words Al Woods
Launching a business in a large metropolitan area can feel like adding a grain of sand to the beach. You might be one of hundreds of people doing what you do. Since you did your market research however, you know that the people who want and need what you offer are there.
And in order to get noticed, you’ll need to find creative ways to get in front of them. Creating brand awareness is critical. No one knows who you are just yet, and your goal is to change this. You’ll gain recognition in the big city when you do things that put you in front of the right people at the right time.
Connect With Non-Profits
One of the ways that businesses gain recognition is through serving others. Whether you host a food drive for the local food bank, or you donate a large sum of money to a women’s shelter, the people who run non-profits are usually well-connected throughout the city. They rely on businesses like yours to help them help others. By serving your community through employee engagement by corporate volunteering or donating, you’ll gain a reputation for being a good business. Some graphic design firms donate their time to create stunning work for these non-profits. Some agencies lend their staff for writing projects or blogs. They key is to find a non-profit that you genuinely care about and work with them in meaningful ways.
Host a Red-Carpet Launch Party
Launch day can be the most exciting part. Offer tickets to an exclusive red-carpet event to launch your new venture. The city has no lack of people in high society who love a good party. It also gives you an opportunity to connect with other local businesses who can provide many of the options for the party. Local caterers can make the food. Local party planners can coordinate all the details. A photographer can help document the event. You get the picture. A launch party like this lends itself to creating buzz and exclusivity. This makes it feel more special and can put your business on the map.
Advertise on the Subway
Millions of people ride the subway daily. What an incredible opportunity to be exactly where people already are. A subway station ad or ad in the trains themselves can help you connect to your target audience quickly. Ads in the subway station can easily direct people to your local eatery. They can communicate who you are and what you offer at a glance. Think about people in the subway. If they aren’t looking at their phones or at a newspaper, they are looking up and around and not at the people in the train.
It’s important to include your contact information and location in obvious ways, but in a visually appealing way. Work with graphic designers who understand that these ads need to be interesting, but they also need to be useful and provide needed information. Adding a QR code can help people when they are on the go but want to check out your business later.
A PR campaign is different than an ad campaign. Public relations can mean that you release information about what your business is doing. Are you about to break ground? Announce your groundbreaking date in the local newspaper. Did you donate a huge sum of money to a local charity? Let people know. PR is all about keeping your business name in the spotlight in positive ways so that when people see you, they know what you stand for.
Set up a Google My Business Page
Countless people look online for local businesses. They may search for a florist, a dentist, or a bakery nearby. Creating a Google My Business account literally puts you on the map. You can include any details necessary that might help people who are looking for businesses like yours. A salon should include whether they offer kids cuts or not. A bakery should include details on any allergen friendly menu options like gluten free or dairy free. A restaurant might incorporate details about vegan menu items. The key is to add details that are descriptive and show how you are different from local competitors.