Sometimes it’s hard to see things from a different viewpoint, especially when you are a business owner. We must always remember that what you enjoy might not be what your potential customer enjoys. Seeing things from a customer’s point of view is crucial to your success. Put yourself in their shoes! It might not be as hard as you imagine.
An example, by Krista, the owner of Cincy Photo Pro:
“I recently went out of town and decided to go to a spa. I knew nothing about the area so I started on Google to find something close. I looked at the photos and Google street view to get an idea of the area and cleanliness of the facility. I looked at reviews and finally an easy booking process that allowed me to select a time and service I wanted.”
We can ALL relate to this example, as we are all consumers of all kinds of businesses. Think of your last business transaction, whether it be at a restaurant or a spa. Now think of what you are selling.
- What steps did you take to find the business?
- What research did you do on them?
- What would make your ideal customers choose you over your competition?
Let’s break down the most common reasons business are chosen using our handy example!
Location and Listing
The first thing that Krista did, as most people do, was to search for a business virtually. Let’s face it, no one uses their physical Yellow Pages anymore for anything other than a doorstop. The general public will usually turn to Google, Apple Maps, Yelp, or other virtual search tools to easily find what they are looking for.
Do a quick search for your business the way you would look for any other without using your business name. Test all possible ways people might look for your business. Ask your friends and family to do a quick search. Does your business come up? If not, don’t fret. It just means you need to invest some time and maybe money into Google and directory listings.
Of course, we’d be crazy not to mention photos, right? Photos can give us the best idea of where a business is located, what the business looks like inside and out, what the staff looks like and how the services work.
Look at all your businesses pictures, everywhere (FB, Google, website, etc.). Do they adequately represent what your company stands for? Do they give the right impression? Are they professional enough? Do your photos speak to your ideal audience? These are all questions that the potential customer will judge you on. If you don’t like what you see, it might be time to take some new ones photos!
As consumers, we want to know exactly what we are getting and how it differs from other companies. There is a lot to consider when you have content out there, the first question being, what problem are you solving? Then you will need to tell exactly how you plan to that problem as simply, but detailed as you can. Don’t underestimate the power of content!
Read through your content. Proof your service descriptions. Do they give you a complete idea of what the consumer will receive? Are they detailed enough? Do they show how your services or offerings differ from your competition? Does the content entice you? If you feel your content is lacking, it might be time to add descriptions and explanations that really speak to your audience. Don’t be afraid of adding too much. Google really likes a lot of content. Just make sure it’s relevant.
Reviews and Personal Recommendations
If a consumer is not familiar with a company, they will first check out the reviews to reaffirm their decision. Reviews are like your scorecard to the rest of the world on how well the public liked your offerings.
Browse through all your reviews wherever they are listed (Google, Yelp, FB, etc.). How often do they occur? Are they consistent? Are you answering them? Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have many or haven’t had any in a while. Develop a review building plan! You can do this by sending out automatic emails that give the clients a direct link to write a review and even ask personally. Strive to get consistent reviews. It can be the lifeblood of a successful business.
Whatever you do, DO NOT pay for reviews. The public will find out and consumer trust in your brand will suffer. Another great tip is to make sure you are answering reviews. Google takes notice if you are not answering and will rate you as an unresponsive business. If you are facing a really tough review, take a deep breath and try to do the best damage control as you can. Your reputation will depend upon it.
We hope this information has helped to give your business the best chance it has online! It may be a difficult view point, especially for business owners that have done brick and mortar forever, and online marketing is still a bit of a challenge. We understand. Do the best you can!
Looking to give your company the best visual impression possible? At Cincy Photo Pro, we are an extension to your marketing team, creating the visual content needed to help attract your ideal customer and represent you and your company best! Contact us today!
Looking for marketing gurus that can help get you found, maintain reviews, and create content? Look to our partners like LDR Design. They will give you an online presence that you can be proud of. Contact them today!