As founder and owner of Stephanie Krol Public Relations, Stephanie Krol has more than 15 years of public relations experience working with large household names to startups. Krol’s position entails generating strategic press coverage and visibility for businesses, organizations and nonprofits. She considers herself a connector and brand storyteller. Krol successfully alerts the world about a client’s organization, new project or venture. Considered an expert in marketing and the public relations industry, Krol offers strategic suggestions to help elevate a business to the next level without breaking the bank.

What questions should a small business consider when developing a market plan?

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What’s your big marketing goal? Always have a plan. Just don’t say you’re different. How can you show you are different? Develop a game plan for your marketing goals in order to show measurement. If you are not sure how, enroll the help of a consultant to build a marketing roadmap.

What would you suggest to a small business owner for ways to stand out from the competition?

Be you. This is your brand. What makes your organization special and standout? How are you making life better for your clientele? Build on this. These aspects should be conveyed in your strategic key messaging that can be used for your website, email signatures, blog, social, brochures and business cards to media relations. Also, think about the ‘faces’ of your organization. Are these personalities memorable? Can they make a connection?

How can a small business best serve the needs of their clients?

Look from the outside in. Have a pulse on what your clientele is thinking. Conduct focus groups for outside perspectives. Their feedback will be a goldmine.

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How important is it for a small business to be involved with the community?

Extremely important! Do good. Being a part of your community should not be a marketing tactic, but rather a brand virtue. What is something your organization is passionate about? Get involved. By paying it forward, you will always get back more than you give in your professional and personal life. I promise, this will pay off for years to come.

In what ways can a small business get their brand out into the world?

Live your brand!  Marketing really is 24/7. There is always an opportunity to promote your brand in and outside of work.  Whether you are at a coffee shop, playgroup or dog park, on your off hours you are still a brand ambassador. Always be open to new ideas and experiences, and always remember you are a brand ambassador. Be creative living your brand. For example, find fun and strategic ways to use your identity, your logo. Connect it with things you and your employees love. Look for interesting partnerships that can open the door to new clientele.

What are the best marketing strategies you would suggest?

Be memorable, but strategic. Cut the jargon. We are bombarded with marketing messages every single minute. When you have something to say, make it concise and memorable. What do you want the public to remember about your brand?

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This article was written by Michelle Guilbeau for Small Business Pulse