Take a look at who you go to for reliable information in your industry. Why do you go to them? There’s a reason: you think of them as an expert in their field. Now it’s time to start building your reputation as an expert in your specific field. This will drive people to come to you when they need advice, information, or a particular service.
How do you build your reputation as the go-to person for your product or service? There are simple steps you can take as long as you remain consistent.
Step 1: Build Trust
This step takes time but is probably the most important. Without trust, your customer relationships will suffer and sales will be less than optimal. Social media and customer reviews make it too easy for your business to be transparent. This can work in your favor but it can also hurt your business. Use these outlets for capturing positive feedback and addressing the less than positive feedback you may receive. If your product or service has a flaw, do your best to resolve it in a timely manner.
Communicate with your audience to show you are there and care about what they need. This is the point of your business, right? Continual contact with your audience will remind them of this simple fact.
Step 2: Find Balance
So now you want to build trust and relationships with your audience by communicating with them. But how often and in what manner should you do so? This really does depend on the type of business you run, but it seems most creative businesses I follow send 1-4 emails a month and post to social media at least a few times a week. I tend to unsubscribe to emails that contact me more than once a week. You will have to do some testing to see what works best for you. Track your analytics to see how many people open your emails, unsubscribe, unfollow you, or re-pin or re-post your content on social media.
Finding balance also applies to the variety of products and services you provide. Trying to cover too much, or too little, can be confusing to your audience. Remain focused on providing what your specific audience needs.
Step 3: Be Consistent
Your business will be recognizable the more consistent you are in your brand, your content, and your product. People like familiarity and the more familiar you are to them, the more they will feel comfortable coming to you.
Once you have your brand established, use your colors, fonts, and logo throughout your products (for example: labels), throughout your blog posts, and of course throughout your website and newsletters. You can set a schedule for when you release new products or have certain sales and promotions. Post to social media with some consistency by scheduling your posts when you are not able to be at the computer (learn more here).
Step 4: Provide Quality
This goes without saying. People want and deserve quality products and services. There are too many other places your customer could go for the same product or service so you better make your business rememberable. When people are happy with what you are providing, they will return. Hopefully, they will tell their friends about you and spread the word that you are the best at what you do.
By sticking to these simple steps, your business will continue to grow over time. Trust, balance, consistency, and quality are four pillars to growing your expert reputation.
What can you do in each of these areas to change your business for the better?