To grow your business and your brand, you need to have a strong digital presence which will work for you 24/7
By this, we mean website, social media and other online marketing collateral needs to be aligned, and focused on educating and ‘removing risk’ for people who are making or about to make the purchasing decision.
We need to present such a compelling and differentiated view of the quality of the service you offer, that people would quite literally have to be mad not to buy your product or service.
So how can a trade based business set themselves up to do this?
Step 1: Your signature block
Your signature block gives you an amazing opportunity to send stuff to a client who has requested more information about your business.
At the very least, your signature block should have your company logo. It should also have links to our Facebook page and your website.
It should have a link to write a review, and a link to review reviews written by other people.
If the business activity you do is perceived as high-risk, say you’re an arborist, you may also want to have a link to your Dropbox Folder which has all your compliance information.
- Certificate of currency for your various insurances, Public Liability and Work Cover etc.
- Any qualifications, licenses or other documents which support your professional reputation.
You want to have links to video and written testimonials of people saying you are awesome, and that they feel comfortable referring you to all their family and friends.
You want to have links to Google and Facebook reviews. Now the more of these you have, the higher Google will rank you.
Forget about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), although there’s nothing wrong with applying the principals, but focus on quality content, and especially content which Google loves.
When you use this, your website will rank higher than others organically. More video will translate to more sales.
Step 2: Your website
Your website needs to have a call to action.
It needs to be as easy as possible for people to connect with your business, and either buy your product, or request a quote, or get some amazing free information which you (as the expert) will provide.
In exchange for their email address. This is one of the things we all need to do now to grow business. You need to grow a database of potential clients.
It also needs to connect to your other social media activities, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Local Directories, etc. The list goes on and on, and the best way to keep on top of it all is through either an automated ‘posting’ system like Hootsuite or Buffer or outsourcing the activity. We can’t be experts at everything.
Step 3: Testimonials
Get as many as you can.
Preferably in video format, because then you can then use them as video, sound bites (podcasts) or transcribe them for written testimonials.
Create a process around obtaining testimonials.
In the video ask three great questions. 1. How have you found dealing with John Smith Plumbing today? 2. Were you happy with the service you received? 3. Would you recommend John Smith Plumbing to a friend?
There is no need to show your own face, just hear you ask the questions. This works very well.
Load them onto your own channel on Youtube, and link them to wherever you want them to go.
Create a link and insert this in your signature block.
The more ‘social proof’ that you can provide a great service, the more likely new customers will be comfortable in using you.
Step 4: Social Media
You need to have a consistent social media message to support the idea of ‘your brand’.
This is normally less formal than your website, and generally much easier to set up.
Most people would be able to set up their Facebook page (or have a friend who could help), and can post some interesting material to ‘grow and engage’ followers.
This is of course another activity which can be outsourced, or done in-house on a very small budget.
Facebook advertising can be a very effective way to connect with your ideal client, and a useful way to raise the profile of your business.
But no matter what form of social media you decide to use (Twitter, Pinterest, Yelp, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat etc), just remember to be authentic and to project the image of your business.
Positive reviews across any of these platforms are what will help change ‘lookers’ to ‘buyers’.
Step 5: New Markets
Look at how you can leverage your entry to new markets.
By that we mean where you can build a relationship with one organisation or person who has control of many opportunities.
Think in terms of Body Corporate Management Companies, Strata Managers, Real Estate Property Managers, Retirement Village Managers, State Education Bodies.
Once you become a trusted supplier to any of these groups, you can position yourself to become their ‘go-to” guy.
These guys want a great service, delivered in a safe way. They are rarely focused on price, although they want to get great value.
They want to make one phone call, and have the problem disappear.
And that’s where you come in, provide a ‘wow’ customer experience, and such great service that it would be difficult not to use you again in the future.
And you do that again, and again, and again.
And that’s how you grow your brand and your client base!