Building awareness is the first step in marketing your business. Making sure your prospects know you exist and what you offer is the first part of selling. It’s important to be the business that stands out from the pool of competitors and to spark interest in the solutions you’re offering.

I’ve boiled it down to six areas you can look at to build awareness. What areas you choose (as you likely will not do all) will depend on where your target audience is and what budget you’re working with. Before you implement any of these, I recommend that your value proposition statement is clear and that you have working funnels in place.

Online directories

Not all industries use directories, but many do. And you may be surprised how much traffic can be generated by them. Do a little research (as a prospect would do) and see what comes up. Keep a log of any directories that your industry has and revisit them a few times a year to make sure things are up-to-date. If you do submit your company information to a directory, make sure you’re your value proposition is clear and that you include a clear Call-To-Action that prospects can easily follow.

Organic Search

Make your website easy to find using subject themes in your copy. Use image alt-tags, image descriptions, sub-headings, and don’t be afraid of clear, concise copy. Websites should be informative and should keep prospects on the page reading useful information. Focusing on any single aspect of the above list will deliver tiny results, but by doing all of them combined with great topics, you will see a long-tail of organic search.

Paid Search

Running a paid search from time-to-time can be helpful in not only generating leads but also testing copy and opt-ins. Make sure your ads have the ability to capture leads and not just educate prospects. This means you should link your ad to part of a funnel. Consider Facebook, Google, Bing, Native ads and Programmatic ads.

Print ads

Not a lost art, but definitely a forgotten marketing channel for many industries. Print ads in the right publication can go far e.g. conference brochure, association journal. Ads are a great way to reach a large audience with a single message. Tip: take your time on developing an ad and have a lead strategy ready so you can capture any leads and attribute them appropriately.


  1. In-person: In-person events bring you face-to-face with prospects and can speed up your sales cycle. You can more accurately size up their needs and ask questions so you can follow-up with real insight. In-person conversations are also an effective way to quickly build a relationship which makes it easier to reach out again in the future. Events offer access to creative marketing ideas.
  2. Online: Virtual events create a unique learning environment for you to learn more about and possibly segment your audience. Also gives you something to promote and talk about (think directories for events and wider social posts – beyond a local audience).

Social Media

A necessary piece for any company as it allows you to control what you put out there (no control over what happens to it – but you can control the original content). You can engage with prospects directly, see what interests them, run ads more cheaply (especially to existing followers), create a niche persona within your brand – something more personal. It also allows you to find advocates and influencers.


Carolyn Bergshoeff is the founder of WindWater Marketing, a small business B2B firm based in Toronto, Canada. Carolyn helps her clients build awareness and educate prospects using several of the techniques mentioned in this post. For more insights visit or email