Many small enterprises live or die by recommendations. Turning first-time clients into repeat patrons can be a great way to generate positive word of mouth and attract new business. However, if your business is just starting out, attracting clients, much less receiving recommendations, is liable to seem like an uphill battle. Still, every enterprise needs to start somewhere, and while spreading the word may prove challenging, it’s by no means impossible. Budding entrepreneurs looking to generate positive word of mouth and build a solid reputation for their businesses would do well to take the following measures.
Distributing Branded Items
When looking for effective ways to spread the word about your small business, you can’t go wrong with branded items. As such, it’s in your best interest to fund the creation of custom bags, pens, notepads, hats and other practical items that bear your business’s name and/or logo. In addition to supplying these items to clients, make a point of distributing them at local networking events, like job fairs and charity drives.
Maintain an Active Social Media Presence
With virtually every business under the sun embracing social media, no fledgling enterprise can afford to write it off. Popular social platforms provide businesses with free and convenient outlets to keep interested parties abreast of their goings-on and expand their respective customer bases. Of course, to get the most out of your social media endeavors, you’ll need to maintain an active presence across a variety of platforms. Not only does this entail posting new content each day, it means making efforts to engage your audience and create posts that will generate interest.
In the interest of fostering a personal connection with your followers, make a point of responding to any questions, comments or queries posed via social media in a timely and courteous fashion. This will show your followers that their input is truly valued and make them feel more personally invested in the success of your enterprise – and the more personally invested they feel, the more apt they are to support you financially and recommend that their followers do the same.
If your social media experience is lacking, you’d be well-served by reaching out to an experienced web marketing company or hiring a dedicated social media manager. This will enable you to concentrate on other aspects of business management while leaving all things social media-related in the hands of seasoned professionals.
Deliver on Your Professional Promises
While delivering on professional promises may seem like a no-brainer for any enterprise, it’s particularly important for businesses that are just getting their start. If your business fails to assert itself as dependable early on, word of mouth is likely to be anything but positive. With this in mind, make a point of going above and beyond for every client who darkens your doorstep. Furthermore, take care to avoid promising more than you can deliver, as this is practically guaranteed to result in frustration and disappointment. Consistently completing work on time and on budget and maintaining a courteous, professional attitude will go a long way with many clients, so before making a customer a promise, make sure it’s something your enterprise is fully equipped to deliver on.
Request Client Testimonials
You can help spread positive word of mouth for your enterprise by requesting testimonials from satisfied clients. In addition to being prominently displayed on your websites, these testimonials should also be featured in various print promotions. When reaching out to clients for testimonials, make sure to avoid coming off as desperate or annoying. Not every satisfied client is going to have the follow-through or bandwidth to provide a testimonial, and attempting to pressure them into it is unlikely to do your business any favors.
To call promoting a fledgling small business difficult would be an understatement. No matter how essential the products and/or services you provide are, expecting people to simply discover your enterprise on their own is unrealistic. Fortunately, positive word of mouth can go a long way, especially in the digital age. As such, leaving a lasting impression on both clients and prospective patrons is sure to serve your business well in the long run. Small business owners looking to get the word out can benefit from the pointers discussed above.