With the fast pace of keeping up with day to day business activities we often let the management of our professional reputation slide. We don’t get around to keeping the appearance of flyers, business cards and websites fresh and up to date. We push to the side adding regular articles, sending email updates and social posts thinking it is not important because we are too busy.
But if you stop to think how you became busy it is because you were networking, building relationships, sharing information and exposing your brand to be seen by your extended social circles for new introductions. Unfortunately, many businesses create a bad cycle built around marketing their business when things are slow, and focus on clients when things are busy.
What this cycle does, without knowing it, can turn potential customers away.
People don’t like to be switched on and off or left hanging after a trusted relationship has been developed
The danger of not continuing to keep your marketing up to date – especially on social media and online methods, such as blogging and emailing can have a huge downward spiralling effect.
This is because you stop focusing on why people are doing business with you, why they are talking about you and referring more business to you. Staying focused around what makes you different to other businesses, how you treat your clients and how you nurture those relationships is how others decide whether they will stick around and do business with you.
So, pausing it all with your current client database and potential customers in the public eye says only one thing. Bluntly, you don’t have time for them. The wake up is usually when you start to lose clients, or stop getting enquiries and referrals because they have chosen to do business with someone who will give them the time.
If you are someone who just shifted uncomfortably recognising you are in some way on this cycle then I am happy you have recognised it before you ruin your reputation amongst those who are your best marketing assets – your clients and their connections. Having a regular marketing strategy to keep your website up to date with relevant business and topical stories will give you great information to share via article sites, social media and email updates without falling in the trap of just sharing when you want to promote.
This in turn helps you build a professional reputation for being a source of help or great service that then is generally shared beyond what your normal market reach would be. This is also known as brand reputation.
Your reputation becomes known and talked about – but in this case you are controlling the information shared by producing it.
Tied to your business reputation is often you. You are the reason quite often why people decide to use your business services or products
It is not for everyone to build a personal brand as a marketing tool but it can become a very powerful way to increase referrals and expose your business more publicly if you choose to.
Richard Branson is a classic case of a company using a personal brand to create a ‘company personality’ that the public want a piece of. There are a large number of airlines we don’t have a clue who is behind them, and therefore we don’t think of anything to differentiate them from the rest.
Because we prefer to do business by building trusted relationships, social media is rapidly becoming the source of how we find information via friends
This on a small scale is how personal branding can easily be created. Authoring blog articles with your name instead of the default ‘admin’, or sharing video tips on YouTube under your Google+ account, means when your name or business is passed onto friends and searched these pieces of information are easily found and likely to start building that trust to do business with you.
Keeping content up to date and regular across your business and personal spaces means you not only increase that trust with this potential client but it tells them you are always there for your clients. You are organised and on top of things. You have methods to share updates with them by email instead of making them find time to ‘check in’.
Which obviously brings me back to the beginning of what most businesses do as a cycle. Managing the well being of your business has everything to do with continually building and strengthening your business relationships. Relationship marketing is what builds business and personal brands and if you want a great reputation then it should never be switched off.