21 Jun Why businesses need to brave up and promote themselves
A good yarn is good business
I was recently invited to speak about the power of PR for SMEs on Sky Business News’ Marketing Matters program and it reminded me how much I love doing what I do.
Through my work, I meet so many small business owners who don’t realise what an incredible story they have to tell. That, or they are simply too afraid to tell it. They don’t see how powerful their experience and advice can be for other business owners. And, more importantly, how telling it well can drive preference for their business over their competitors. Public Relations (PR) is indeed a powerful tool!
This episode of the Marketing Matters program looked at selling, specifically ‘how to sell when you don’t know how’.
So often craftsmen, creators and practitioners are thrust into the role of growing a business when all they really want to be doing (and all they know how to do) is what they’ve been trained to do. Being that practitioner who started my own PR business, almost ten years ago now, I can wholeheartedly affirm that not only can you be taught to sell, you can learn to love it. Especially once you start to see the benefit your business can bring to your customers or clients.
Organisations, including small businesses, start-ups, charities and not-for-profits, have one thing in common: they need people to know, like, and trust them, and they need something that compels them to act. These are the fundamentals of generating sales and customer acquisition.
The tactics to achieve those fundamentals, will differ for each business, but PR in its various forms certainly plays a huge role in that.
For example, PR can pave the way for your product or your expertise to be featured in the media, win awards or be promoted by influential people or groups. It has the power to make them interested – even keen – to become a customer.
It does more than drive awareness – it brings the power of third-party endorsement. When your ideal customer and important stakeholders see you or your business offering featured in publications that represent their interests, or supported by respected industry bodies or influential people –they feel that your business is relevant to them, well-suited to their needs, and more trustworthy than your competitors. It drives preference.
PR can also go one step further than advertising by showing your audience the best parts of your business – not just telling them. It says to your target market: a journalist, publication or influencer that knows my interests or industry, or this government official, or this industry association, chose to support or seek out the advice of this business. Therefore, they must be top of their field and I am more likely to trust them and feel they are right for me. It drives trust.
And PR can also address roadblocks to being chosen over your competitors. For example, if you are a tradie who is brilliant in your craft, people aren’t wanting to know that you are up to date with the latest technical specifications. They want to know that you are OK to invite into their home, that you have deep experience and a solid reputation. So winning industry awards, appearing on TV to demonstrate you are presentable, polite and articulate, boasting positive testimonials, receiving endorsements from influencers who have experienced your work, and having your work featured online – all make selling ‘you’ that much easier.
Here’s the full episode of me sharing how to generate sales when you aren’t a natural salesperson on Marketing Matters: https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_5797729972001