By: Julie Price

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All successful businesses have one thing in common: relevance.

In a recent study from Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm, 65 percent of the 23,000 consumer respondents said that, when they switched company brands, it was to pursue more relevant offerings.

If you own a thriving business, it’s a fact: You have done something to keep your product or service pertinent to the world around you.

So, if you’re in business, how do you do that? How do you remain relevant?

In the long term, of course, you should keep up-to-date on general technologies affecting your work and you should stay on top of continuing education.

But let’s look at the short term: Each week, there’s some small thing you can do to make sure your brand is out there working for you.

Here are a few things you can and should do every week to stay at the top of your game:

* SEO: Search engine optimization is what gets you to the top of Google searches and other free, organic online searches. All new business plans should include SEO; to get you started, you can search online for the “Google keyword planner.”

* Blog: You know your business – and what you know could help others, including potential clients and customers. Share what’s new in your trade or some other knowledge you have that others might not. Maintaining a blog is a great way to give back through sharing; it’s also a natural way to keep your name current and to keep your website updated. An outdated website is a clear sign to the public that you are not keeping up.

* Networking: There’s no substitute for face-to-face connection with the world out there – and with your professional public. Join your local chamber of commerce. Explore service and professional groups in your area that are likely to connect you with new clients, customers and consumers. Attend community gatherings. Doing this even once or twice a month can do wonders for your professional visibility.

* Traditional media: There’s also no substitute for positive press, for a good-news story. So, what have you got? Can you speak or share a presentation at a civic group meeting? Can you find a way to give back to your community in some unique way? Or how about offering a free introductory service or leading a free introductory class? … The options are pretty vast, to do something that will make the local news – online, in print, on radio and on TV. With the help of a marketing or public relations firm, you can make a wonderful name for yourself, locally and sometimes beyond, by simply doing something good. Some of our greatest success stories at The Goddard Company have revolved around media campaigns that have catapulted good businesses into the stratosphere, simply by shedding positive light on them in the public eye.

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