But, now is the perfect time to shine the spotlight on what you have to offer.
Remember, you have to Get R.E.A.L to get noticed, so your efforts should be focused on being realistic, engaging, authentic, and developing the mindset that you want to build a long-lasting (in other words, real) relationship with your customers.
Here are four ways to help your business be merry and bright:
Tis the season to be creative — This is the time of year when clients want to push the “easy” button, but they also want fun and funky. What are some of the ways you can take what you offer and package it in a way that makes it stand out? Do you offer extended hours, free delivery, or other personal touches that no one else has? Let your customers know. Create a video and put it on Facebook and Twitter, send out an email blast, or include in a newsletter. And, don’t tell me that you don’t have the time and/or money to hire someone. If you have a smart phone and a teenager, you can have it shot and uploaded to YouTube in less than 30 minutes. Get more mileage out of it by sending it out to your social media networks. Cool fact: websites and blogs with video are 52% more likely to yield page one search results in Google. Sweet!
Example: Vidler’s 5 and 10 — billed as the largest five and dime in the country, this family owned and operated store in East Aurora, NY has everything (and I mean everything ) you could want or need. But, with big box retailers taking over and offering door busters worth killing your neighbor over, what’s a store like Vidler’s do to stand out? They created Vidler’s TV featuring owner Don Vidler highlighting one of the items in the store. You have to watch one to understand their appeal, but I bet you’ll want to run out and buy a biker babe gnome, too.
Tis the season to collaborate — If it seems like no one knows you exist, joining forces with another business can help you get noticed. If you own a hair salon, you could collaborate with a professional photographer to give makeovers to cancer patients. Tie it in with a current news story, and you’re almost guaranteed to get media coverage. If you’re a contractor, you could team up with an interior designer to help victims of Hurricane Sandy rebuild their homes. Think out of the box!
Tis the season to give— I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You will get more if you give with no strings attached. I am an advocate of doing this all year-long, but especially during the holiday season. At this time of year, everyone is doing the same thing, collecting toys and turkeys for charity. So, don’t do that. Dare to be different.
Example: Feed My Starving Children — This holiday season, thousands of volunteers will gather at churches and other locations throughout the country to participate in a MobilePack. They will be packing 150,000 meals for starving kids. I’m not talking about kids who didn’t get breakfast this morning. I’m talking about kids living in cardboard boxes who on a regular basis don’t get enough to eat. These meals have been specially formulated for sensitive digestive systems. (When you subsist on a diet of bread and water, a cheeseburger could kill you.) This video shows how they’ll do this in just a few hours. It’s a great way for a business to get PR for so many reasons. Besides, who could look at this face and not want to do something?
Tis the season to be grateful — I’m an advocate of doing this all year-long, too, but during the holidays is an especially great time to thank all the people who have helped your business. Employees, customers, the UPS guy who delivers your critical package at 11pm, your spouse, for putting up with your long hours, your kids for putting up with your long hours, your mother, for watching your kids, etc. Saying thank you and meaning it goes a long way toward solidifying future growth. Whether you make a video, write a blog post, take out a full-page ad in the newspaper, or hand deliver chocolate, the people who helped you get here will stay with you for the long haul.
What are some other ways you can generate PR for your business? Please share your thoughts and comments below. And, of course, feel free to share this if you think it will be of value to someone else.
You rock. Thanks for sharing this space with me.
Robin Taney, (aka the “Get R.E.A.L Girl”) is the owner and founder of Studio 4 PR . She works with creative, independent, and “kitchen table” entrepreneurs who are highly motivated to be found by their perfect client. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and sign up for her mailing list You are welcome to use this post on your blog, provided you do not alter it in any way and include a link to this blog.