For most organisations, communication is mostly an afterthought. Once you have set up shop and need to market your products or services, however, the reality is communication should be part of the DNA of your operations.
Your pitch deck, website, social media sites and branding are the first entry point for engagement with your organisation, and these don’t have to be expensive.
The easiest way to kick off with excellent communication is to prioritise the most important and ease your way up the communication requirements till you can hire at least one gifted person to run your communications.
First, there is no compromise on this; you need to get a graphic designer with talent and skill to create a logo for you because that is what you will place on all material you communicate. Ideally, you will need a brand guideline that provides a beautiful systematic application of your brand, but that will cost you time and money so a starter logo will suffice. A good designer can design it for you from as low as 10-20,000 Kenya Shillings (USD 9-18 ) Then, you can slap your logo on a word document to create a letterhead, your email signature, and the icon on one social media page.
Website and Customised Emails
Second, you need an online identity; social media is not my first recommendation; a website is. Why a website first over social media? A website offers a reference point with more information. To manage the endless redundant questions on social, directing people to your website provides more information. A good website hosted for a year together with your customised email addresses and web address is about 60-70,000 Kenya Shillings ( USD 500 -600). But you can do it for less if you design one yourself.
You can use Wix or Squarespace. They have a free option, but you will need to edit all the content. If you have some decent stock footage that is royalty-free, you can access it on sites like pixabay; you can upload new images relevant to your work and write content for your website. Suppose you want to know what content to place on your website. Click here for some guidance.
These two sites also have logo creators, but no matter how tempted you are, don’t use them unless you are visually inclined and can piece together the proper iconography for your brand identity.
Only One Social Media Account
Now that you have a website, you can go to our third step and open up only one social media account. Which one? It depends on your primary target audience. If your primary target audience is huge on Instagram or LinkedIn, that’s the business account you open. I have often mentioned that the target audience dictates what medium you engage in. Not the other way round.
With your social media account, don’t blindly post; start with a simple weekly planner where you determine what content it is you want to share. It is a great start to tell people about yourself, what you do and what you care about if you are new.
For the rest of the month, you can touch on this area and share your humanity. Show your followers what day to day life is like for you, within measure. For example, you can’t talk about your love life unless it’s relevant to what you are selling. Remember it is a business account, so you can talk about what you do in the office with some pictures from your phone. You can also share things that motivate you or keep you sane at work. As you do this, follow and engage with like-minded people, commenting and reacting to their posts to build some community.
For someone starting, I understand the eagerness to jump onto social media first to build traction quickly to make a sale. And at times, it will make sense to kick off there; here’s the catch, social media requires so much visual content; if you are constantly using stock images or poorly designed content, you will struggle to get traction. So understand that photography will be another investment you will need to make over time to keep it fresh and relevant.
So as a solopreneur, you become the content creator, graphic designer, copywriter and web developer. This is an addition to your role as founder, CEO, accountant and office messenger. So pace yourself as you try to implement your entry-level communications.
Get your logo, website and professional email address you can get for as low as 3,000 Kenya shillings (USD 25) a year; it’s hard to take an organisation seriously when they still work with @gmail or @yahoo accounts. Lastly, open and run only one social media account and be active and engaging.
I know this is easier said and done, but the reality is in the world of information, this is what your bare-bones communication requires if you are struggling and still trying to figure out how don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.