Brighter Messaging
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12 ways to stand out and get your small business noticed online

Imagine, you’ve just launched a new consulting firm that offers specialized services to growing businesses in your region. You’ve invested countless hours over the years developing your expertise. Successes with previous clients have enabled you to create powerful case studies. You’re confident that your knowledge and skills will impress prospects and drive your own business growth.

Unfortunately, it’s not working. Weeks go by, and despite your expertise, new client engagements remain sparse. The phone rarely rings and your inbox is empty.

You realize that in today’s environment, having top-notch services isn’t enough—you need to get noticed online in order to attract clients.

Just like the consulting firm owner, many small business owners face the challenge of standing out in a crowded online marketplace. With so many businesses vying for attention, it’s easy for your business to get lost in the shuffle.

At Brighter Messaging, we’ve seen firsthand how the right online presence can transform a business. Here are twelve tactics to help you get your small business noticed online.

1. Develop a unique brand voice

Creating a unique brand voice is about crafting a distinct and memorable way of communicating that reflects your company’s personality. Your brand voice should be consistent across all platforms, including your website, social media, and email communications.

How to get started:

  • Define your brand’s personality: Determine the traits that represent your brand and resonate with your customers (e.g., friendly, professional, quirky).
  • Create a brand guide: Document your brand voice and guidelines on tone, language, and style to ensure consistency.
  • Train your team: Make sure everyone involved in communication understands and uses the brand guide across all customer touchpoints.

2. Optimize your website for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for improving your website’s visibility on search engines. By optimizing your site, you can attract organic traffic and improve your search engine ranking.

How to Get Started:

  • Conduct keyword research: Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that can help you find relevant keywords. You can also search terms via Google and look for its recommendations and questions “people also ask” (PAA).
  • Create high-quality content: Write blog posts, articles, and page copy that provide value and incorporate your target keywords.
  • Ensure mobile-friendliness: Make sure your website uses responsive design to ensure it works well on all devices.

3. Start a blog

Blogging is an effective way to share industry insights, your point of view, and updates about your business. Regular blogging can help establish your authority in your field and improve your search engine rankings.

How to get started:

  • Identify topics: Create a list of relevant topics that will interest your audience. These should also fall in line with the keywords you chose to target as part of your SEO.
  • Write regularly: Aim to publish blog posts on a consistent schedule. Weekly is great, but once or twice per month is a good start. Set a schedule that you’ll be able to keep up with, or work with a ghostwriter who can support your content production efforts.
  • Promote your posts: Share your blog posts on social media and in email newsletters to reach a wider audience.

4. Leverage social media platforms

Social media is a powerful tool for reaching a broader audience and getting your business noticed online when you’re just starting out. Establishing a strong presence on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can help you connect with potential customers and build brand awareness.

How to get started:

  • Choose the right platforms: Focus on the social media platforms where your target audience spends the most time. Pick one or two and get consistent on those first.
  • Post regularly: Maintain a consistent posting schedule with engaging content. You don’t have to post every day. Once a week is fine to start. Quality is better than quantity.
  • Quick tip: Use segments and summaries of your blog posts for your social media content.
  • Interact with others: It’s called social media for a reason—you have to be social to see success! Comment on other people’s posts, and be sure to always respond to comments, messages, and mentions to build relationships with your audience.

5. Update your Google Business Profile

Google Business Profile is a free tool that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. Your Google Business Profile is what shows up first when someone searches for you or your services in maps, or for queries that contain “XXX near me.” Optimizing your Google listing will make it easier for local customers to find you.

How to get started:

  • Claim your listing: Google your business name. You’ll see an auto-generated listing on the right side of your browser, and it’ll include a link that says, “Own this business?” Click that link and follow the steps to claim your listing.
  • Complete your profile: Add your business hours, location, contact details, a compelling description, photos, and your list of services.
  • Encourage reviews: Ask satisfied customers to leave a review. Make it easy for them by sending the link Google provides for requesting reviews.

6. Engage in online communities

Participating in online forums, groups, and communities related to your industry can help you establish your brand and attract potential customers.

