There’s nothing wrong with dreaming big. In an age where our wages keep on stagnating while the cost of living continues to rise beyond our reach, dreaming big is a virtual prerequisite. It’s dreaming big that will ensure that you thrive in a tough economy rather than just survive. It’s dreaming big that will see you take your life, your career and your financial success into your own hands rather than waiting for crumbs from the corporate table. It’s dreaming big that will help you dedicate yourself to being the best you can be at what you do. Dreaming big will allow you to forsake the dreary rat race and go into business for yourself.
But we all know the risks. In a highly competitive landscape all small businesses need to be wily to outfox their legions of competitors who are waiting for an opportunity to profit at their expense. If you’re to gain a foothold in a busy market and ensure that you are the only choice in the eyes of your prospective clients, it’s vital that you take steps to grow your brand. But while you may be taking steps to grow your brand online through your social media engagement, your website, landing pages and your content marketing, it’s important to remember to address your brand’s growth in the physical domain. Sure, the digital realm is important, but if you’re to stay one step ahead of the competition and grow your brand in as many meaningful ways as possible, it’s essential that you focus some of your effort and attention on Off Page SEO and real world brand building.
Wait… What is Off Page SEO
We all know that there are numerous things you can do to a web page to make it more appealing to Google’s search algorithms. Your use of keywords, your word counts and even the way in which you structure your sentences and paragraphs can all influence your SEO. But there are many ways in which you can boost your search engine visibility elsewhere.
Here we’ll look at some time honored yet still effective way of driving brand awareness in *shudder* meatspace while also driving traffic towards your online presence in ways that will organically boost your search engine rankings, strengthen your ties to your local community and position you as a market leader, no matter how competitive your field…
The good old fashioned leaflet drop
Depending on your target market, there may well be consumers that you’re trying to reach who just don’t spend as much time in the digital world as the rest of us. For this reason there’s evidence to suggest that leaflet drops can still be effective, especially if they’re properly targeted. Moreover, if you can get in touch with some reliable commercial printing companies they can be surprisingly affordable. But think twice before using this strategy. A leaflet drop may be contrary to your branding. If you put environmental sustainability front and center, for example, this may come across as hypocritical to some consumers.
You’re the best in the world at being you! Your competitors may offer similar products and services but nobody else in the world has your unique combination of experience, knowledge and insight that makes you and your business unique. You’re not only knowledgeable, you’re personable and charming with great people skills… So why not share your knowledge? While you more than likely have written a great deal about your experiences and beliefs in your blog or even video content, that shouldn’t preclude you from speaking engagements.
Public or guest speaking is first and foremost a great way to establish yourself as a market leader. It cements your reputation as a voice of authority and introduces your brand to a whole new demographic who may not have heard of you before. But perhaps more importantly it shows legions of young women in your community that they can achieve that you have, that success is out there waiting for them if they reach out and grab it!
Strengthen relationships and Co-branding
Your business does not operate in a vacuum and it’s a mistake to treat it as though it does. Sure, keep a close eye on the quality of what you do, but don’t blind yourself to what other businesses (both competitors and non-competitors) are doing. Not only should your business engage in regular competitor analysis so that your brand always has an edge, you should also look at how the practices of other businesses may complement your own.
Co-branding is a great way to work collaboratively with other brands on a project that will be of benefit to both your target audience and theirs. Some great co-branding exercises include Red Bull’s campaign in which they paired with GoPro or even when Dr Pepper and Bonne Belle teamed up to create a lip balm that tastes just like the popular soft drink. Aside from introducing your brand to their customers, allying with other businesses can also boost your SEO in another way. Google loves links from high quality sources and an outbound link from your prospective partner’s website can be a real shot in the arm for your SEO if they get a great deal of traffic.
When you have a good relationship with other businesses they’re more likely to link to your content and help you to blow your competitors out of the water.
Look for opportunities to guest blog
Much like guest speaking, guest blogging on a high authority domain is not only a great way to strengthen your relationships with other businesses but to help your site catapult it’s way up the search engine rankings. If you write a guest post for a more established business or website and link back to your own pages, not only will you establish yourself as an authority to a wider audience, you’ll also achieve a link from a high quality domain that your competitors would pay an arm and a leg for.
There’s more to growing your brand than making sure your blog posts use the right keywords.