The trust factor
When I started my business at the end of 2010, the first client I got was somebody I already knew. I think that’s probably the case for most small (micro!) businesses – until you get a bit of momentum behind you, people aren’t going to know who you are and they might prefer to use somebody more established and more experienced. Essentially they want somebody they know, like and trust, to coin a well-known phrase.
So how do you get that ‘know, like and trust’ factor?
Know, like and trust – doing business with people you like
Have you ever done business with someone you didn’t get on with? It can leave you with a bit of an icky feeling, can’t it? Even if the service you’re getting is completely fine and the job is getting done, if you don’t gel with that person, the whole process can be uncomfortable.
The thing about my business is that most of it’s done online. In the early days I had to get out to networking meetings (my worst nightmare come true at the time!) to meet other business people, and I imagined that everybody else would be corporate types in business suits and they would all know what they were talking about.
This wasn’t the case at all, of course, and I met some lovely people who couldn’t have been further from the image I had in my head. Meeting people in person is helpful for someone like me who is often taken in by the image that’s often portrayed by businesses on Facebook and the like. The reality is that of course everybody is paddling furiously, regardless of how serene they appear on the surface.
Being ‘authentic’ in your marketing
I’ve talked about this in another very recent blog post, and trying out being ‘the real me’ has certainly given me more engagement on my Facebook page, for example. I don’t think people always want to see some perfect person, it’s a bit off putting when you sometimes feel like you’re flailing about with little or no direction.
Being prepared to admit you’re human and you have to deal with all sorts of stuff in your daily life makes it easier for others to relate to you.
You don’t want to come across as a complete doofus, of course, you’re still an expert in what you do, and it’s important to get that across!
I might not be the best person in the world at always being visible in the groups I’m in on Facebook, and I haven’t always been completely consistent at being regular with my blog posts, but I’m ‘me’ whenever I choose to be visible.
I am also consistent with the service that I give to my clients, and I think that’s why a lot of my business recently has been word of mouth referrals.
If you do what you say you’re going to do, and you’re reliable, you give great value, you’re polite and responsive and always friendly, even if you don’t feel like it, then people will come back for more. I really do think it’s that simple!
What do you think? Please leave me a comment or pop over to my Facebook page and drop me a message, I’d love to hear from you.