How your small business can make a big impression

Your service and knowledge might be second to none, but you still need to compete with the big players to get customers through the door. And, unfortunately, many small businesses find it challenging to attract clients due to perceptions of limited size, scope and operations.

While your business may be relatively small, that doesn’t mean people need to perceive it that way.

Here are some practical ways to project the impression of scale.

Develop your personal brand

Perception equals reality, as the saying goes. A simple, but fundamental, way to change the perception of your business is to develop a brand, complemented by a name that doesn’t make it obvious you’re a sole trader.

Start by creating a business name, rather than using your own name and avoid consistently referencing yourself personally.

Other quick fixes include renting a post office box instead of using a home address, and using a business email address, rather than a personal one.

Next, develop your branding. Forget about your size; instead, consider what you want people to think about you. Focus on promoting the strengths and unique elements of your company.

The Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia noted last year that customers who have gone through brokers generally have high levels of satisfaction because they believe a broker:

  • provides access to a variety of products
  • matches customers with appropriate products
  • removes stress from the arrangement process.

In short, people come to mortgage brokers for the experience.

The experience of the process, then, should feature in your company’s marketing strategy. Give the impression that people’s affairs are being managed by professionals who can provide a positive customer experience.

Improve your social media presence

According to a Nielsen monthly survey from July 2016, Australia has nearly 16 million Facebook users, and almost seven million of us are on Twitter, so a savvy social media strategy has never been more important.

A good starting point is to regularly post content which draws upon the unique resources and whole-of-industry view you have as a broker. You don’t need to be the biggest in town to share information or comment on topical financial issues.

Producing content that taps into the concerns, needs and desires of your audience, rather than posting articles or notes which seem overtly self-serving and scream ‘look at me’, have a better chance of resonating with your target audience. Make sure that you observe any legal or compliance obligations when adding content to your website.

Create a professional website

When you’re in the digital space, it’s wise to invest some money in creating (and maintaining) a polished, professional website.

Short information videos are a great website tool. This 2015 Webmarketing 123 report shows that seven out of 10 B2B and B2C marketers believe video to be the most effective content marketing tactic.

A live-chat window is another increasingly popular way to add useful bells and whistles to your website. Upon entering your site, a small chat window will pop up and ask the visitor if they need help; this is a way to engage with potential customers, strengthening the chance of converting them into genuine clients.

The key takeaway – the more types of content that are available on your website, the more it looks like there’s a team of people working behind the scenes.

Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but as a sole trader or new broker you may need to boost your image. For more information about marketing your small business, please contact us.