These days there are so many ways to grow your business. You have the power to reach millions of people; you just have to know how to find them. Social media and technology have created endless opportunities for growth, but good old hard work and hustle are still integral to the success of your business.

As the boss, you set the tone for how your business is perceived. In other words, you are your brand, and you want that brand to be represented well in the marketplace. Here are five ways I’ve grown my business and built an excellent reputation:

Social media
If you are not using social media to get your name out there, you are missing out on a great opportunity.  I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and SnapChat to promote my business.

I would suggest that you create business profiles on your social media channels, not your personal account. Use your social media presence as a way to tell the story of your business and connect with your customers. There are great tools out there that make it easy to share one post across multiple platforms. Every time I create a post, it is instantly published across all of my social media channels.

Print business cards
It may be old-fashioned, but I use business cards all the time. It is still a great way to share your information with future customers. It’s important to make sure that your business card looks professional and that you’ve included all relevant information. Investing in a logo for your business is a great idea. You have the opportunity to create something memorable that will keep your potential customers’  attention. Leave your cards at restaurants, places in the mall, anywhere someone might spot them.

Put up signs
Having signs in a yard, or on your vans, trucks, and cars will help you gain visibility in your community. If you don’t have the money to wrap a whole van, get a magnetic sign. Yard signs are a great way to show off your work. Have you ever driven by a house and said, “That roof looks good, wonder who did it?” If you complete a job that you are particularly proud of, ask your customer if you can put up a sign so that admirers can contact you directly.

Maintain relationships
It is so important to stay in contact with the customers you already have. Earning second money is always easier than first money. This means that if you have done a great job for a customer, they are more likely to call you back when they need work done again. Reach out to happy customers on a regular basis. Whenever your work is complete, send an email to ensure that folks are satisfied with your services. The ones that were not pleased, you can try to win them over by offering free services or a giveaway. Remember, you will never please everyone.

Invest in a website
Having a website where people can find you and see your work establishes your credibility. Once you have a website, it’s a great idea to list your business in a directory site that can surface your company to people who are looking for your services. We live in an age where most people are always on their phones searching for services and recommendations. People will believe what they read, so make sure both your website and directory listing have the option to submit a review of your services. The more reviews you have, the more customer calls you’ll receive.

All of these recommendations will work to help you grow your business, but I must follow up with a word of warning. You must put in the time. Posting once a month on social media or joining a directory site and sitting back waiting for new customers to come in will not work.  You must grind.  Remember, this is your business and dream.

Guest blogger Brian Sharpe is the CEO of He is also a painting contractor, husband, and father of 4.

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