Your dream business is up and running. You are excited and full of energy. You love your products and services. You’ve put together a stellar marketing plan. But you are finding that as a start-up, it is difficult to win business over your competitor’s solid reputation. Credibility counts to consumers. So how do you begin to create that same type of reputation for yourself?
Let Your Social Media Work FOR You
You’ve established your brand. You have your social media markets established. But are you allowing these outlets to work FOR you? A big part of the magic of social media is that you are going to quickly recognized who your most loyal and devoted customers are. Reward them for it!
Begin building your reputation by creating a sense of loyalty to your customers. Some ways you can provide incentives to your engaged customers are through special event invites, a pre-sale for loyal customers, customer appreciation days, online contests, and special offers for repeat customers.
There are times where self-promotion does not need to be your focus. Building a presence for your start-up can begin by simply being helpful. Building a reputation is more than some glossy print ads and a few glowing praises. People want to know who the business is that they are working with. You’ve begun to create that ‘personal connection’ through your social media, now take it one step further.
You can be helpful by sharing relevant stories or information that YOU find helpful. Create an environment with others in your industry that allows for extending a helping hand. Provide information to your customers that is going to help them make decisions and is not all about you. Finding ways to link it back to you is nice, but it isn’t always necessary.
Address the Squeaky Wheel
No matter how hard we try to please everyone, it is likely that there are times when someone’s feathers are ruffled. You can chalk it up and move on, or you can use this opportunity to build a reputation for addressing these situations quickly and graciously.
Having a situation play out like this on social media is always challenging, but others are watching. The old adage that the squeaky wheel gets the grease is right on! Use your ‘squeaky wheel’ to your advantage. Use the opportunity to show that you do care and want to make the situation right. Nothing will build your reputation more quickly than turning a disgruntled customer into a happy one, because it shows your dedication to each and every interaction you have with your customers.
Being persistent, attentive, and helpful are keys to helping you build a reputation for your start-up. While it is easy to become overwhelmed by the ‘business’ of your start-up, it is important to remember that you are in business to serve others – not yourself. If you remain customer-focused, building a reputation will take care of itself.