Starting a new business is one of the most difficult things you can do.
You work hard to get it up and running, and then attempt to prove your value in a market where you have highly-established competition.
While you may not be as established as some of your competitors, there are many tried-and-true strategies that will make your business look more professional, confident, and trustworthy.
1. Have a Clean & Consistent Brand Strategy
Many small businesses have a real identity crisis on their hands. Their logos are complicated. The colors are inconsistent, and their marketing materials are hard to look at. According to legendary brand expert Marty Neumeier, your brand is the thoughts and feelings that people have about your business and the products and services that it offers.
If your logo, business cards, and sales materials are inconsistent and ugly, your potential customers may question your trustworthiness. Make sure that your logo is simple and easy to read. Don’t be trendy or overcomplicated. Keeping your logo simple will make it time-proof so that you can avoid an expensive rebrand.
Do your best to make sure that your sales collateral (business cards, sales papers, etc.) are consistent with the vibe of your logo. This means that your fonts and colors need to go well together.
This will all help your business create a strong brand.
2. Have a Simple Website with a Clear Objective
Like your logo and sales collateral, your website needs to be clean, concise, and easy for the customer to understand what you want them to do.
Use fonts and colors that go with your established branding materials, and communicate the one primary action that you want them to make. This primary action is known in the marketing space as a Call to Action.
If your business requires giving the customer an estimate, consider using a button in the header that says Schedule Your Free Consultation. Websites trying to sell a product or a course could also use CTAs like Enroll Now or Buy Today.
3. Utilize Social Media
In 2019, there is no way around it: Your customers are using some form of social media. And guess what? Your competitors are, too.
Having a presence on many popular social media sites is a great way to place your business and content where your customers’ attention already is.
Pro-tip: Try to get the same social media handle across all platforms, if possible. Example: If you get @your_business on Twitter, you should do the same for Instagram, as well.
4. Create Interesting & Helpful Content
In marketing, the phrase Content is King gets used a lot. The reality is that your customers are looking for products or services like yours every single day. Creating educational content like YouTube videos, blogs (like the one that you’re reading), podcasts, and product images can help your prospective customer become aware of their problem and convert into a customer.
For example, let’s say that you own a local plumbing company out of Los Angeles, California. You could create the best YouTube videos on how to fix minor sink problems. This puts you in front of people in Los Angeles that are probably trying to self-diagnose a plumbing issue in their home. If your video helps them fix their problem, they will remember you for a time when things are much worse, or they may just realize that you are the expert and should be handling everything.
Regardless of your approach, engaging with your customers’ pain points through helpful content is a winning strategy for bolstering your expertise in the eyes of potential customers.
5. Respond to Customer Reviews
Customers that may be searching for services like yours on sites like Facebook and Google will probably check out what past customers are saying about your business. Having good reviews will help solidify their trust in your competency as a business and will give you a better chance of competing against larger companies.
If you have bad reviews, it is crucial that you take the time to helpfully and respectfully respond to them. It will give you an opportunity to explain your side of the story to third parties. It also lets prospective customers know that while your track record isn’t perfect, your business has the professionalism to try and rectify the situation. Who knows, you may even get your old customer back while gaining new ones at the same time!
6. Get a P.O. Box
There is no shame in starting your business out of your home, but unfortunately, people seeing online that you run your business out of a residential address can make them question how legitimate you are. A great workaround to this problem is to get a P.O. Box. You can continue to work from your home, while not making it so obvious to new prospects.
7. Get a Business Email Address
Using an @gmail.com or a @icloud.com account is a quick way to make your business look unprofessional. Use an email that is attached to your current website URL (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org)
8. Get on the News
A great way to build credibility quickly is to try and get some kind of media coverage. Maybe, your local news station has a segment where you can show off your product or service. You could also sponsor a charitable event.
Getting on the news is great for many reasons. While it makes you look like a larger, more established company, it also helps your website rank higher in Google Search Rankings.
9. Hire a Copywriter, Consultant, or Marketing Agency
If you think that your business struggles to adequately establish itself as a legitimate contender, it may be worth looking into some outside help. Hiring experts like copywriters, a business consultant or coach, or marketing agencies will enable you to focus on the aspects of your business that requires your expertise, while pushing a lot of your workload onto people that know what they’re doing.
While there is much work to be done, establishing your business as trustworthy and professional is entirely possible. By implementing these steps, your business will be on its way to becoming a powerhouse in your industry.
For performance-based business consulting, contact The Business Turnaround Group.