Hopefully, your business is well underway. June’s entrepreneur checklist was largely about getting your budget into shape. After all, the six-month mark for the year is a good time to evaluate your budget, and make the necessary tweaks. Now that you have your budget back in order — and now that you perhaps have a virtual assistant or freelancer to help you out — it’s time to focus a little more on brand building and marketing. Here are 5 ideas for becoming more visible in July:

1. Make Efforts to Build Your Online Community

Make a concerted effort to build your online community. Connecting with others online is important if you want to be a successful entrepreneur. You can grow your online community in a number of ways. Interact with visitors to your blog by answering questions in the comments. Make helpful and worthwhile comments on others’ blogs. You can also fine tune your social media strategy so that you are focusing on social media sites that your community members actually use. Be accessible and genuine, and you will be able to attract more potential customers to your business.

2. Set Yourself Up as an Expert Source

If your business is specific to something, you can set yourself up as an expert source. Keep up with what is happening in your industry, and let others know that you are willing to comment on trends. You can do this by contacting local media outlets, as well as others. However, you might have best success by signing up at HARO (help a reporter). Sign up as a source, and you can answer reporter questions with pitches that show your expertise. You might find that you can get positive PR for free.

3. Consider Signing Up for a Wire Distribution Service

Another way for you to look for ways to share your business with others is to sign up for wire distribution services. You can write (or have someone knowledgeable write) a press release announcing a new product or service, or highlighting some good work you are doing. Then, you can have it sent out. PR Newswire is one such service. Compare costs and reach, and decide what service might work best for you. Being able to distribute information about your business and its activities is important, and there are channels for doing that.

4. Guest Blogging

If you have a blog for your business, you can spread your name a bit by offering to guest blog for someone else in a related niche, or by accepting a guest post from someone else. You need to be careful, though; avoid guest posts that are overt advertisements, and make sure there is quality. If you accept guest posts, have guidelines and standards — your name will be associated with the post.

5. Plan a Contest

You can plan to run a contest on your blog. Give away a product or service. Make the contest simple and fun, and that has the potential to add value to your site, while increasing traffic. You can plan the contest during the first part of July, working out a strategy and making the rules, and then run it the last part of the month. It can be a lot of fun, and be a good way to raise awareness.



Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.