Matter’s Open Door: Entrepreneur Edition

By Vanessa Boynton

In May, Matter held an installment of Open Door – a free, multi-hour session where members of our PR and digital marketing teams sit down, one-on-one, with founders and CEOs of growing companies and give them strategic, actionable advice. Below are some of the session’s best takeaways.

You’re a solo practitioner.

And you intend to stay that way, at least for the near term. Still, your client base needs to expand, and you’d like to see some more return business. Your biggest priorities are SEO, thought leadership and “email nurturing”.

“To draw more interest to your website, where you presumably collect the most leads, you need to make sure your website is optimized for search. That’s a no-brainer,” says Keith Schieb, business development manager for Matter’s search services. “But your current network deserves the most time and attention. Make sure you’re adding value to your services by engaging them through email campaigns and direct correspondence.

The best way to build those channels (and their confidence in you) is delivering interesting outside articles, personalized recommendations, success stories, and insightful writing that showcases your unique point of view. Consider LinkedIn Pulse, Medium or a recurring guest post with a relevant publication.”

You’re expanding your e-commerce presence.

Your brand is well-established – your customers are happy, your channels are neatly curated, and your product is on the shelves – but you need to ramp up e-commerce to reach the next tier. Your biggest priorities are creative content, email marketing, and customer stories.

The right content does wonders for any brand, and it goes way beyond having nice photos,” says account executive Julianna Sheridan. “Recognizing your brand’s place among other products in customers’ day-to-day lives is critical to success, and you should design content that reflects that place. If your product is a food or beverage, consider creating exciting recipes using kitchen staples. If your selling a consumer product or apparel, come up with “style boards” that pair it with popular  trends.”

Assistant account executive Sarah Silvestriadis continues: “The great news is while you’re coming up with this content, you’re creating a library of material you can use for engaging email marketing and social media campaigns. If your e-commerce presence includes major platforms like Amazon or Shopify, you want to build up audiences unique to those spaces and encourage those audiences to be repeat buyers. One of the best ways to do that is with personalized email marketing, which can put your killer content front-and-center.

Your business needs to scale 2x, 5x, 10x in the next 12 months.

You’ve created something people want, and you’ve got the customers to prove it. To attract prime distributors, though, you need to prove you can manage a large-scale operation. Your biggest priorities are SEM, tradeshow/event attendance and customer stories.

“Word of mouth is the purest form of promotion, but it won’t get your business to next level alone,” says Vanessa Boynton, account manager for Matter’s Precision group. “To attract customers outside your current sphere, begin executing small, targeted search engine marketing campaigns (like Google AdWords) that will draw traffic to your website.

From there, your network of potential manufacturers/distributors/vendors and complementary brands is paramount. The former will grow your operation, and the latter will build awareness through established audiences, so make sure you’re planting your flag – and waving it – at major, relevant events where all of these groups will be present.

Lastly, remember to gather your customers’ best stories and testimonials, as these are critical elements for a healthy website, healthy social channels and a healthy (future) PR effort.”

Your business is young, and you’re re-branding.

Weeks, months or even years into operation, many young companies will discover customer needs or market trends that force them to pivot. Now is the time for a new brand to reflect your refined product. Your biggest priority is brand consistency.

Rolling out a new brand is a complex process, with many subtle touchpoints. The good news is this exercise gives you a chance to cut some serious dead weight,” says senior account executive Jackie Fraser. “The first step is an expansive audit – a hard look at your website, your messaging, your social channels, your email marketing practices, your customer service systems, and so on, to determine what has been working, what will continue working for the new brand, and what you can migrate or eliminate.

Once you’ve taken steps to streamline your various properties and ensure their messaging and imagery is consistent and clear, you can begin exploring outward approaches. Exciting new content will fuel social channels and email marketing. Compelling writing will fuel your blog and build credibility. Search engine marketing campaigns will attract new customers. A healthy news pipeline will introduce your new brand to relevant media and keep you top of mind.

And trained spokespeople – the faces and voices for your company – will share your messaging, network at key tradeshows and events, and serve as insightful resources for editors and journalists who thirst for interesting, real-world stories and an eye to the future.

Curious about Matter’s Open Door? Fill out the form below and we will be in touch!