BEST FOOT FORWARD: MARKETING YOUR STRENGTHS TO CUSTOMERS January 12, 2021 | Business Tips , Marketing , Social Media | small business , business growth , networking By Stepha Vesper, NPI, Inc.'s Marketing Communications Specialist Marketing is all about showcasing your best abilities to your clients. What do you do that others don’t, and why should someone ultimately choose to hire you? As a small business owner, especially when you’re just starting out, it’s crucial that you put your top skills front and center as often as you can. This helps draw in your clients and allows them to understand the quality of service they’ll receive before they even contact you. So what are some things to highlight and where can you display them? Consider these options. Figure Out What You’re Best At Starting off at square one, sit down and determine what you’re strongest at. A way to quickly discover your advantages is to create a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis breaks down your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats so you know what you do well and what needs improvement. If you have a team that works with you, bring them in on the process as well to get input from people with different expertise. Creating a SWOT A SWOT analysis is easy to set up and complete. You can create a presentation, a shared document or simply write everything down on a sheet of paper or whiteboard. Whichever way you choose, be sure to share the final piece with everyone in your organization. Before you start, do some research on your business and your market. As you fill your analysis out, here are some questions to keep in mind for each section: Strengths: • What processes work for you? • What skills does your team possess? • What physical assets do you have? (cash, equipment, etc.) • What are your competitive advantages? Weaknesses: • What areas are you lacking in? • What processes need improvement? • Are there gaps in any assets or within your team? Opportunities: • What do future market trends project? • Are there events coming up you can join? • What do customers think of you? • Are there any changes coming in your field? Threats: • Has any competition recently moved into your area? • Could changes impact how you do business later on? • Is the market showing any negative trends? • Will consumer habits cause a shift away from your field? Post-Analysis After you’ve completed your analysis, you’ll be able to develop a plan of attack for your business so you can level up your strategy and grow. Determine how to play to your strengths and ways to improve your weaknesses. Of course, knowing how to market your strengths is just as important as knowing which ones to promote. There are several places that you can advertise your skills as a business owner. Google A quick search on Google is how almost half of internet users locate a local business for their needs. While Google has gone through changes and it can be tricky to navigate, one thing that’s remained fairly constant is how the site “rewards” people that interact on it. In 2016, Google incorporated a feature called “Posts” for Google My Business users. Posts provide another channel to share updates on your business and announcements and specials you’re offering. Similar to how they’d work on social media, Posts let you communicate why prospective clients should go with you. Websites After Google, your website is one of the first things that potential clients will see. This means that your homepage is the perfect place to advertise your advantages. Using callouts, icons or graphics draw browsers’ attention to your superior services. Adding additional landing pages for more in-depth coverage of a skill is also an effective way to highlight your offerings. Making your website stand out by accentuating your skills can put you ahead of your competition by a mile. Social Media 3.6 billion people used some form of social media within the last year, and that number is only expected to grow in 2021. If you’re not on key platforms , you’re letting traffic and potential sales pass you by. Facebook, LinkedIn and even Twitter are the perfect places to leverage your advertising for special deals and offers. An eye-catching graphic with a short message may entice a scroller to click a link to your profile and learn more. Perhaps the best part is that your followers can extend your advertising reach when they share or like a post, making social media an easy and productive outlet to utilize. Strengthen Your Marketing For more tips and tricks on how to polish your marketing tools, reach out to your NPI Marketing Team at firstname.lastname@example.org ! About the Author Stepha Vesper, Marketing Communications Specialist Stepha has more than five years’ experience in marketing, content creation, SEO and copywriting. Her favorite part of her job is assisting franchisees with their digital marketing strategies so they reach their goals that much faster. When she isn’t at work, Stepha is going on adventures with her basset hound, Frank, and husband, Zach, perusing used bookstores, reading or writing.