Expert tips: Help make your small business stand out

Marketing can be tough for any small business, especially when you are starting out. And in today’s economy, the competition for your customers’ hard-earned money seems tougher than ever. So how do you get people to pay attention?

“Do something worth noticing,” advises marketing expert Cynarah Ellawala, co-owner and creative director of Seattle-based marketing firms Revel Creative, Latina Creative Agency, and the online emerging fashion and global lifestyle magazine, Moda & Estilo.

Define your brand—it’s essential

If you’re like many small business owners, it’s hard to take time away from your busy schedule to think in-depth about your overall brand. Marketing firms, such as Ellawala’s, can help you distinguish your product or services from your competition and establish a strong brand.

What is a brand anyway?

A brand is the feeling—positive, negative, or neutral—that customers get when they think about or use your product or service. All your marketing materials should generate that unique feeling of value that customers get from your wares. Your logo, typeface, the design of your website, even the tone you use to address your customers, should create trust and elicit a positive response.
Listen to Ellawala’s thoughts on branding.

Polish your image with the right productivity tools

Ellawala wants everything her companies create to shine—from emails, brochures, and presentations to her website—because a high level of professionalism is part of her brand. For her needs, Ellawala has chosen Microsoft Office products to help her achieve that look. 
Hear what Ellawala has to say about the productivity tools she uses.

Create a buzz with social media tools

Being active on social media can give your customers the opportunity to experience how your brand fits into their lives before they buy. Ellawala advises her clients to focus on the social media outlets their customers use. “If they hang out on Facebook, that’s where you should be too,” she says.

But it’s also important, especially for solo entrepreneurs, to use social media they feel comfortable with. For example, if you’re a ‘talker,’ Twitter, which limits messages to only 140 characters, may not be right for you. Ellawala recommends sites such as Hootsuite, a social media management tool, to help plan and deliver messages on a variety of social media platforms.
Ellawala offers sage advice about social media.

About Cynarah Ellawala

Cynarah Ellawala

Ellawala is co-owner and creative director of three related businesses:
  • Revel Creative is a Seattle-based marketing and public relations firm that develops strategic marketing plans, designs branding and social media strategy, and produces product launches and fashion events.
  • Latina Creative Agency provides the public relations, marketing, branding, and media relations services for businesses that want to appeal to the Latino market.
  • Moda & Estilo is an online magazine focused on global lifestyle and emerging fashion with editions in both English and Spanish.
More Information
Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium
Social Media 101
Read this short list of social media must haves.

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Article ID: 2928282 - Last Review: 28 Mar 2014 - Revision: 1

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