(This is a contributed post)
Your business means a lot to you. And so it should, you will have no doubt invested a lot of your time and money into the project, and potentially you have a lot of personal risk and emotions invested into it too!
Growing your company is probably your primary aim, and you’ll no doubt want to keep improving it. As you build your business plan and evaluate it every year, taking steps to promote your products, retain and grow the number of customers and earn a higher profit will always be in your mind. Here are a few ways you can make sure you are putting your best foot forward in making your business an ongoing success.
Having a professional website, a well-designed logo, and a clean image can be significant in demonstrating to your customers that you are serious about what you do.
Hire a specialist in commercial photography to make sure that you are giving your customers the best impression of who you are and what you are about. These images will make your website or printed material such as flyers or posters stand out. You may want to consider products or photos of your work or more abstract images that signify some of your core branding ideals.
Pay someone to design your logo. Make sure it is simple and easily identifiable, and most importantly; that it stands out. Having an amateurish design will make you look amateur.
If you have a mission statement with some core values that are at the heart of your business aims, this can be a great way of attracting the kind of customer you want. It sets the tone of what you are all about and can communicate some strong ideas about your business plan.
People are often more likely to shout about a bad experience than a good one. You might have hundreds or even thousands of positive interactions with your customers, but when you get one person who feels vindicated by something you may have done; it can threaten your reputation. It only takes one angry voice to undo your hard work.
Encouraging people to share their positive experiences can be a way of building up your reputation. People don’t always remember to go online and recommend you on Tripadvisor or Google; however, with some incentive such as being entered into a competition, they might just do that. It may feel like a bribe, but remember, if your service is really great, their positive words will be accurate.
When people seem unhappy at your business, it is best to try and deal with the problems. If you’ve done something wrong or not given excellent service, own this fact. Tell your customers what you will do to improve and apologize for your errors. Occasionally businesses will feel the need to defend an action, and while sometimes the problem might have been out of your hands, you can kill a complaint with kindness. Do whatever you can to turn a bad experience into a good one. If possible, offer freebies or discounts. Keep your calm and always thank them for their feedback. In these days of social media, resentment can go viral and ruin you.
There are over two billion users on Facebook, and the number continues to grow. That means that potentially, most of your potential customer base could be reached through the site. Investing time on creating a presence on the major social networking sites can be very helpful.
Knowing which sites to use is part of finding your success with social media marketing.
If you want a younger audience, you might want to look to Instagram and Snapchat, which are both very visual, and interactions are often instant and fleeting. Your content on these sites will need to be bold and immediate. You can pay for sponsored posts that will appeal to a specific demographic, which you can determine.
If a wider audience is needed, then look towards Facebook, which is used by a cross-section of ages and backgrounds. Again, use targeted posts to reach specific demographics.
Make sure that your content is fresh, using the same message repeatedly will turn your customers off you. Have something new to offer with each post.
Try and create posts that elicit a response from your followers, as these will end up achieving organic reach as they get shared onto other people’s feeds. Posts that work particularly well will involve liking, sharing, and tagging friends to be in with a chance of winning a prize.
Replying to your followers when they comment on your posts is always a positive thing. Keep it friendly and ensure that whatever you say is in line with your brand and mission.