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Finding Your Small Business Story
By Christina Zila, Textbroker
“How do I market myself if I’m in a boring industry?” “How do I differentiate myself from all the other plumbers or dentists or accountants in town?”
A traditional industry doesn’t have to be boring, and a unique marketing campaign doesn’t have to be expensive. A unique and authentic marketing message can cut through the advertising clutter and elevate your business above your competitors.
Play on Strengths
Small businesses have a natural advantage – they can be themselves. Corporations are often faceless and impersonal. To leverage this advantage, a small business owner has to determine exactly what aspects of their personality they want to emphasize to their customers, and then how to turn that personality into a content strategy.
One accountant bills herself as “the math teacher accountant.” This was a good start, but she had to drill down more to get to the heart of her content strategy. The appeal of her concept was two-fold: she was more than proficient in math, creating trust that the accounting would be done correctly, but she was also a teacher. That teaching aspect became more important than her proficiency, as she could reach out with content that educated her potential clients without talking down to them, including a short “lesson learned” at the end.
Digging For Gold
So how do you start sifting between what you want to present as your marketing message? Here’s a three-step thought process to get you going.
1. Define yourself and your business.
Ask yourself the following questions honestly and thoroughly. Don’t rely on previous mission statements or handed-down values unless you truly believe them.
a. Who you are as a person and as a company? What are your core values both in private and business life?
b. What’s different about how you provide your service or product?
c. Why are you in your chosen field?
d. What do you love about your job or company?
2. Review your answers for commonalities. The math teacher accountant found that helping others succeed came up in all of her answers, which directed her content strategy. Identify the strongest traits and values on which to base your communications.
3. Blend your values with your passion and talents to showcase your knowledge. Our teacher morphed from math teacher to business advisor. A doctor with a musical background wanted to reach out to a young, hip crowd at Zappos and became ZDoggMD, a rapping doctor on YouTube. Your strategy doesn’t have to be hip or flashy, but it should be authentic.
When you’ve completed your brainstorming and branding, you should have a solid direction for creating content. Defining your passion and outlook on your business lets you create an authentic yet unique vision and marketing message. With your new focus, creating content to support your message should be faster and more enjoyable.
Christina Zila is the Director of Communications at Textbroker, an online content creation company. She has more than ten years of experience in marketing and public relations. Follow Christina at @textbroker.
Textbroker is a leading custom content creation company with thousands of US-based writers. You provide the ideas and specifications, and one of our authors writes unique content for you. Clients with large or complex content needs love our turnkey content solutions, which allow you to outsource the entire content process and focus on the end results.
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