That’s all you need.
Ten minutes to read this blog.
Ten minutes to carry out one of the five actions below.
Time: twenty minutes. Cost: zero.
Not too much to promote your business is it?
OK, so let’s get on with this.
Tell one stranger you meet about your business
In a supermarket queue, on the train, in the gym, out walking the dog or wherever you are today: tell one person about your business.
Strike up a conversation (the weather is always a good start for us Brits), ask about their day first and somewhere suitable, slip it in into the conversation.
The key to this is not saying what you do, but saying who you help. There is a simple formula for this: I help X achieve Y.
So for me, I don’t ‘do PR’. Instead: I help small businesses tell their stories to the media.
See the difference?
It’s not about me, I, and myself. It’s about them, your customers and what you help them achieve. It’s about the outcome.
Even if you never meet that person again, it’s given you chance to rehearse your business story. The more people you do this with, the more you will hone your story, the better you will become at sharing it.
Link the best page of your website to your all social media accounts
In the profile section of your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat (or whatever you have), add a link to the best page on your website.
This might not be the homepage; it might be the page that resonates best with your customers.
Do you have a fascinating ‘about me’ page or do you have a great piece of work you’re really proud of that showcases your business perfectly? Link your social accounts to that website page.
To do this, use the bitly tool to shorten the length of your website link. This means you can use it online in places that have limited character/word counts. Even better – it’s free.
By linking your social accounts to your website, you make it easy for people to find out more about your business.
Potential customers typically have around six to eight touchpoints with a business before purchasing so, you’re giving them the chance to have more ‘touchpoints’. Also, Google loves authority links to your website, which your social accounts provide.
Search #journorequest on Twitter and respond to any relevant requests
In the search bar on Twitter (top right of the screen), type in #journorequest and review the Tweets.
Journalists use this hashtag as a way of finding people and products to feature in their articles.
You can also search #BloggerRequest for – yes; you guessed it – requests from bloggers.
Look for requests that relate to your business and reply to any you think suitable for you.
On replying, the journalist or blogger will usually provide their email address so you can discuss further in a less public forum.
This gives you the chance to get some free and easy press coverage for your business. By helping a journalist in this way, you’ve also made a great contact and they are more likely to remember you if a similar topic comes up in future.
[Here are a couple of recent examples of requests for info from the lovely Emma Featherstone at The Guardian Small Business Network.]
Email one person in your contacts book
Read something interesting this morning? Who else do you know who would benefit from it? Send it on to them now.
It could be an article or a book you’ve read or even an email you’ve received. Think of someone in your contacts book who would also find it useful.
Send it on now saying ‘I saw this and thought of you’.
You don’t have to go and search out relevant material for that specific person. It’s just about being mindful when you come across something that it could be useful to someone else.
On the whole, people remember other helpful and useful people. And people buy from people.
So, don’t ever just absorb something new – always share it.
Join a relevant online community
Where are your people online? Most niches have an active online community.
Try searching Facebook, Twitter, Quora and Reddit for starters.
Join in, but don’t just write posts solely about your business or you will annoy people (and Google may penalise your website if you spam forums with your own links).
Participate, contribute and share. Answer questions people have. Point them to other useful content on the internet.
When relevant – and only when relevant – share the odd link to your own content/business/product – as long as it’s useful.
Show people you are an expert in your field and by doing this, you passively promote your business.
So, ten minutes I said, and that’s it, we’re done.
However, there’s no point in reading this if you take action.
So over to you, choose one option above and go and do it now.
Ten minutes. I’m counting…