Toot Your Own Horn

We are raised to be modest, to not toot our own horn but for millions of small businesses, effective self-promotion is the secret to success.

There are estimated to be over 600 ski resorts in North America competing for the winter vacation dollar.  When we went in to pick up our season pass at Deer Valley, we were given embroidered hats touting the recognition bestowed by Ski Magazine as “Best Resort in North America” for the 5th consecutive year.  The award has always been prominent on their website, but this year, they are letting us, the loyal customers, bask in the wisdom of our choice as well.

Consumers have long been willing to serve as billboards for brands.  Lacoste takes credit for being the first brand logo sewn on the outside of clothing with their green crocodile.  Calvin Klein is acknowledged as the industry leader who first put his name on the back pocket of our jeans.  Rabid fans line up by the thousands at the opening of new Apple stores to snag one of the limited edition t-shirts given out as part of the grand opening.

The award you receive as a business is validation by outside sources that by spending our money with you, we are making a wise decision.  It gives consumers confidence and helps you stand out from your competitors.  The related publicity can also expose your business to a larger pool of new customers.  

Positive publicity surrounding awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize are credited with keeping alive political dissidents even if it has not succeeded in freeing them.

Have you won an award?  Received industry recognition for your expertise?  Has your business been favorably reviewed in the local newspaper?  On a website such as UrbanSpoon, Open Table, Trip Advisor or Angie’s List?

If so, those reviews, accomodations and certifications need to be prominently displayed EVERYWHERE – in your physical locations if you have them, on your website, your Facebook business page, your LinkedIn page, in your newsletter, even as part of your email signature.

Shameless self-promotion is essential for the success of your small business.  Framed as a “Thank you     for the recognition” you can toot your own horn without overpowering the message that YOU are a great place to do business!


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