So you’ve built a great start up, created a new product or come up with a great idea. The challenge now is to make sure everyone‘s talking about it, and crucially, for the right reasons. Can you hand on heart say you are doing all of these tips right now in your business? If you are then we salute you, brand guru!
Be customer focused
It’s estimated that it costs between four and ten times as much to find a new customer than to keep an existing one, so customer service has to be at the forefront of your business. Plus, if you consistently deliver a great product or service, you’ll soon find you have an army of people doing your marketing for you by raving about your brand.
Build a community
If you make people feel they have a stake in your brand, you’ll be surprised how loyal they can become. Create a dialogue with your customers through social media, events, email and blogs. Once you’ve built a following, use it to look for ways to improve your brand, by asking for and responding to feedback about your services. Your customers will feel like part of the brand and become your cheerleaders.
Get professional photos
Using stock imagery detracts from your brand – it’s impersonal and looks lazy. Invest instead in a set of professional, unique photographs that tell your story. This is especially true of your business headshots, which are absolutely crucial to communicating what you’re about. Look no further than Hey Tuesday for some headshots that’ll get your LinkedIn profile to stand out from the crowd.
As a start up, one way to build a positive reputation is always to deliver over and above your clients’ expectations. It doesn’t always have to be big things. If you said you’d get back to your customer in two days, answer them within 24 hours instead. If you said the client would get two options to choose from, give them three. If you always leave your customers pleasantly surprised, sit back and watch those positive reviews pour in.
Be a leader
To build brand loyalty, think about what you can do to be a leader in your field, to push boundaries and pioneer new things. Whether it’s speaking at events, publishing a white paper or giving media interviews, always look for ways to be at the forefront of the conversation in your field. You want to become the go-to person and a trusted voice on topics relating to your business.
Look for opportunities to give useful things away to make people feel good about your brand and more likely to say good things about you. For example, offer people a one page PDF of top tips for free if they sign up to your email newsletter. Or if you’re speaking at an event, offer a more in depth guide to some of the topics you’ve been discussing.
Be useful and relevant online
You’ll find you get much more engagement on social media if you can find ways to be useful and relevant rather than just promoting your brand. For example, point people towards interesting articles, or do live tweets from an event so people who aren’t there can keep up. When posting on social media, ask yourself “is this useful and/or relevant?” If it’s a picture of cute kittens, the answer’s probably no.