Every business owner knows the importance of branding (at least, you should). And, no, we’re not talking about poking a cow with a hot iron stick. Your brand is the one thing that sets you apart from your competitors; it tells your customers exactly what they can expect from you, your products, and your services. Your brand is not only an extension of who you are, but how you want to be perceived.
Arguably the most important part of your brand is your logo; your clients should be able to easily identify your brand, and what it stands for, anytime they see it (think “Apple”–that little once-bitten fruit is recognizable from here to Timbuktu). But it can be hard to illustrate exactly what it is you stand for through your logo alone. That’s where brand building comes in, and with the advent of social media websites, building your brand is now easier than ever. By establishing yourself as a trusted expert in your field, and reaching out to interact with your clients directly, your brand will be well on it’s way to recognition-ville in no time. Here’s how:
1. Win their trust.
This is going to require a little (okay, a lot) of transparency on your part. If you’re honest about your values, your policies, and your products, your customers will come to view you as a trusted resource. How? It’s simple, just follow the golden rule. Treat your clients as you would want to be treated. Better yet, treat your clients the same way you would treat your friends. Show a genuine interest in your clients and hold actual conversations with those you meet…don’t just throw them a sales pitch. Above all, always keep a firm grasp on your integrity. If you’re consistent, your customers will soon realize that your company is dedicated to doing the right thing time and time again — and that’s a company they can trust. The easiest way to display your values for all to see? Through your monthly newsletter.
2. Become an expert.
Provide your clients with valuable information at every opportunity. Every direct mail campaign, email blast, and social media post should be imbued with beneficial info. Providing your customers with useful advice not only means that you’re the first personal they’ll turn to when they’re in need of your service, but it also means that they’ll pass that information on and encourage others to do the same. The easiest way to go about providing your clients with valuable information is through a monthly newsletter. A personalized article allows your clients to connect with you on a human level (back to that whole “trust” thing) and the intelligent, yet entertaining content found within establishes you as a reliable expert in your field. Want to take it one step further? Get published! Write a book, contribute to a magazine or newspaper (but actually contribute, don’t just buy an ad), or nab yourself a timeslot on your local radio station. The more you prove to your clients that you’re there to help them (and you know what you’re talking about), the more they’ll want to work with you in the future.
3. Interact with them.
This is where those social media skills come in. Interacting directly with your customers via Facebook or Twitter is a surefire way to show your clients that you actually care about their opinions. Just remember to always be respectful and professional (even when your clients aren’t). If you’re confronted with an angry customer, respond politely and do whatever you can to fix their problem. If you receive a compliment, accept it gracefully. Going back to the whole “become an expert” topic, Facebook is a great place to share insightful articles or videos that your clients will find beneficial, but it goes much deeper than that. If you pay attention to the right media sources, you can stay up to date with what your target audience is talking about and connect with them on a whole new level. There’s no doubt about it, the internet is an amazing source when it comes to interacting with your clients, but it can’t do everything. What can? You guessed it; a monthly newsletter. Through your newsletter you can interact with your clients or patients on a more human level, before long they’ll start to think of you not as the doctor or the accountant, but as a friend. And friends, above all else, are loyal.