Why should you care about your brand? You’re a small business not a large multinational corporate; you’re not competing with the big guys, right?
Unfortunately, or, fortunately, however, you look at it, your brand, both personal and business is essential to your reputation and success as a service based business. The strength of your brand is made up of a combination of your reputation and your visibility. Think about it; if no-one knows about your business [your brand] how can it have strength? How can it grow?
Conversely, an excellent reputation can be good with a handful of clients and referral partners, but if you are the best-kept secret, you limit your ability to grow. Perhaps you don’t want to?
So, how do you improve the strength of your brand and ultimately your reputation and business success?
Trying to be all things to all Australians is crazy. Crazy because you can’t achieve it!
Instead, focus on being incredible to a target market and offer an incredible service to them. Sounds simple I know, but, it’s the best approach for Financial Advice businesses.
Too many times Advisers think they need to tell their referral partners that they can help anyone with any financial planning problem – hoping and praying that they will get referrals. The trouble is, too many get sent the wrong type of clients and it all spirals downhill. People start getting price sensitive because they see you as a generalist brand rather than a specialist brand.
Consider for a moment, that you are walking down a retail street [for some of you this exercise will be easy, for others who haven’t shopped for a while…], the point is, think about the brands that truly specialise and reflect on how they look; how you perceive them and the level of service you expect from them and the price you expect to pay. I can tell you; they haven’t just packed it all together without any thought. It’s a carefully crafted brand – one that yours can be too.
Below are four marketing strategies that you can adopt to help grow the strength of your brand:
1. Content – we prefer to learn about a professional services brand through content marketing not advertising – think about educational based content.
2. Positioning as experts – people pay for expertise and want to form a long-term partnership. To get to this level though, it requires a continuous approach. Who is the expert in the business? What are they an expert in?
3. Partnering with strong brands – if you are looking to increase your brand strength it makes perfect sense to partner with other strong brands; it’s called trust transference.
4. Dominate Google – to improve the power of your brand you do need to be part of the digital revolution, and that includes – a relevant high-quality website, constant social media presence and a modern social approach to business.
Brand strength is serious business for any professional service business. Maybe in the past, you could get away with not addressing your brand, reputation or visibility [although I doubt it] but today, ignore its importance, ignore it at your peril.
To be fair, it takes both an internal and external approach to build the right brand; this article gives you a few pointers which I trust helps put your thoughts into some sort of perspective and helps you define the actions you and your business needs to take.
Quick shout out to those who attended my latest 17-minute webinar the other day, thank you! ‘How to protect your online reputation’. I did record it and will upload to my website soon.