What if a client thought of you first every time he or she needed temporary staff in your market? You’d be thrilled for the attention, of course—and for the benefits to your bottom line.
The only way this scenario can come to pass, however, is if your clients know about you. And the only way your clients will know about you is if you’ve successfully engaged in branding, the process by which an organization actively builds and spreads its reputation.
The big players have mastered branding. When you think of administrative staffing, for example, Office Team likely comes to mind. Similarly, Accountemps may be your starting point in a search for accountants. National firms such as these and others use long-term, high-profile campaigns to develop and promote their brands.
Regional firms often lack pockets deep enough to fund multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns and may therefore feel that effective branding lies out of their reach. Not true! In fact, regional firms have the potential to enjoy similar name recognition in their target markets without spending several millions of dollars on advertising.
If you represent a regional organization that wants to increase its market profile, your first course of action is to determine two things: first, how your brand is currently perceived in the markets where you want to operate; and second, how you want to define your brand. Answering the following questions may help you get started with this process:
What type of staffing do you specialize in? (The word specialize is key here: if you present yourself as a jack of all trades, the market will recognize you as a master of none.)
Do you want to be known for having the highest quality personnel or the cheapest price—or both?
Do you have a tagline or slogan? If so, what message does it send to your prospects?
Do you have a well-defined company mission, vision, and values?
Does your company have a “personality”? (For example, does it have a reputation as innovative, sophisticated, creative, or energetic?)
How do you add value for your clients and prospects beyond staffing? (For example, do you offer free consulting advice or updates on employment law?)
Once you’ve defined who you are, it’s time to focus on publicizing your organization and its services. Several different, cost-effective means can help you spread your message, including website design, blogs, social media, and branded publishing.
In next week’s post, I’ll explore how to leverage branded publishing (in conjunction with all of the other media listed above) to connect with your audience and position your company as the leader in your market.