Use These Simple Tips to Get the Customers You Want.
Projecting the right image to your customers is one of the best ways to gain their trust and business. If you use the right tools, you’ll present your company as a professional solution provider and a trusted resource. Luckily, there are pro-quality tools available for almost every budget. Here are some keys to building your brand the right way:
Set your strategy.
When you know who you’re looking for it’s much easier to create something that meets their needs. To get started, describe your ideal customer and what makes them want to work with you. Make your message simple, clear and memorable, and use it for your search terms or keywords. Build those keywords into all your online efforts.
Build your brand.
Spend a few bucks to hire someone to create your logo. Your web designer should be able to help. Consider adding your tagline or a catchy phrase to your logo to make your company easy to remember.
Build a great website.
It’s no longer a luxury for a company to have a website. The first place your prospects and customers will go when they’re considering you is your site. Draw them in by keeping your site clear, informative, and include clear calls to action. Choose a short, easy to remember domain name, and go with a “.com” address if possible. If your preferred domain is already taken, check to see if it’s available at auction and consider bidding if it’s for sale. Domaintools.com offers a great, free “domain suggestions” tool. You can get cheap hosting on your own and suffer down-time and frustration, or hire a company like BizzyWeb to host your site for just $25 per month.
Spend time on web design.
Hire someone who knows what they’re doing. “Website tonight” or hackedtogether designs look like you don’t believe in your company enough to invest in it, and your prospects will decide if they’ll do business with you within 10 seconds of visiting your site. For simple, inexpensive and impressive designs, consider using an open-source tool like WordPress to create your site. If you’re technically inclined, you can put a great site together for cheap. To project the best image and fast-track the process, hire a professional developer to make your site perfect. The time you save hiring a pro is time you’ll be able to use making sales.
Make sure you can be found.
Spend some time on search engine optimization. Tools like WordPress make this incredibly simple, but in general the more often you update your site the higher you’ll rank in searches. Make it easy to reach you with obvious links to your email, phone and office location. And register for free with Google Places to automatically get top billing with nearby customers. For your email, use your own domain. Use department names for official correspondence: for sales requests use email@example.com, etc. Be sure to use an email signature that includes your contact information and tagline.
Participate in social media.
The web isn’t the only place your customers are likely to find you. Be where your prospects and customers spend their time, and make it easy for your fans to recommend you to others. Facebook offers free Company pages, and you can set up your website to cross-publish news and information from your website to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter automatically. You can reserve your own username (e.g. facebook.com/bizzyweb) to make your page easy to find. Post your profiles on LinkedIn (via a Company Page) and Twitter (with a custom background), and either search for instructions or hire a professional to set everything up for you. Finally, make sure you use your new online identity everywhere, including your business cards, brochures and email campaigns (mailchimp.com allows you to send emails to up to 2,000 prospects per month for free). Make your company easy to find when you’re networking by listing all your addresses in one place, including your web address, social media addresses and phone.
Dave Meyer is the president of BizzyWeb, a company that creates websites designed to integrate with social media and Generate Buzz Without Getting Stung. BizzyWeb offers social media training and integration, SEO services and seminars on new media strategies. Contact: (612) 293-WEB3 (9323), bizzyweb.com, facebook.com/bizzyweb, or twitter.com/bizzyweb.