People always say they will work with companies they know, like and trust and I totally get it.
However, for me other factors like efficiency, results and price could help someone I don’t know, influence my decision to buy from them (but brand loyalty is a whole other topic to discuss). My point is - don’t be a defeatist. People will be open-minded about trying new suppliers/brands IF you enable them to get to know your business too, if they like what they see, and if you can prove you’re trustworthy.
So here’s my suggestions on how to become known, liked and trusted by your potential customers.
This might be because they’ve worked with you before and know what you’re capable of.
However, before this happens – how do you enable your audience to actually get to KNOW you?
I guess in one word, the answer for me would be ‘exposure’.
With my business, Flamingo Marketing Strategies I am allowing my audience to get to know ME – not just my business but more about how and why it was founded, it’s purpose, my essence as a business owner and why I do what I do and why I LOVE what I do.
Being active on social media, writing blogs, sharing other people’s content, posting in groups, commenting on posts on social media and dropping a few paid adverts every once in a while, too will help massively with exposure. This will really allow my audience to get to know my business but also get to know me as a person too and want to work with me! I’m personally attending every face to face meeting with every potential client to build that relationship from day one.
Putting posts up like this on #wellbeingweek exposes me on a personal level. Plus, I recently found out that if you share posts from a personal page you get 30-40% reach comparable to a business page which only gets 3-4% reach so it’s always worthwhile sharing your business page posts through your personal page every now and again too.
If you’re a business owner who really wants to keep your name and your brand separate and you don’t want people to make the association it naturally becomes a little bit harder for people to get to ‘know’ you on the same personal and emotional level. However, it’s not impossible. The same concepts apply – exposure and awareness will get your business known.
I see it time and time again, businesses are scared to ‘have fun’, ‘add personality’ and ‘take risks’ with their business marketing in case people don’t like what they see. But the truth is there is nothing less appealing than a business with no personality.
I recently met with a photographer whose main area of focus is business branding, therefore she tends to work with business owners. One of the first things she does with her potential clients is really dig deep and intensely quiz them about who they are as a person, what they like to do, what makes them happy, what makes them sad and she really hones in on their essence as an individual AND as a business. She cares less about business message and more about business meaning. Because of this approach she is flown worldwide to help brand businesses with bespoke photography that truly represents them and their brand. If you’d like to find out more about Abby’s business – click here.
When she asked me why I had decided to start my own business and what my marketing background looks like, I whizzed through my career history but at the end I went back to one specific role and the words she relayed back to me were “When I was helping other small to medium size businesses with their marketing, this was my happiest time. I loved this role more than any of the others because of the feeling I got seeing success for these individual businesses, the challenges, the variety and everything in between made me want to get out of bed every day and do a great job for my clients”.
Now when people ask me what my motives are for my business and why I do what I do, I know the answer. It took 3 years of studying and 7 years in various marketing roles to work it out. But now I know what makes me happy AND because I was so honest and open about it, Abby liked me straight away.
An ex-colleague of mine started her own marketing agency a year or so ago and has recently shared an interesting vlog about personality types – you can view this on her Facebook page here.
If you’re wondering if Lucy is a competitor of my business, then the blunt answer is yes. But the truth is we don’t see competition, we see collaboration. Our style in our marketing and approach to business is very different because our personalities are different and that is reflected in our own marketing. If you go to Lucy-with-a-why and choose to work with her over me, then she’s absolutely the right choice for you. You will always choose to work with who you like the look of the most and whose business appeals to you.
I will never NOT highlight other people’s businesses in fear of losing clients to them because a) small businesses should help small businesses and b) I’m confident that the people who choose Flamingo Marketing Strategies, made the right choice based on what they know and like about our approach to marketing. Lucy is a fantastic marketeer and friend and we will never ‘compete’, only ever help each other.
If you are reading this blog post and really struggling to work out how to inject personality into your corporate B2B (instead of a personal brand), don’t worry there are so many ways to do it which will still protect your brand and appeal to the right audience – but make you stand out! Just head here to enquire.
It’s simple – word of mouth.
There is a whole blog here about word of mouth statistics and the power it can have with statistics from Hubspot, MarketShare, BtoB Magazine and Google.
You need to make sure that whoever you work with, talks about you. Whether it’s a testimonial they give you, or whether you can put their logos on your website (this is even more powerful if they are recognisable brands). Asking for referrals helps too but the bottom line is reviews, testimonials, quotes, feedback and case studies. People like to do their research so make sure you have written evidence from other people about how great your business is.
If you’re new to business and don’t have this yet – don’t worry, this is how I tackled it.
If you go to my LinkedIn page https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmasansom/ and scroll down to recommendations, you’ll see I have 20 recommendations from people who’ve worked with me in the past.
It also helps that I have a portfolio that highlights the results driven by my marketing for the companies I worked for (which you can watch here). These two elements will act as a buffer until my clients have seen some results and are happy to provide feedback to assist with the trust part of the trio.
One of the areas that Flamingo Marketing Strategies offers support with is Brand Positioning. If you need some help with this, don’t hesitate to get in touch.