Smaller corporations can have it pretty tough. Trying to compete with larger, more established businesses in the same field but usually lacking the funds, manpower, resources and time to really make an impact. So what’s the secret? Having something that truly makes you stand out from your competitors. You deserve to be in the market just as much as the big guys do so if you’re struggling to be seen and heard there are ways to appear bigger, more professional and build a strong online presence.
From creating that magic sweet-spot with business branding to having a professional image and customer service approach, playing the part in the corporate world is essential to connecting with your client base. Show your customers that you’re the go-to person in your field and get taken seriously today with these tips:
1. Demonstrate You Are Real People with Professional Communication
Every client wants to be assured that they are actually dealing with real people. Give your company a face by creating an about us page on your website with a small blurb and image next to each team member. Customers thrive on personality so get them intrigued with your business and product by making them feel like they know who they are dealing with. Including a high-quality image and a small bio makes it that little bit more personal.
Creating awareness of your staff (even if it’s only a handful) and what their job role in the company is helps to define you as a business. Keep communication lines open too, but including relevant contacts into emails and other messages with introductions as to who they are so your customers are aware of who is helping to run their project and why.
2. Make an Impact with a Killer Website
Technology and the Internet are booming by the day and if you don’t have a killer website, you’re falling behind—fast. Establishing an online presence is an essential part of any business and when it comes to creating a website, you want it to make a positively professional impression. Clean and a clutter-free face is vital with easily digestible text, relevant information and a visually inspiring design that’s responsive (mobile-friendly).
Unless you have experience in web developing, it’s highly recommended to outsource a company to help you with an effective and appealing website design. Getting something basic but decent doesn’t have to cost a fortune—just make sure it’s optimized for major search engines like Google so the right people can find you.
3. Use Consistent Branding
To make your company name synonymous with your product, you need to develop consistent branding across everything. This includes your website design, business cards, stationary, color themes, fonts and other key marketing tools. Consistent branding raises the level of professionalism within your business to a whole new level.
Develop your corporate brand voice too by considering how you want to represent your business to clients and potential customers. What message do you want them to hear and how are you going to go about it? Pin point the business characteristics that make your company stand out from others; whether it be family-orientated, fun, accessible or reliable to name a few.
4. Enhance Your Time and Project Management
Using the latest tools and tricks, it’s super easy to find a formula to manage your time and projects that works for your business. From project management systems that can help to organize, communicate details, assign deadlines and track results can be a huge money and time saver for small corporations. Not to mention, it makes you look much more organized too.
As a small business owner time is precious. There’s so many different types of apps, CRM, time tracking services and software on the market to assist which will promote a higher level of customer service to your clients. Here’s a few to get you started. By breaking projects into smaller milestones and tasks through an online tool the team has access too, the pressure of running a business will definitely be eased.
5. Take Advantage of Blogging and Social Media
Finding your brand voice means taking advantage of blogging and social media too. Amplifying your brand online is one of the best ways to get noticed. According to HubSpot’s State of Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Report, companies that blog receive 97% more inbound links than those that don’t. And if you want to be recognized as an influential leader in your field, creating a strong online marketing and content plan is paramount.
To ensure your blog posts and website get as much traction as possible, social media should be incorporated into your online marketing strategy. Use relevant networks for your field to boost online visibility, expand your reach and build relationships. Consider setting up a Google business page too and posting blog posts on here. This will help to strengthen your posts in the search engine results.
6. Stay on Top of Industry News
To be an expert in your chosen field you need to stay on top of industry news. While many small business owners suffer from an extreme lack of time, focusing on growing trends and the latest updates is important to serving your client base. Don’t let the day-to-day operations of running a business get in the way of conveying yourself as a professional in the field. And to be a professional, you need to know your stuff!
Subscribe to a few key industry blogs which will send updates to your email account and put aside 20-30 minutes a day to flick through and stay connected with the latest. Research industry newsletters RSS feeds too. This will ensure you have readable updates on real-time without having to spend a huge amount of time hunting for everything.
Author: This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Design City – a boutique creative studio based in Perth, specializing in web design, graphic design and brand communications. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.