Trust

now browsing by tag

 
 

Creating Brand Awareness for Your Small Business

25 Ways to Create Brand Awareness for Your Small Business

25 Ways to Create Brand Awareness for Your Business

How do you want prospects and clients to remember your company? Do you want them to think of your company as a leader in your industry? Innovative? Cheap? or Customer Focused?

Branding is how you present your company’s image to prospects and clients, every time they encounter your business and how you gain their trust by proving that you are exactly what you say that you are. Branding is the proof that turns prospects and customers into believers, it is creating the message that you want them to remember about your business.

What core values do you want prospects to take away with them when they first encounter your business? What do you want customers to tell their friends when they talk about your business? This is where branding comes into play. It is more than your logo or business card; it is how prospects and customers perceive your business.

I work with clients to create marketing plans that focusing on using blogging as the foundation of their internet marketing to grow their business.  When I work with my clients to create a marketing plan, my goal is the help them create a plan that they easily implement, create processes that allow them to efficiently execute the program at a cost that is affordable for them and with ways that they can use their time efficiently. It is not about delving into the latest marketing activity, but choosing activities that work well with their business, personality and time commitment.

Before you can generate leads or close sales you have to let the world know that your company exists and what services or products you have to offer. When you begin the branding process, you want to decide what you want your company core values. Is your company the fastest, easiest, cheapest, innovative, thought leader? For instance, my branding mantra is helping clients use blogging as the foundation for their internet marketing activities to help grow their business.

Once you have decided what your will company stand for, your core competencies, you can then embark on the adventure of letting the world know that you exist. Making sure that you are consistent with your message and your message is clear.

Here are 25 ways that you can use to spread the word about your business and build brand awareness.

  • Press Releases
  • Blogging
  • Articles
  • Publicity Stunts
  • Direct Marketing
  • Internet Marketing
  • Customer Referrals
  • Word of Mouth Marketing
  • Contests
  • Free reports 
  • Tips sheets
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • eNewsletters
  • White Papers
  • Case Studies
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Email Signatures
  • Promotions
  • Tagline
  • Facebook Fan Pages
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • EBooks
  • Slideshare

This is just a tip of the iceberg when coming up with ways to get the word out about your business. The goal is to be creative, yet choose marketing activities that work well for your business and not because other people are doing it. Just because twitter is popular, if you don’t have time to constantly send twitter updates, then don’t get involved with twitter. Choose the activities that you enjoy doing and are willing to do for the long-term. Have a goal, create a plan, work the plan and measure your outcome.

Creating brand awareness is about spreading the word about your business in as many ways possible to people in your target market. Yes it takes time and work, but it is well worth the effort.

Your Turn:

How are you creating brand awareness for your business?

Join My Groups Linked Groups:

Marketing and PR for the Professional Services Firms

Blogging for Business Growth

Understanding Your Picture Perfect Ideal Blog Reader

Understanding Your Picture Perfect Ideal Blog Reader

Do You Know Who Your Ideal Blog Reader Is?

You have created a blog for your business but how much thought have you given to what your ideal blog reader is like? What they want? How they will feel after reading your blog posts? What you want them to do after visiting your blog?

How would you describe your ideal blog reader?

When it comes to attracting your ideal readers to your blog you should be able create a picture in your mind as you describe them. You should be able to tell if they read your blog at work or home. How much time do they spend learning about the topic? What they are looking for when they reach your site and what is their current knowledge level?

Do you know?

When creating a description of your ideal reader here are some questions to answer:

1.) What is your reader’s demographic information?

  • Where do they live?
  • Are they married?
  • What is their annual income?
  • Are they male or female?
  • How old are they?
  • Do they have children?
  • What is their education level?

2.) What is their job and level of seniority?

  • In what industry to they work.
  • Are they the decision maker?
  • If not, do they influence the decisions maker/s?

 3.) What does a day in their life look like?

  • What brings them joy?
  • Do they spend more time at work or home?
  • Who are the people in their life that matter most?
  • What kind of car do they drive?
  • What TV shows do they watch?
  • What radio stations do they listen?
  • What publications do they read?
  • What type of clothing do they wear?
  • What associations and social networks do they belong?
  • Are they involved in their community?
  • What do they do online?
  • Are they involved in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn?
  • What time of day do they read your blog?
  • Are they religious?
  • Are they conservative or liberal?
  • Do they have special hobbies?
  • Do they travel, where, how often?
  • Do they have pets, if so what kind?

4.) What are their pain points?

  • What do they worry about?
  • How do their problems affect their day-to-day life?
  • What challenges do they face?

 5.) What do they value most?

  •  What are their goals?
  •  What are they striving to attain?
  •  What does it mean to be successful?

