Day 4 - How Do You Really Appear to Clients
Welcome to Day #4 of the 31 Days to Better Branding series! To learn more about this series, click here to find links to the other days so you'll be able to follow along or catch up if you happen to miss anything. I am by no means an expert but after hearing a lot of the same questions, I figured other could benefit from a few lessons in branding. Hopefully it will give you a place to begin or even just a few tips to improve your business and bring you more clients. Feel free to add in your thoughts and what has worked for you in the comments!
"I can't get people to buy much from me."
This is a really big problem that might have some really simple solutions. We'll get into the more detailed solutions later in the month, but let's talk about the most obvious today.
Let's do some imagining...
There's a knock at your door from a salesperson who wants to sell you a portrait session from a photography company they work for. You hate to be rude so you listen for a few minutes while they mechanically tell you about how this company is very affordable. You look over their example album to find that there are a wide variety of good images but none that really grab you. While you can afford to hire them, the style doesn't really go with your family's fun and silly personality. You continue to listen as they tell you that if you buy it today, they'll even throw in a free 8x10.
Are you sold? What about a week later when they send you a brochure in the mail with a coupon?
Unless you happen to have time and the money to spare, you probably aren't going to buy from this person.
You really need some updated photos taken of your family so you ask around and get a referral from a friend. When you Google the name of the Photographer, you find a website that is really well put together. This photographer focuses mostly on high energy family photos on their website so you assume they are probably an expert in this area. You click through their bio and blog posts and start to feel like you really know this photographer - in fact you think you might even be friends if you met in person because their writing makes you laugh. Unfortunately, when you call for prices, you realize they charge a little more than you had planned.
Would you hire them anyway? Of course you would.
There's a reason most of us hang up when we get a phone call from a salesperson we don't know. But we will buy almost anything from someone we admire and relate to. Especially if we feel like it's something we really needed in the first place.
There's a few key differences between the two scenarios above and if you put these principles to good use, it can make all of the difference in how much you sell in your business. So here's a few questions to ask yourself about your business and how you are coming across.
How are you relating to others?
Most people buy based on emotion. So this sounds obvious but you really want your target clients to be able to relate to you, to get to know you, and to like you. This doesn't mean you have to share your personal life or be unprofessional. You just want to show others what you care about and why they should care about it too. Then LISTEN. Make the effort to talk to them - listen closely to what their worries or fears are and then ease their concerns without going into a sales pitch.
How are you advertising?
Now that the internet and social media exists, advertising as changed. Billboards, mailers, and signs are fine but when most people have a need, they Google it. Why waste money markting to people who won't care because they don't have a NEED? Instead, you want to create an irresistible WEB PRESENCE. That way when people are looking for you, they can find you. And when they find you, they will be able to see that you are exactly what they were looking for.
How narrow is your market?
This might sound like backwards thinking, but you want to think really, really narrow for your market. If you are everything to everyone, you don't specialize in anything. Even if you are REALLY good at every area, choosing one thing to fine tune tune will make you an expert to a certain type of person. If you're an expert in one area and great at reaching that one group of people, it will give people something to talk about. And if you can get people to spread the word for you, that is the fastest way to build a loyal following. From the get go, clients will already trust you and want what you have to offer. As an added bonus, you can prevent being burned out because you will be doing what you love and working with people who love what you do.
Okay so your homework today is to ask yourself those three key questions I talked about above. Ask: How am I relating to others? How am I advertising? How narrow is my market?
If you are just getting started, now is a good time to write down a game plan. How will you be relational in your business? What elements of a web presence make the most sense for you to invest in? How could you create a more narrow focus to reach a specific group?
Last note - if you have questions, thoughts, and struggles when it comes to any of the ideas I'm bringing up PLEASE share them! You can drop a line on the Facebook page or add your questions in the comments area. That way you can hear what others have tried and get those issues out of the way!