Marketing your business is all about looking good as well as great advertising material.
Blanket advertising will get you noticed but it’s your reputation that follows you around which makes the difference. How you look to your customers and how you treat them is essentially how you will sell more and build your customer base.
Looking good wherever and whenever you are seen is the first step in developing a good relationship.
Either you will come into contact face to face then be checked out online or vice versa. Connect online then meet ‘in the flesh’ as it where! In both cases appearance is essential.
The first and crucial start to engagement is a good profile shot. Current, professional and suitable for the forum you are in. No one likes to talk to an ‘egg’! Finding a contact on Linkedin, for example, is much simpler when there is a recognisable photo. Instead of scanning all the “John Smiths’, identification by photo is so much quicker! It also helps when meeting for the first time ‘blind’, which saves looking around like an idiot trying to identify the right person in the coffee shop!
You may not like it but its true. How many important connections have you lost because you are too self conscious to add a picture! By the way logos don’t count either!
Think of it as online dating – would you want to chat, let alone meet someone, with no idea of gender?
The second point of contact is your website. Your website will immediately get checked out for appearance content and contact details. Make sure all the links work. Spelling and grammar in the text must be correct. There is nothing funnier than reading paragraphs of text boasting ‘Im better than all my competitors use me… etc etc…’ that is full of basic spelling mistakes and poor grammar. We all make mistakes but get a friend, who can spell, to check it thoroughly!
Get your website looking good. Invest in a good quality logo, utilise a limited palette of colours and fonts, then make sure all your social media content follows it consistently. Have banners/cover pictures designed in the same style for all platforms. Make sure the fonts are the same and the images used are sharp and relevant. Quality of web images is not that hard to achieve but make sure if you wish to use them in marketing material that will be printed, they are high quality and big enough to use in commercial printing.
It is so common to only have a logo that is suitable for web and has not been supplied in a format that can be used at the size required when needing even a business card printed.
Always ask for your logo to be designed and supplied as a vector file or a high resolution pdf in as large a size as you may ever need. This means in the future when you want a 2m pull up banner you have the file to supply and it will not cost you more money to have it recreated.
Social media banners are needed for Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Youtube and Linkedin (and many others). All vary in size and can be challenging for the designer to make them look good for all online devices and screen sizes.
Looking good online is also achieved by what you post and what you say.
Posting endless sales messages will not get you a good reputation. Sharing and positively commenting on other people’s posts will earn you friends! Posting great content and helpful advice will help you generate a reputation as a Go-to-Expert!
(The Go-to Expert: How to Grow Your Reputation, Differentiate Yourself from the Competition and Win New Business)
Moaning and posting your dirty laundry on line will not do you any favours. Slatting people and swearing also does not make you look good online or off come to that!
Recently an apprentice had got all the way through several interviews with a company and they were just about to offer him a job when they checked out his Twitter feed. His online personality did not fit the company’s ‘brand’ and he lost out. What you write online will never go away and is forever in the public domain.
Take a look at your branding, pull it into line, make it consistent and relevant to your audience.
The more relevant it is, the more it will attractive and the more successful it will be. Be aware it is ‘return on visibility’ that counts far more than ‘return on investment’!
Looking good online is as much to do with graphics and good design as personality and creating the right impression. Treating people with respect and listening, offering help and advice will get you so much further.