The following article was written by Toby Smith.
As the owner of a service-based business, one of the biggest challenges you face is growing your reputation – and with it, your client base.
While advertising can help get your name out there, it’s no substitute for word of mouth – and there’s no faster way to spread the word than via the internet.
Use these 3 resources well and you can bring new, eager customers flooding to your door.
If you think that LinkedIn is just for jobseekers, think again. Your LinkedIn profile is far more than just a CV – it’s a way to provide verified, public proof of your expertise.
LinkedIn has an awesome recommendations function where clients, colleagues and peers can endorse your skills and leave comments on their experience of working with you. Unlike testimonials on your website, these can be followed back to other LinkedIn users, proving their authenticity.
LinkedIn allows you to build your network and reach out to potential clients, partners or influencers in your industry. A great way to establish your credibility is to join one or more groups related to your sector and share your expertise by participating in group discussions.
You can also publish content on LinkedIn, to showcase your knowledge to prospective clients.
You may even decide to set up a company page to share news and information with your clients – but remember that an out-of-date or sparsely populated page will make your business look unresponsive, so it’s best to steer clear unless you have the time and resources to make regular posts and respond to comments in a timely fashion.
A professional website is critical to your success. It’s no secret that more people are researching online first and now over 50% of website traffic is coming from mobile devices. A mobile-optimised website is the core of your online presence.
“Quite a number of companies recognise the significance of a high performing website and will take a short-term loan to get their website up to speed much sooner,” says Shaun McGowan from Lend.com.au
If you’re planning to use inbound marketing to attract customers, your website is the tool you’ll use to convert them from prospects into satisfied clients.
As well as giving people a compelling overview of what you do (and why you do it better than anyone else), your website should provide useful, relevant content that proves you really do understand the problems your potential clients face – and have the skills and experience to solve them.
Whether you maintain a blog, or provide infographics, videos or online courses, the key is to give people a free taste of what you have to offer, so they know how much value you have to offer them.
- Guest blogging
Maintaining a blog is hard work but is an important job, so website owners are often willing to publish content from other contributors, provided it’s relevant to their audience and written in a compatible style.
If there are businesses or influencers in your sector with blogs that your client base is likely to follow, reach out and ask if you can contribute posts. If successful, you’ll not only get your work in front of a much larger audience, but you’ll be able to increase your credibility by association with a well-respected blog.
Pollinators would like to say a huge thank you to freelance writer and business student, Toby Smith for writing this article for our website. We wish you all the best with your future studies.