How to get started:

  • Join relevant groups: Look for online communities on platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, and Facebook.
  • Contribute regularly: Share your expertise by answering questions, providing valuable content, and engaging in discussions.
  • Build relationships: Network with other members and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and helpful resource.

7. Host webinars and live events

Organizing webinars, live Q&A sessions, or virtual workshops can help you share your expertise and engage with your audience in real time.

How to get started:

  • Choose a topic: Select a topic that addresses the needs and interests of your audience.
  • Promote your event: Use social media, email marketing, and your website to promote the event.
  • Engage during the event: Encourage audience participation through polls, Q&A sessions, and interactive discussions.

8. Shoot and share videos

Video content is highly engaging and can capture attention more effectively than text or images alone. Use videos to showcase your products, share customer testimonials, or provide behind-the-scenes insights.

How to get started:

  • Plan your content: Decide on the types of videos you want to create (e.g., tutorials, product demos). For a good starting point, do a search for the queries you want to rank for and see which ones are dominated by video content. You’ll need your own videos to break into the SERPs there.
  • Create high-quality videos: Use good lighting, clear audio, and professional editing to produce high-quality videos.
  • Share widely: Upload your videos to relevant platforms (like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok), and share them on your website and social media.

A note about video—many people aren’t comfortable appearing on camera. If the thought of creating video content makes you feel icky, skip it. You’ll be better served by producing content where you can shine.

9. Create high-quality visual content

High-quality visual content, such as images, infographics, and graphics, can enhance your brand’s appeal and increase engagement.

How to get started:

  • Invest in good design: Canva is a great tool for getting started with simple graphics. For unique pieces that you’ll use heavily, hire a graphic designer to create appealing visuals. Remember, your goal here is to get your business noticed online—don’t skimp on good design just to save a little cash in the short term.
  • Use consistent branding: Ensure your visual content follows your brand guide and aligns with your brand’s colors, fonts, and style.
  • Share across platforms: Use your visual content on your website, social media, and marketing materials.

10. Offer free resources and downloads

Providing valuable resources, like eBooks, whitepapers, templates, or guides, can help you build your email list and establish authority in your niche. You may have heard the term lead magnet—that’s exactly what we’re doing here.

How to get started:

  • Create valuable content: Develop resources that address common challenges or provide significant value to your audience.
  • Use lead magnets: Offer these resources for free in exchange for contact information or email.
  • Promote your offers: Use your website, social media, and email marketing to promote your free resources.

11. Engage in email marketing

Building an email list and regularly sending out newsletters, promotions, and updates can help you keep your audience engaged and informed about your products or services. It’s a long-term strategy, but an important one if you want to get your small business noticed online.

How to get started:

  • Build your list: Use sign-up forms on your website and social media to collect email addresses.
  • Create engaging content: Write informative and engaging emails that provide value to your subscribers.
  • Send regularly: Maintain a consistent email schedule to keep your audience engaged.

12. Collaborate with other businesses

Partnering with complementary businesses for cross-promotions can help you reach a broader audience and expand your visibility. For example, if you’re an accounting firm, hosting a webinar with a local business law firm could double your audience.

How to get started:

  • Identify potential partners: Look for businesses that complement yours and share a similar target audience.
  • Propose collaborations: Reach out with ideas for co-creating content, offering bundled deals, or hosting joint events.
  • Promote together: Use both businesses’ platforms to promote the collaboration and reach a wider audience.

Check out our collaboration with Attorney Venus Liles: Do you need Terms of Use on your website?

Get your small business noticed online—where to begin

Getting your small business noticed online requires a multi-faceted approach, but you don’t have to tackle it all at once. Start with one or two of these tactics and gradually expand your efforts to see the best results. Remember, consistency and quality are key to making a lasting impression in the digital world.

When deciding what to do, it should be obvious that some of these will come naturally and feel easier for you and your team to do than others. For example, you and your team might be great at writing, but not so great at graphic design, SEO, or social media. Rather than avoiding those things or struggling to do them in house, consider outsourcing those to experts.

If you’re a new business, solo-preneur, coach, or consultant, there’s a good chance this all seems overwhelming. If so, you may be interested in our Digital Marketing Starter Package. We’ll create everything you need to build your online presence. Learn more or schedule an intro call.

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