Entrepreneurs carry a lot on their shoulders, especially when they are first starting out. Keeping the daily operations in full swing is just the tip of the iceberg. There are also marketing considerations to take into account – especially when it comes to brand reputation.
Whether you have a product to sell or services to offer, it is vital to establish a good reputation with your potential client base. It is unwise to assume that consumers will automatically view you in a positive light. There is a certain amount of wooing that comes with the new business territory. Like any part of a small business strategy, setting up an accurate and effective view of your services can make a big difference in revenue.
Whether you are just starting out or looking for ways to enhance your company’s image, there are some tangible ways to establish a positive reputation among consumers. Working to build your esteem among clients does not go without its rewards. Here are just a few to do it:
- Community outreach. Keep informed about fundraisers and other events in your area and find ways to get involved. This might mean doing something as simple as entering a team in a 5K, or entail sponsoring the entire race event. Get your company name out there and show consumers that you care about your community. Not only will you be embracing the needs of your neighborhood but it is a great networking opportunity.
- Join social media. Set up accounts on all social networks that you find relevant to your industry. Start with the basic spots like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Find out if your city or county has any social media sites as well. Joining is just the start though. The next step is to cultivate interactive relationships with potential clientele on these sites. Give out social media coupon exclusives and use the platforms to talk about new products or services. Resist the urge to always be in a promotional state of mind, however. Consumers respond more positively to businesses that are not always trying to sell them something in direct ways.
- Be accessible. Make it really easy for clients to contact you if they have a question or concern. Have an email address that you check consistently and give out your phone number too. Do not give unhappy customers the chance to talk about their feelings online via social media or consumer review sites. As this blog has already pointed out, once fury has been unleashed in cyberspace there is no way to recover completely. It is much easier and less inexpensive to take a proactive approach to customer service. Make it just as simple for clients to reach you as it is to go off on an online tirade.
No matter how unique you think your business is, there are others out there that can just as easily land your potential customers. Let your brand reputation be the deciding factor for clients and work to maintain it positively.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She has spent time working for major media news outlets in Los Angeles and San Francisco