When you’re first starting out in the business world, awareness can make or break your ability to make ends meet. The more potential customers know about your business (or are even aware that you exist), the more likely it is that you will be able to get a client base that remains loyal to you long into the future.

For most entrepreneurs, it’s clear that getting awareness is crucial to business health. How to get that awareness, though, isn’t always easy. Speaking as someone who specializes in this, I can offer up the following tips and tricks for new entrepreneurs to consider when getting that initial awareness foundation up…

  • Use marketing and ads to gain more exposure. Online ads like the ones from Google and Facebook have been a time-tested and proven way for businesses to gain awareness. People see ads, they click on them. The better the ads are paired to what people would want to buy, the more clients you get. Personally, I think it’s best to hire an outside firm to help you maximize your advertising budget if you’re new to this. Otherwise, you’ll make a lot of mistakes before it works out.
  • Reach out to your local community. Communities need to have businesses that participate in their worlds! Whether it’s in the form of having a booth at a local festival or just going to nearby industry mixers, reaching out as a company owner will add a lot of local awareness to your brand.
  • Throw events. You do not need to be a professional party promoter to throw successful events in and around town. Events spread awareness of your brand, allow you to network, and also give you the added perk of giving others good memories involving your companies. If you’re smart about it, it can even make you a little extra cash!
  • Be willing to stand for something and get vocal about it. Some brands have managed to gain local awareness through a political or ethical stance. Whether it’s a commitment to being non-partisan, like AllyUs.org, or a commitment to being a local vegan restaurant with fair trade coffee doesn’t matter. What matters is that you take a stand for something that your target audience will agree with.
  • Have your company volunteer or donate to causes that affect the local community. To keep people interested and engaged in your community, you need to show that your company is a pillar of the community. People want to trust that you are going to add to the local environment rather than just “exist there.” That’s why many companies offer to donate to local causes and volunteer with organizations based in town. Don’t be afraid to schedule a meetup in order to collaborate with the community.
  • Never be afraid of the press. Though some may disagree, getting press at your door isn’t really a bad thing. In fact, press helps you raise both local and international awareness – which is precisely why wise business owners will embrace it. A good relationship with local news is a good way to make sure that you get more business later on.

Getting exposure and awareness for your company doesn’t have to be painful or expensive. However, it does have to be thought out, planned, and capable of meshing with your business model. If you aren’t sure whether what you’re trying is enough, ask yourself: are you doing things that would help you gain awareness of a similar company? If you’re not, it may be time to switch things up.