 6.) Where do they go for information?

  • Do they go online when looking for information?
  • Do they talk to co-workers, friends, family or industry experts?
  • Do they read reviews, testimonials or case studies
  • How do they like to consume information, articles, books, audio, or video?
  • Whom do they trust the most?
  • What blogs do they already read?
  • How much knowledge do they currently have about your topic?

 7.) What experience are they looking for when reading your blog?

  • What do they hope to gain from your blog?
  • Do they expect to be entertained, informed or educated?
  • Do they know what they are expected to do after reading your blog?
  • What topics are compelling to them?
  • What type of articles thrill them?

 8.) What are some common reasons that readers do not return to your blog?

  • Are your blog posts too long or short?
  • Are they having a hard time trusting your authority on the subject?
  • Are there other blogs that are providing better information?
  • Are you not providing the information in the format that they most desire?
  • Does your blog lack uniqueness?
  • Are you speaking their lingo? Are you too casual or technical?

9.) How will I know if I have reached my ideal readers?

  • Look at your blogs analytics. How much time are they spending on your site? How many pages are they reading?
  • How many comments are you receiving on your blog?
  • Are they sharing your content?

How to Find Information about Your Blog Readers:

  • Send out a survey to your email subscribers and offer a free gift to those that respond
  • Read the profiles of people who have liked your Facebook page
  • Read the profiles of the people in your network on LinkedIn
  • Ask them on your blog to tell them about themselves

In order to create profiles of your ideal readers you need to understand as much about your ideal readers as possible. The answers to the types of questions above are not always available, but answering as many of the questions as possible will help you to build a relationship to your ideal reader and understand what they are interested in reading and how to connect with them.

Once you have obtained as much information as possible, add a real photo to represent your ideal reader. You may need to create several reader profiles, but not too many, 2-4 should be a good amount.

When you begin to write your blog post, write with one of your readers in mind. Make sure to reference some of the things that you have learned about them. If you know that this reader loves dogs, include a dog story, reference or picture.

Your Turn:

Do you know who your ideal blog reader is?

Have you created a profile of your ideal blog reader?

 Image via Flick by Seng1011

Stop Giving Away Your Damn Clients

GIVE AWAY

Do you believe that competitors are stealing your clients? The reality is that you are probably giving your clients away. They are not being stolen. Stop giving them away.

 

Many years ago I worked in the marketing department for an insurance company and I loved my job and boss (lucky me). People from other departments would ask me how I got my job and how they could get into my department.

 

I would tell them about my boss, job and what they needed to do to get into my department if a position became open. Other people would ask me why I would do that, they were just going to try to steal my job.

 

My thinking was that they couldn’t steal my job; I would have to give it away. I wasn’t worried about someone else getting my job because they couldn’t as long as I didn’t lose my job. It was all up to me.

 

You see I wasn’t worried because I had a great relationship with my boss, I was damn good at my job. She could trust me and I rarely made an error.

 

There was only my boss and me in the department at the time. She knew that she could go on vacation, leave the department in my hands, and not have to worry. Never once did she call in the check up on things when she was gone.

 

She never had to hear rumors of me doing things or had to call me into her office to chastise me about something, instead she gave me awards every year. She stood in my corner when I needed her and went to bat for better pay raises and good bonuses, every year.

 

Why You May be Losing Clients

 

Clients have choices. The internet has made it easy for us to look elsewhere for the services we need. It is our job to keep our clients from desiring to look elsewhere. I am not saying that you give clients a mansion for the price of a two-bedroom house, hell no.

 

What I am saying is that it is all about the relationship that you have with clients. A great relationship will many times keep clients from thinking about looking elsewhere. A great relationship will make clients turn another firm down when they come knocking, even when they are offering a lower price.

 

What my Lawn Guy Can Teach You About Keeping Clients

 

When the weather is, warm people knock on my door all summer long offering to cut my grass at some great prices. I tell them that I already have someone to cut my grass. Yeah my lawn guy is higher but I have a great relationship with him. I am never disappointed in his work. He knows exactly how I like my yard.

 

He is dependable, comes at the same time every week. I do not have to go behind him and sweep or anything. When he is done, my yard looks just as I want it, thanks to him. I don’t have to be there when he comes; he knows what I want and does the job. I don’t have to watch him work to make sure it is right and if I am not home, he doesn’t do a half ass job.

 

He knows my kids and he is nice to them. He takes a little time to chat with me and remembers the things that I tell him that are going on in our lives. He will ask is my youngest son still drawing, is he taking drawing classes or older son still playing basketball, did he try out for the basketball team?

 

He remembers my birthday and gives me a card in my hand; if I am not home, he leaves it on my door. He even asks about my mom, he continually nurtures our relationship.

