When you’re just starting out as a small business, one of the biggest challenges is getting the word out about your business.  You want people to not only know that you exist but also what you do.  Without brand awareness, this can be a challenge.

Here are five things you can do today to generate more brand awareness.

1. Attend Local Events

Local events are a great way for small businesses to get their brand out there.   These events are typically smaller and more intimate than tradeshows, so they give you ample opportunities to make face-to-face connections with people in your community.  Eventbrite and Meetup are good places to start looking for local events as you can search by area, keyword and date.

These local events happen frequently so they are a great way for you to engage with others, exchange ideas and establish personal connections on a regular basis, which can be extremely powerful for your brand.  Think of how many contacts and connections you have, and just imagine how many the people you meet have.  Don’t forget to follow up!

2. Comment on Other Blogs

Every day, you sit down at your desk, skim through your reader, and catch up on the latest happenings in your industry.  Then, you probably just go on with your day.  Why not take this activity one step further? See an article that you really enjoyed? Have something to add? Leave a comment!

Commenting on other blogs helps you establish relationships with other bloggers in your industry.  You’d be surprised the relationships that you can build and the new people you can meet simply by taking the time to comment on a post.  Don’t forget your comments will also link back to your site, so leave a comment worth reading to get the maximum exposure!

3. Write a Guest Post

Writing a guest post for a blog within your industry is another way to generate awareness of your brand and drive traffic back to your site.  A guest post not only helps you establish your presence as a thought leader but it will also help you to establish credibility as a business, especially if you are able to snag a guest post on a well respected site.

So, how do you get the opportunity to guest post? Tips 1 and 2 are great places to start.  Take advantage of the relationships you’ve built with others.

4. Be Active on Social Media

Using social media is an extremely cost effective way to establish your businesses’ presence, especially for small businesses with limited funds.  Social networking helps remove barriers and enables you to create relationships with people you otherwise would never have the opportunity to meet.   What social networks you choose to be active on are up to you but wherever you decide to establish a presence, make sure you’re active and provide value to the community.

Using social media will undoubtedly help increase your connections and the reach of your brand.  For example, on Twitter we monitor for industry and product related keywords.  This way we can stay up to date on everything happening as well as interact with people who we share a common interest or expertise with. Without Twitter, we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity to reach these people.

5. Collaborate

By doing the above four tips, you’ll have a whole new group of connections and relationships for you to cultivate.  Take these relationships and see where your interests or goals overlap. Get to know your connections and see how you can work together to create a greater value for your readers.

Collaborating with others is great for idea generation and innovation. It also gives you a chance to work with and learn from others.  It will open the doors to opportunities that you may not have had access to or the ability to take on alone as a small business.

All of above will help you become more interconnected within your industry and generate more brand awareness.  It’s important to make sure that no matter how you choose to spread the word about your brand that you’re not just focusing on your business alone.  Add value and help others first.  People will remember your story over your pitch, so be mindful of how you approach the ideas above.

Image credit: Punkle