your day job too!
Even if you've been working for someone else for years and have no experience in launching businesses, setting up shop can still feel like a daunting process. We spoke to entrepreneur experts who offer advice on how to best prepare for this next chapter in life. Here are their tips on announcing a new service on social media.
There’s probably nothing more terrifying than watching people discover something terrible about yourself online. When I launched my first company, The Social Good Summit invited me to speak at one event after another while I was traveling across America promoting my book. At each stop, every attendee would ask me where my “real” office was located. Even when they didn't realize it yet, I had inadvertently revealed myself as a fraud: My "office" was actually a modest apartment in New York City. In case you were wondering what kind of work gets done in an apartment, mine mostly consisted of writing articles and blog posts on my laptop. (And yes, I did end up moving into a real office space.)
Before you start sharing your plans publicly, take some time to think through exactly which platforms you plan to use. You might want to share news via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc., depending on how comfortable you are with different audiences. Then make sure everyone has access to these accounts before you go public. Your friends will appreciate knowing ahead of time what platform you're using.
If you post frequently, consider creating a separate account specifically for your business because it may get filled up quickly. This way, you'll know exactly which updates you need to respond to and which ones you can ignore until later.
Also, don't forget to check out our ultimate guide to social media marketing. It includes everything from basic etiquette rules to specific strategies for connecting with customers.
When you receive a message asking you to join a group focused around your interests, does it seem strange? Maybe even suspicious? That’s precisely why you should always carefully read any messages you come across on social media, especially those offering freebies or deals. If they sound fishy, report them immediately. Otherwise, other users could fall prey to scams by giving away personal information without realizing it.
Here’s an example of what happens when we fail to protect ourselves properly: Recently, several readers contacted us to let us know about a scam circulating among influencers. According to these sources, people posing as representatives from popular companies such as Apple offered incentives in exchange for followers' private data, including contacts' names and phone numbers. These scammers then allegedly used the contact info to send spam texts and calls. Luckily, many victims reported being able to block unwanted calls right off the bat thanks to alerts sent directly to their phones. But others weren't so lucky.
The lesson here isn’t just to avoid falling victim to phishing schemes yourself. Instead, try to teach your audience to spot fake offers and follow the same common sense tips you suggest for avoiding spam emails. For instance, never click links inside emails unless you’re absolutely certain you want to open them.
A similar problem exists when following celebrities on social media. Because celebs often interact with fans personally, it's easy to miss unsolicited comments and questions coming from bots instead of actual humans. To prevent yourself from getting fooled by fake interactions, look closely at anyone you find attractive enough to inspire jealousy. Chances are, they won’t reply to your tweets and DMs themselves.
Social media is often confusing, especially when you’ve got multiple profiles linked together. So, remember that consistency matters when deciding whether to create a dedicated page for your services. Make sure you update your brand pages consistently, and keep track of all relevant hashtags. Also, whenever possible, link your main profile to your branded pages.
It’s important to note that branding pages aren't necessarily bad things. They serve a purpose beyond attracting clicks. By having a well-branded page, you give viewers a quick overview of what you stand behind; plus, it helps search engines recognize your content better.
However, it’s crucial to know when to strike a balance between maintaining a professional presence versus appearing overly promotional. After all, it's not fair to treat your followers like consumers. And remember, brands exist to sell products and services, not simply provide good customer support.
For instance, if you manage freelance writers, a great strategy is to offer quality control guidelines, contract templates, and payment schedules on your website. However, if you only publish original pieces, stick to posting pictures of completed projects and providing testimonials rather than individual writer bios.
As you build your reputation, you might eventually decide to include your freelancers on your official team members. Still, since they're independent contractors, you shouldn't expect them to answer to your whims. As long as your policies remain clear, your freelancers will continue producing high-quality work without feeling exploited.
Just like brands, retailers sometimes struggle to determine how far they can push promotions towards potential buyers. While campaigns designed to attract attention usually perform well, they can cause unexpected repercussions.
One recent study found that shoppers tend to compare prices based on previous purchases, meaning that discounts can sometimes hurt sales. Another experiment showed that showing images of products helped customers visualize items more clearly, making it easier to pick out suitable options for purchase.
So, when testing various advertising tactics, focus on finding ways to boost conversions rather than merely increasing traffic. Try tweaking headlines, visuals, and descriptions to see what works best. Take advantage of tools like Google AdWords to evaluate campaign performance.
Of course, you don't have to limit yourself to strictly digital means. You can promote physical goods as well. Just bear in mind that selling tangible products requires additional planning and resources. For example, it takes longer to ship merchandise compared to clicking a button in your email inbox. Plus, you'll likely need to hire employees or partners for fulfillment purposes — tasks that require specialized knowledge and expertise.
Still, if you're looking to advertise a limited number of unique products, ecommerce sites are ideal alternatives. Since you have full control over pricing, inventory management, shipping, and delivery times, running an online store is less stressful than building a brick-and-mortar storefront.
Keep in mind that displaying images of finished products doesn't automatically mean you're ready to hit shelves. Before stocking shelves, you'll need to test your production methods, establish relationships with vendors, and ensure adequate supplies.
If you'd prefer to stay hands-off, you can partner with a manufacturer or wholesaler to handle the logistics of bringing your designs to life. Although partnering with factories provides greater flexibility, it's worth considering outsourcing wholesale manufacturing only if you already have a strong understanding of industry trends.
Become CEO of your own lead generation software company, just follow our battle-tested guidelines and rake in the profits.