It started as an idea while you were at work. A few months later, it became a side gig. Now, you’ve decided to fully embrace your dream of running a business and are doing so from the comfort of your own home. Congratulations – you did it!
Running a home business can be incredibly rewarding. You’ve got the luxury of working flexibility, get to work with a number of clients and customers and can set your own rules. Farewell micromanagement and hello freedom.
However, you’ll know from experience that building an image for your brand good enough to compete with the big players in your industry can be difficult. Not least of all because, well, it’s just you. From renting a virtual office to tagging along to free events, here’s how to do it.
1. Sign up for a virtual office
A virtual office is like an office, but it exists in your imagination. Just kidding. When you sign up for a virtual office you are usually given a business address and a telephone number. You can put this address on your marketing and communications collateral.
Having a business address in a prestigious location instantly makes your brand look more established in the eyes of clients. Stating your personal mobile phone number and residential address not only looks unprofessional, it compromises your privacy.
Many virtual office packages offer add on services too. A useful one for building credibility is meeting room access. You can book a meeting or conference room at your virtual office’s physical location when you need to meet clients, partners or future employees.
It’s much more professional than meeting in a coffee shop!
2. Hire a virtual receptionist
When running a small business, customer service has to be your number one priority. However, it’s not easy when you have to deal with everything else as well.
Why not outsource some of your customer service workload to a virtual assistant?
A virtual receptionist is a remote worker who takes on many of the tasks a “typical” receptionist would, such as diary management and client calls. There are different levels, so if you just need someone to answer and forward calls, check out “call answering services”.
So what does this have to do with amplifying your business’ image? Well, instead of you having to answer the phone in a fluster, you can leave it to some whose job it is so sound professional and offer exceptional customer service. It also frees up your time.
3. Use language and imagery
One quick fix way to amplify your company’s image is to be savvy about the language you use online; for example in social media posts.
Using inclusive pronouns such as “we” and “us” when referring to your brand, even if it’s just you behind the wheel, can instantly make you seem bigger. Make is clear that it’s not just you too by posting images of the people you work with (with their permission, of course).
Take selfies at networking events, post visual client testimonials and champion any freelancers you work with. Platforms like LinkedIn are perfectly designed for this kind of content and can also help you to attract new business along the way.
4. Attend free networking events
One of the best and easiest ways to get your brand out there in front of people is by networking. Face-to-face networking is amazing – it can get you clients and lead to fruitful collaborative partnerships. It also gives you an excuse to get out of the house!
A quick internet search will help you find the free networking events in your area, but one of your first port of calls should be Eventbrite. Simply type the name of your city in the search bar along with the word “free” and see what comes up.
5. Take advantage of co-branding
In essence, co-branding is a strategic marketing and advertising partnership between two or more brands and can be successful for everyone involved. It can be an effective way to boost awareness of your brand, amplify your business’ image and conquer new markets.
Make a list of the brands you could approach for partnerships. Then brainstorm some potential campaigns you could work on together.
The bigger the brand, the larger their reach is likely to be. Are their clients your ideal customers or clients? Think about what you can offer them in return too. For example, maybe partnering with a small, local brand will have a positive impact on their image.
There are so many things you can do to boost your business’ image on a budget; the above are just five strategies out of hundreds. Fortunately, there’s a smorgasbord of tech tools out there to help you achieve success, for a relatively low cost or even for free.
Finally, sign up for alerts, subscribe to the relevant newsletters and utilize your connections’ knowledge and expertise. Good luck!
The Benefits Of CRM for BusinessesDecember 13, 2019
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