Reaching Your Audience

I took this picture in Astoria, Oregon a few years back.

If you’re a small business owner, reaching your audience can be a challenge.  As a freelance writer, I’ve certainly encountered that dilemma.  I re-started my freelance writing career just over two years ago, in an economic environment that can be challenging.  I think many small business owners can relate.  The economy is improving (my business has certainly increased this year), but we obviously need to still reach new customers, and maintain relationships with our current ones.

So, if you’re an entrepreneur, or a small business owner, how do you reach your audience?  I think you need to find your voice, listen to your prospects, and then getting found (although not always in that order).

Finding Your Voice

Most of us can perfectly discuss what we stand for, what makes us different, and why we’re the perfect business for our clients … in our head.  Putting it into words takes a different set of skills.  I’ve written professionally for 17 years, and even I have a hard time with it!  But I believe that putting what you stand for in words (even on a cocktail napkin) helps you explain your value proposition better than any other form of communication.

 Listen To Your Prospective Clients

What do your potential customers need?  It’s an ever-evolving question, especially for me.  My clients are so busy that they can’t even think about website content, or a brochure, or their book.  If you market to specific clients though (like most tech companies), or a broad customer base (like a retail store), you likely know the needs of your prospects and existing customers.  It’s getting them to commit to an order, walk through the door, or clicking “submit” on their shopping cart that can be the challenge.  Surveys, questions, reaching out on social media, and promotions are some ways that can help you gauge the needs of your present and future customers or clients.

Get Found

Easier said than done, right?   There are many different ways to get noticed. My  fellow Portland freelance writers and I attend networking events in the metro area.  It’s a great way to meet other business owners and socialize.  The Internet is, of course, indispensable.  But Internet search engines are notoriously fickle, and achieving prominence in the “organic” (e.g. non-paid) search listings for certain keywords can be an arcane process.   I learned some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques when Google was just one of many search engines, and the practice still keeps me on my toes.  Understanding how keywords, PageRank, website content, and SEO works can definitely help you get found.

My core skills are writing and editing, but these skills can also help you find your audience, discover your market needs, and help you get found.  Contact me for more information.

How do you reach your audience?

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