When clients approach your business they do so for a reason, they need help. What is the incentive for a client to call a company when they see an impersonal ad in the newspaper? Just the service. However, if they are in need of a service and stumble across an article that answers some of their key questions they have, written by an expert (YOU), they are more likely to trust your company because you have already given them some value up front.
To be an expert, you must 1) project confidence in your freelancers marketplace for selling services voice and physical posture, 2) have thorough knowledge of your products and services, 3) BRAG a little!
There are many ways to achieve expert status and here are a few suggestions that take some of your time and have amazing results, but cost you NOTHING.
30-Second Elevator Pitch
The ability to recite quickly and accurately the value of your product and service to a potential client you meet shows that you know your niche, that you are confident, and that you are organized. Take some time and create a pitch that defines your value in the marketplace, and have your employees each memorize it. It is an invaluable tool and once accomplished will allow for an infallible projection of confidence whenever you or your employees speak about your company.
Find an industry publication and contact the editor. They are always looking for editorial content! Think about becoming a columnist. Make sure to have a nice headshot taken! Take copies of your articles and put them in media kits, on your website, and blog. This gives instantaneous recognition for your talents and status in the industry. Pretty soon you will be getting approached to speak and write articles for other publications! Submit them to free article sites like EzineArticles.
Industry associations, chambers of commerce, and Rotary Clubs are always looking for speakers. Get in there and let them know you are available and what you can offer. Drafting a one page profile outlining the topics you can speak on will also help them when they are looking for resources. Keep an eye out for “Call to Speakers” announcements for conferences and events as well.
Media Interviews and PR Gigs
HARO – Help a Reporter Out is a great resource for PR opportunities. Be sure to sign-up for their daily emails and respond to any inquiries that are relevant to you.
Educate yourself on contests and competitions that are occurring in your area of expertise. Most of the time businesses can enter and vote themselves in. Many times few companies apply for the competition, giving you a great chance of winning. An award from a third-party is something that needs to be displayed on websites, in press-releases, and in the office.
Like physical networking, LinkedIn provides amazing opportunities if used properly. Joining groups and contributing content and answers to questions posted is a great way to position yourself as an expert. Growing your network, contacting leads, and updating your profile status is a great way to touch potential clients.
Have a follow-up system in place so that every satisfied customer is providing you with a written testimonial that you can use on your website, email templates, and brochures.
- Create and showcase your professional image and brand
Your brand image is an extension of yourself and conveys a level of trust to your clients. If you have not taken your time to develop your brand with care, why should a client believe that you will take a higher level of care with their project? It is worth hiring a professional designer to create a logo, letterhead, business card, and website. Ultimately the investment you make in these tools will make you much more profit in the end. Partner a professional image and website together with a strong operational system, and marketing plan and you are bound to grow a healthy business.
Another major point to consider is brand consistency. Every branding tool you choose from business cards, to vehicle wraps needs to have a common look and feel so that the client can recognize you among the thousands of other brands they see every day!
Many small and medium businesses don’t realize how effective of a branding tool mobile advertising and car wraps actually are. Large companies use vehicle wraps and mobile billboards constantly to penetrate a market, which is probably why small and medium sized companies think that this form of advertising is too expensive. This is false, and I highly recommend this form of advertising for many industries. If you have a car, you should be advertising your business to the thousands of potential customers you drive by every day. So when a client sees your logo, they will say… “I remember seeing them on the highway; they must be a reputable company! “
- Collect and store critical customer and potential customer data
What do you do with business cards you collect at all of those networking meetings? Like most business owners, you probably throw them into a box and forget about them. Or how about the database full of customers you have already worked with? Or the people visiting your website? All of these people have had contact with you, and you are missing a chance at building a relationship with them and doing business with them in the future.