Let’s be honest, not everyone is a PT Barnum or Don King, arguably two of the greatest promoters of all time. What made them great was their unabashed ability to walk into a room, dominate the space, and start a conversation with anyone or everyone. This requires a boldness you may not possess. However, priming the fields before you arrive opens many doors. This is exactly what branding and advertising can do for your firm.

Business development is very time-consuming and uncomfortable for many. It requires that you attend meetings, shake hands and introduce yourself to complete strangers, in the hopes of developing business for yourself or your firm. There are several ways in which to leverage and announce your firm’s presence in the marketplace. Personal business development is certainly one of those and a good venue for this activity. However, branding yourself as a member of a prestigious firm through advertising is a proven and effective way to announce your arrival.

A well-thought-out awareness campaign can return enormous dividends when networking and conducting business development activities. Unfortunately, many firms believe running the same ad once a month in the same periodicals will accomplish this goal. That is not the case. The phones here at Glyphix ring throughout the day from clients asking us to help them increase the return on investment of their advertising and marketing budgets. The main complaint from firms is their advertising looks tired and irrelevant or may not have been updated in several years. We hear this same comment from periodicals throughout the region about the ad content provided from their regular advertisers.

So, what should an effective branding and advertising campaign look like? It should be unique to your firm. It should clearly state and confirm the promise your firm makes to its clients. It should announce your specific areas of expertise. And it should have a clear call to action! Any ads that don’t contain these key elements are destined to have a less than optimal ROI. The most glaring item missing in most advertising is a clear call to action. And ad without a call to action is like a check without a signature. You don’t know what to do with it and it has no real value.

Any pre-event planning for conferences, expos, or networking events should include a look at your marketing plan as a component of driving attendance and interest. There are several ways to boost interest in both the event and your attendance.

Direct Mail is certainly one of the best ways to partner with an event coordinator to elevate your firm’s visibility and their event. You can pair that by promoting the booth where you’ll be exhibiting. You can use the direct mail piece to drive traffic to that booth. You can use it to make known new information about your firm. You can also use a pre-conference ad to announce services that your firm offers in a specific area that the conference will be addressing.

After the conference, you can use advertising to boast of a speech you gave, a breakout session you conducted or the amount of Interest your booth garnered. Never underestimate the value of announcing that you had attended or participated in an event. It not only boosts your firm’s visibility but it helps promote the next event that organization will be having. And remember, there are no small events, there are no small opportunities. Every event can provide that big opportunity to get your firm’s visibility lifted above that of your competition. If you market it right.