Foolproof Ways to Increase Visibility While Maintaining Productivity
I spent years trying to figure out how to increase my company’s visibility. From billboards to radio ads, I even had some local daytime TV commercials. All that money, only to realize I was going about it the wrong way. I fell into what I call the ‘old man’s trap’; I figured, everybody else made their money, and never stopped to realize that I have one thing on my side that people before our time are still trying to figure out how to use. The internet!
The technological revolution is a great time to be in business. No longer are you relegated to your hometown, no longer do you have to spend vast swaths of money on overhead costs. Today you can sell to anybody who is willing to pay for your goods, regardless of where they live.
There is a downside to this though. The ease of entry into business means that you now have a lot more competition. How do you handle this? It’s simple really (albeit difficult to implement) you’ve got to increase your visibility.
The best way to increase visibility is to use the same technology that gives you access to sell to people worldwide in the first place.
Find Your Niche
It’s imperative that you know your audience and how to grab their attention most effectively. Narrowing down your target audience allows you to figure out what avenues to take to reach them. Things like age, income level, and what they like to do in their free time will help you out immensely when determining where to go to reach your audience.
For Example, let’s say your target audience tends to be politically conscious, you might think about strategically placing ads on podcasts that they are likely to listen to.
Developing a highly specific focus enables you to decide what channels, social media outlets, content, and advertisements you should be creating. It is the first and most important step towards accelerating growth.
Social Media Presence
Social Media’s everywhere, yet there so few people are utilizing it to up there visibility. And I’m not just talking about Facebook ads either. A high social media presence is possibly one of the best ways to gain traction in your industry.
It’s not an easy endeavor, but it most certainly is one that is worth investing time in. Look at people like Joy Cho, the graphic designer who has successfully used the Pinterest platform to promote her work and land some extremely high profile contracts.
Sure it’s not easy but following a few simple steps will help you gain a decent following on your chosen social media sites.
Pick the Right Network
It’s great that you have decided to build your social media presence, but that alone isn’t enough. It doesn’t matter how many followers you get, or how many eyes see your content if you aren’t speaking to the right audience.
There are dozens to choose from, and it’s your job to figure out which one suits your needs best. Although, there is nothing wrong with using multiple outlets.
Since you’ve already narrowed down your target audience, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out which platforms fit your best. Facebook is the largest platform in the world with more than 2 billion users – so if you aren’t already using it, then it’s high time you get on it. The fast-paced nature of Twitter is great for companies that want to be able to reach their base instantly.
One thing you should keep an eye on is the trajectory of the sites, hop on new and promising sites early so you can corner the market.
In the age of social media, if you don’t post consistently, you may well not even exist. Post on a regular basis, so you aren’t forgotten. Post on a consistent basis, and try and keep a schedule going so followers (or subscribers for YouTube) know when to check out your page.
I can’t tell you how many times that I’ve purchased something because someone I follow has introduced me to the product. Compile a list of potential influencers that you can let use your product.
The key to this is to develop a relationship with the influencers first.
Stay Engaged with Followers
Everyone who follows you is a potential client. Stay engaged with them, like their comments, answer their questions and even help them troubleshoot any problems they may be having. One incredible way to engage your audience is to hosts weekly ‘Ask Me Anything’ sessions, where followers get to learn about you on a more intimate level.
Blogs/Vlogs and Podcasting
Everyone likes a good podcast every now and again – some of us listen to them religiously. Set up a camera and microphone and get to talking. Before you know it, you’ll have developed a listening base. Once your base gets large enough, you’ll begin to recognize as an authority in your field.
Take it a step further and start writing blogs and doing video logs. These are two great tools for keeping in touch with your base and increasing visibility.
This seems counterproductive but, try and keep your advertising at a minimum (on your social media accounts). Nobody likes being spammed with ads all the time, and that goes double if you’re spamming your own ads. Don’t think of your social media pages as a promotional platform as much as a place to engage with your community.
When done correctly, search engine optimization can place your content at the top of search engines. If you can, invest in SEO tools like Moz to help you target the best phrases and words to use. You’ll be seeing more traffic in no time.
What Happens When Productivity Can’t Keep Up
Being highly visible means you’re getting more work. More work means your getting more money. But there comes a time when you’ve hit maximum capacity, and productivity begins to dip. At that point, you have a few options; decrease your workload (nobody wants to do that) or find a way to increase productivity.
The moment you begin to see a dip in productivity it is time to investigate. As we grow, we learn newer, more efficient, ways to do things. But for some reason, we can never identify them until we realize that we have a problem. Review the company from top to bottom. Pretend you’re an investor thinking about investing in your company. Analyze cash outflow versus cash inflow, identify areas that need to be bolstered and areas that need to be reworked, or even cut out altogether.
The concept here is to understand your strengths and weaknesses, so you can pinpoint where you need to improve, and where you can eliminate waste. Often this is best done by hiring external help. A fresh pair of eyes always brings more ideas to the table.
Lately, outsourcing has been given a bad reputation. But It can be a highly effective way to increase productivity, by allowing you to focus on your expertise while someone else takes over another task. Things such as payroll, can take an inordinate amount of time and are often better left to professionals to handle.
The trick to outsourcing is to find out which functions that increase profit, and which decrease productivity. You never want to make the mistake of outsourcing profit drivers.
Utilizing Productivity Technology
Technology has taken over our lives in very some very real ways, none of these technologies are more beneficial to an entrepreneur than productivity software. When used properly, these innovations sent from heaven can drastically increase, and enhance your company’s efficiency.
Some Software enables you to centralize everything under one umbrella, from tracking orders, collecting payments, and even dispatching employees. These types of software help increase productivity in ways that few other techniques can even come close to.
Remember to stay up to date with new technologies that can help you improve productivity; they are coming out every single day. Tech Radar has extensive lists of the hottest software specifically for enhancing productivity.
Always Be Improving
Improving productivity is a never-ending quest. The moment you think you have it figured out is the moment productivity slips, so don’t rest on your laurels. Have monthly meetings where you identify opportunities for improvement. And let your team members get involved too. Presumably, you hired them because they are smart, capable people.
In the past, people spend years trying to figure out to be more visible to the public. And once they finally do… BAM… they realize their productivity levels have decreased from all the work they’re getting. It’s a bittersweet feeling really. On the one hand you have more clients, but on the other hand, you’re struggling to fulfill your obligations to them.
Thankfully, the technology age has given us the tools to broadcast our company to the world and stay productive while doing so. From Facebook to Youtube, and even to software that virtually holds your hand the whole time, today’s technology is capable of giving you an influx of business and helping you stay on top of your work (even when you’re overbooked) at the same time.
Author Bio: Marie Erhart is a Success Manager at FieldPulse, creators of field service software that lets you run your entire contracting business from a single app. She works with contractors to help them grow their business using best practices.