By Andrea Techlin, Internet Marketing Consultant
As a small business, one of the biggest online marketing challenges you face is standing out from every other business that says it’s doing what you’re doing. How do you show your target audience that you are the best choice? What will make them believe you?
Small businesses and individual practitioners need to develop a brand that helps set them apart from their competition. You need to be different in ways that matter to your audience. Not just by telling them -- but by proving it to them through every interaction they have with you. Your value proposition should be supported by all of your marketing, services, processes, and communication. By delivering this message clearly and consistently you can begin to build trust.
We know that in any relationship, trust can be difficult to establish and be very easily broken. In business, without trust your brand can’t generate customer satisfaction or loyalty.
For this reason, it’s important to not get so focused on individual marketing campaigns that you lose sight of the bigger picture. You need to commit to your brand promise and live up to it.
How can you build a trusted brand? Here are five ways:
1. Be a resource. Provide useful information (without being too promotional). By sharing your expertise and being helpful you will become a credible and go-to source for their needs.
2. Deliver a consistent experience. From your in-office services and social media, to how you answer the phone, everything you do is branding. When your clients and patients know what to expect they feel comfortable and will show their loyalty.
3. Get personal and show appreciation. Know their name, remember things they’ve told you, and personalize your services to fit their needs. Offer an “extra” or go above and beyond whenever possible to surprise them. Create raving fans.
4. Prove yourself. It’s one thing to promise results, but another to have track record of success. Let them see your before and after transformations or your case results.
5. Let your clients be your best advocates. Your reputation is priceless. Share client reviews and testimonials on your website and social media channels. If you get some negative feedback, acknowledge it, apologize for not meeting their expectations, and try to make it right.
Ready to put these ideas into action? Think about how you and your team can implement trust building details into your daily activities. A little can go a long way.
Make a plan for the long term. How will you assess what you’ve done and make necessary changes to keep up with your customer’s evolving needs and the needs of new customers? Be open to feedback and listen to your clients and patients if (and when) they say you fell short. There’s always room to improve.
With a solid base of customers that trust your business and would recommend you to others, you’ll have a successful practice.