Paparazzi Statue

So many small businesses make the mistake of focusing too much on operations, the day to day ways they handle their business, and not enough on marketing and brand building. Your company’s brand encompasses more than just a pretty logo: It’s your reputation in the business world. Nothing is more important than your brand.

Memories are Made with Strong Impressions

Branding is the fine art of creating positive, lasting associations with your company. The first step is to create a concrete idea for your potential customers and business partners to latch on to. Most companies do a little of everything, but when presenting outside the company, telling people that you do “this and that” is the worst thing that you can say. Instead, create a concrete sound bite that sums up product or service that you sell in a memorable or interesting way. A construction company could say, “We provide a strong foundation and build your business from the ground up the way you want it.”

Hire a Designer

Just like nobody wants to shop in a dirty grocery store, nobody wants to invest in a company with a dinky old website. The modern style is clean, elegant HTML5 sites with a flexible content management system, lots of contrast and eye-pleasing colors. Your designer will make sure that your site is pleasing to the eye and makes you look like the best among your competitors. You’ll get color synergy, texture, vertical and horizontal rhythm, and a hundred things that an untrained web developer would put at the end of the list.

When looking at draft designs, think about first impressions. Your homepage is your handshake with your customer or client. The first thing they see should tell them that the company is reliable, stable, and on top of their business. Internal pages should be brief, marketing-driven, and encourage the reader to reach out or stop by the shop.

Monitor Google and Social Media like a Hawk

Chances are that every morning when you wake up and shave or put on your makeup, you look in the mirror before you head off to work. When you submit a report to the boss, you spend an hour proofreading it and double checking your data before it goes out. This behavior is prudent – when you do something, you check to see if you actually did what you think you did before you show it to others.

But when was the last time you Googled your company? This should be at least a once a week event. Are your Facebook and Twitter pages overrun with unanswered complaints?

Social Media is the mirror that you look in to see what everyone else sees about your company. Use the feedback you receive there to streamline your perceptions and find the real kinks in your system. Respond to everything you can. Never adopt a “can’t save everyone” mentality – even if you can’t save everyone, your brand gets points for great customer service.

Alternatively, you can use reputation management services, like Reputation.com, to build up positive reviews and links on popular search engines. These companies are often dumped on by the general public, but the good ones provide you with real reviews on websites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and even Reddit. They can also crank out good SEO articles on authentic blogs that paint your company in a positive light and direct traffic your way and a host of other small services that really help to clean up your image and bring in new sales. They’re especially useful if you’re got some bad publicity out there that’s hurting your image.

Put some solid work into your brand, design and reputation, and you’ll see your business go from invisible to bubbling with excitement in no time flat. Think about making a lasting first impression in every place that your potential customers experience your brand, maintaining that impression as you develop your relationship. You want to be the one the customer remembers – not your competitor. Reputation.com is included in the Bessemer Ventures Partner Company portfolio. The reputation company focuses on ensuring that businesses and professionals establish and maintain a favorable online presence, which can lead to future professional success. Reputation dot com has advanced Web services that work 24 hours a day to remove the names of businesses and individual clients from people-search websites so that private data won’t be exposed on the Internet. ReputationDefender is one of the products Reputation dot com is most well-known for. It helps customers to understand the importance of an organized website and organized positive details associated with a name or business.

In addition to protecting the professional image of customers, Reputation dot com also provides customer profiles and content. This way, when potential or established customers can search for the company online and find nothing but positive information. Customers of Reputation dot com can also work directly with the company to learn how to push negative details further down on the search engine rankings so that the articles, reviews or gossip will be difficult for Internet users to find.

Reputation dot com offers clients practical tips on how to manage their reputations online, and keeps customers aware of what Reputation dot com is doing in the community and in the world of online character protection. For instance, the company recommends suggestions like limiting what is shared online. This includes individuals refraining from posting photos that could be viewed as compromising on social media pages. It may also be helpful for these professional individuals to ask their friends and loved ones not to post incriminating photos as well. Reputation management also includes being tactful when sharing reviews or opinions online. Statements that give a potentially negative view of certain political, religious or ethnic groups should be avoided at all costs. Of course, Reputation dot com will do the work of making these comments difficult to find if they already exist. But it is in the best interest of the business owner to make wise choices online, as the result of a controversial comment or photo could be far-reaching. The website also reveals that, according to Harris Interactive, 78% of adults think it’s important to look up an individual or business online before engaging in a business relationship with the person or company. This further emphasizes just how important it is for all individuals, regardless of the size of their business

There are also articles from Reputation dot com that focus on particular business niches. For instance, there is information on health care businesses and the best ways for these companies to get off the ground. Pointers include incorporating the 4 P’s (price, placement, product and promotion) into healthcare marketing and promotion. This includes reasonably pricing items, placing them in a way that will get the public’s attention, actually producing or promoting a quality product, and promoting the home healthcare product or medication in a way that is compelling but not intimidating.

Reputation dot com offers a consultation for those who are interested in the services the company has to offer. Customer services representatives can be reached via phone or email, and live chat services are available for customers to consult with a Reputation dot com professional while building a website or social network page. Visiting the Reputation dot com website will also show potential customers the work that Reputation dot com is doing in the worlds of media, social networking and website design. Business listing services are also available from Reputation dot com, which makes it easier for customers to find a company online through an app or online directory.

 

Originally posted by Dane Carlson on January 9, 2014 in Guest Posts.

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