 

I have no desire to look at another lawn service. He doesn’t lower his prices to get me to stay with him he gives me excellent service. He knows there are cheaper guys trying to get my business and he never brings it up even if he is thinking about them, and neither do I.

 

The Number One Reason Businesses Lose Clients:

 

Poor Customer Service

 

That will kill a business relationship every time. Many businesses work hard to obtain a client and then forget about the client once they get them. don’t think they don’t notice, believe me they feel forgotten.

 

When you build a great relationship, even when you raise prices, clients will stick around. They don’t want to risk finding out the next guy doesn’t care about them and they don’t want to have to look again if they are not satisfied with the next guy. They will justify the price increase in their minds because they love the service and relationship that they have with you.

 

Small Ways You Can Build Great Relationship with Your Clients

 

  • Don’t be an ass and take them for granted
  • Keep your word
  • Be honest, they may not like it, but they will likely accept it because it is honest. Most people hate to be lied to or shucked
  • Show them that you care (send a birthday card, remember their kids names, remember their hobbies, ask them about their lives)
  • Keep in touch, even if is to just say hello and ask them if they have any questions or need your help with anything
  • Say good things about them, you’d be surprised how words get around, make sure the ones that are being spread by you are good ones
  • Say thank you and that you appreciate their business

 

These are some of the things that you can do that do not cost you any money and only take a small amount of your time.

 

Instead of complaining that the guy down the street or half way around the world is stealing your clients, take a good look at yourself and see if you are actually giving your clients away.

 

Your Turn:

 

If you are losing clients, are you giving them away?

 

What are some other low-cost or no cost ways that you can build your relationship with your clients?

 

What Next:

You can always comment on my Blog, connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for Professional Service  Firms, sign up for my NEWSLETTER.  or Contact Me.

 

 

Four Ways to Establish Trust among Prospects and Clients

Four Ways to Establish Trust among Prospects and Clients

One of the biggest obstacles that businesses face today is a lack of trust. According to recent survey, 62% of Americans do not trust businesses. A survey by the Better Business Bureau found that those surveyed chose business accordingly:

  • 53% said the company’s reputation for honesty and fairness
  • 57% said the company’s reputation for being both dependable and reliable.
  • 54% said the company’s reputation for providing good value for money

It is paramount that to build a successful business, you have to build trust to gain new customers, keep current customers and to get current customers to refer you to other potential business.

How can you go about building trust so that prospects will do business with you and current clients continue to do business with you?

Here are four areas where you can build trust and build client relations.

1. Establish Core Competencies

Let prospects and customers know what you do best and the value that you offer. If you offer excellent customer service, then make sure you are known for your excellent customer service. If you deliver the fastest, then make sure you are known for your fast delivery. Know what your company strengths are and do everything that you can to convey this message and offer proof of the message that you are conveying. If you work with surgeons, let them know that you specialize in helping then achieve financial success. For instance, my core competencies are to help financial service firms create plans that help them market themselves easily, effectively and economically.

2. Show that you have your customers well-being in mind.

Make sure that your customers know that you will do everything that you can to make sure that they are a satisfied customer. Yes are you in business to make money, but your first priority is the customer. Take a return at times when you normally would not, to make sure that the customer is happy. Return phone calls in a timely fashion. Check to understand what your customers concerns are and work to resolve those concerns. Make sure that your customers know that it really is about them and that you want them to be just as successful as you want to be.

3. Show Integrity.

Be honest in your business transactions and show consistency in your actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcome. Stand by your word, offer guarantees, and show  that you are not just giving lip service, but mean what you say and show that you mean it by the actions that you show. Offer the best quality service that you can offer, admit when you are wrong and then work to make things right. If you do not know something, do not be ashamed to say that you do not know.

4. Provide Information.

Provide prospects and customers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Give away your knowledge, before you ask prospects to shell out their money. Educate the masses about the services that you offer and build credibility becoming the business they turn to when they need an answer that they can trust. Do not worry about giving away the farm there will always be buyers. Educate prospects and customers enough so that they will know that you are the person to buy from when it time to buy.

While all of this sounds simple, most businesses are not doing these things that build trust among consumers. We all experience bad customer service and we wonder if businesses even care. Now more than ever it is easy to kill your business reputation. With the worldwide use of the internet, one bad customer service experience and spread like wildfires. Wildfires are easy to set and very hard to put our or contain and in the end your reputation could be dead.

 

Your Turn:

How are you building trust among prospects and clients?

 

What I want you to do next:

Leave a comment on my Blog, like me on Facebook, join my LinkedIn group Marketing and PR for the Financial Services Industry  and sign up for my NEWSLETTER

Jenn