If you’re an entrepreneur, you are most likely a busy person in an increasingly busy world. This often means maintaining a balance between work and hustle until the schedule manages to fill up, you can pay the bills, and everything is moving like a well-oiled machine. For many, that’s the dream. Where you go from there, whether it’s expansion, growth, or just the stability of continuing to do what you’re already doing, all relies on market relevance.
That stage of intense hustle that you’re more than likely quite glad to leave behind was also probably a stage of fast-paced learning and development for you and your company:
- In order to nail down your brand and land your customers and clients, you probably had to learn, tinker with, and develop a process with the tools of your field. As you did that, you might have come to some standard favorites that you use time and again.
- You were also probably networking to meet new people and revive old connections, whether these are potential partners, competitors, suppliers, or supporters.
- And you might have posted content that not only self-promoted but also demonstrated your knowledge, expertise, and experiments within your field.
As your business has become more stable, it is likely that a lot of this has fallen to the way-side. A steady workload makes it easier to keep your head down and do your tasks without thinking of the way you’re perceived within your market. However, this silence could cause problems in your business’s long-term growth. If, for instance, others in your market believe that you have gone out of business or are outdated in your processes, capabilities, and tools, it will be more difficult to expand when your load lets up.
Market relevance is your company’s way of showing everyone your expertise in your market through an awareness of changes and news, legal developments, growing trends, technological changes and updates, and other forms of market development.
Subscribe to News, Blogs, and Social Media in your Market
Market relevance means knowing what’s happening among innovators in your industry, competitors, as well as being engaged with the demands and concerns of your customers and clients. The easiest way to stay in the loop with this is to read a little bit about your market on a regular basis. For some, this will most likely mean quick scans of niche online magazines, for others it will mean subscribing to others’ blogs and reviews.
Social media is especially important for relevance in almost any market. More than any other medium, social networks allow you to connect with more unaffiliated customers and clients. You can also read the buzz and perceptions of your market from those whose opinions matter the most.
For example, reviews that your competitors might post on their blogs will often have easy to spot promotional motives. However, reviews that your customers and clients may link to or write on social media will often contain more genuine impressions.
When reading for relevance, you’re looking for anything that will put your clients or customers more at ease if you addressed it and mentioned awareness of it. Sometimes, these are sustainability concerns, buzzwords, trends, products, best practices, as well as tools, techniques, and applications.
Relevancy doesn’t depend on you adopting new applications at the drop of a hat. In fact, your clients will most often prefer you to use the methods that allow you to be sure and confident. But it’s important to know what innovations are arising, so that you can address them when they come up.
Keep Networking to Stay in Touch and Know the Conversation
We often associate networking with something we need to do when we’re just starting out and gaining contacts to help us build our business and career. As our schedules fill up with entrepreneurial successes and we get caught up in operations, it can be a temptation to let networking fall to the wayside.
However, continuing to network tells your peers that you’re still inquiring and still poised to move and shake the market.
It can be helpful to think of your market the same way that you might think of a personal relationship. If it doesn’t hear from you in a long time, it might assume that you don’t care, you’re not as close as you used to be, or that you might not be doing so well. In order to make sure that your market knows that you’re strong and interested, you need to keep communication, even when you aren’t taking on new projects.
This might mean visiting trade shows or conferences, engaging on social media, updating your following with blog or news posts, or attending local networking events.
Create Content that Shows Your Relevance
Sometimes the content that we create for our business dates its relevance. Trends come and go and revive and die at break-neck speed on the web. For some business models, not being able to draw attention in this high-speed world could be the nail in the coffin. However, content that matches your brand and your business objectives will take you further than quick trends.
You can use content creation to engage with your market by writing reviews of tools that are common in your market, writing informative posts that tell your reader what you can do and how it helps them, others, and the larger market. You can also write opinion or editorial pieces about the developments in your market.
Ultimately, engaged content will tell your readers that your business knows what’s going on, and your brand has thoughts about it. This will go a long way to explain that whatever you’re doing now and whatever processes you choose to do, you still know and care about what’s going on.
Brand a company story that explains your deliberate decisions
Your company story and all the branding that goes into bringing it to life creates a great opportunity to not only show your market relevance but also to explain decisions that are important to your company. In many cases, this can explain why you choose to use the technologies that you do, where you see the development of your company heading in the current market, and above all what marks your business as a sound option. Deliberation and expertise go a long way toward telling your market that you are there to stay.
Market relevance is a competitive strategy that every business can implement, whether you are hustling to make a name for yourself in a growing market or are finding yourself more established and looking for ways to keep in touch with your peers.