In today’s world, the quest to stand out and grow your business at the same time often feels like it’s on a shifting landscape. There’s a lot of noise and clutter involved in sales and marketing, but there are many valuable tools and opportunities at the same time.
If you’re looking to grow your business (and who isn’t?), look at building trust with current and potential clients.
First: if you don’t already have a website that you own, that’s my top suggestion. All of these tips revolve around your online presence, and your online presence should stem from your website.
The following suggestions are focused on building trust with both clients and search engines to help your business grow in a real, sustainable way.
1 – Brainstorm all of the questions that you get asked on a regular basis about your service or business. Write them all down, and start answering them on your website.
This is the foundation for your content marketing efforts, but beyond that, it will help you gain a better understanding of what you do, why you do it, and how you can help your ideal client.
Most of us answer questions all the time about our line of work, but we don’t think to turn those questions (and answers) into reusable content. Start thinking like a teacher, and you will stand out over time.
If you own a small business accounting firm, for example, you might get questions like this. Or, even if you don’t get these exact questions, these might be pain points and issues with your target clients:
“What is the best bookkeeping software for small businesses?”
“When should I hire a full-time accountant for my business?”
“What does a CPA do that an accountant cannot?”
I obviously don’t own an accounting firm, so these are guesses, but you get the idea. If you have a hair salon, people might ask about the best types of shampoo to use for their hair type. For roofers, people might like to know the best type of shingles for their homes. Answering questions and providing value is a great way to build trust and a potential relationship with a future client.
They Ask, You Answer is a fantastic book that we recommend to all of our clients and friends. It’s a great resource for getting started with effective content marketing.
2 – Clean up your social media accounts.
Does your Facebook cover photo still fit right? Does it match your brand? Is all of the information on your social media accounts accurate? These might seem like small details to you, but neglected social media accounts can leave a bad first impression (some more than others, depending on your industry).
These are a few things you can review as a start:
- Profile and cover photos for all active business social media pages. Canva is a great free tool for making cover photos and other graphics.
- Look at those accounts with fresh eyes, or ask somebody else to review it as a first impression for your company.
- On Facebook, make sure your “Call to Action” button is relevant and valuable for your business. Call Now? Learn More? Send Message? Sign Up? There are multiple options that you could choose from to help people take action.
- Check your “About” information for accuracy.
- Make sure all social media accounts have the same look and feel that matches your brand.
- Check all of your accounts on mobile. On Facebook, cover photos aren’t as responsive, so you may want to make adjustments.
There are so many other things you can do with your social media accounts, but that’s a good start. The rest of the work on social media should be part of your overall content strategy.
3 – Address your pricing on your website.
When you’re looking for a product or service, whether it’s for your personal or business needs, how do you feel when you can only find a “call for a quote!” link on a website when you are trying to find a price range? Unless we’re looking at a highly customized service or product, and even then, most of us want to know what to expect.
If you are a service provider (designer, consultant, photographer, etc), it may feel counter-intuitive or even a bit scary to address your rates on your website. However, your potential customers are basing a large part of their decision on this information. The odds of them calling, especially if one of your competitors does address price, are much lower.
You don’t have to list all of your exact pricing. Most people understand that especially in service-related industries, the price varies. But addressing the question in the most transparent way you can is a great start to building trust and standing out. Even if it’s a simple paragraph or blog post explaining how you determine your prices, it’s a start.
If you do this, you will begin to build trust with your potential clients. Don’t worry about those who get scared off by price – odds are, they are not your ideal client, anyway. Those who check your prices and make that phone call or send that request are the ones you want to talk to anyway, 99% of the time.
4 – Start developing a content strategy.
A content strategy is essentially both the “why” and “how” behind your content marketing. Without a strategy, most businesses fail to stay consistent with their content marketing efforts.
If you’re not sure why you need to doing content marketing for your business, this is a good place to start.
This doesn’t have to be complex, but it should evolve over time. As you get better at defining your target client and your goals, your strategy may become more specific.
Bonus: Run an SEO audit on your website, and work down the checklist (or let your web developer work down the checklist).
If your website is optimized for search engines, and offers valuable content, you have a much better chance of not only being found online, but retaining attention. An SEO audit is a full checkup on all things that might help or hurt your SEO (search engine optimization).
There are multiple ways to get a good SEO audit done on your website. We do in-depth audits, and we offer a free tool as a starting point. If you have a developer or you are working on your own website, the resources for SEO are vast.
This is only the tip of the iceberg of all the opportunities available to grow your business, but I hope it helps get the wheels turning.
What do you plan to do next year to help grow your business? Let’s hear it in the comments!