STANDING OUT as a business
Today, we're going to change the way you see your business. It doesn't really matter what type of business you're in, all that matters is how you can make sure you stand out from your competition. The simple answer: Self-Promotion.
SELF-PROMOTION: Number one way to stand out
This is the biggest drive in business. But what does it actually mean to self-promote?
First of all, lets look at some of the bigger brands, the likes of Apple, Microsoft or Virgin. Their logo is already set in our minds. If you see any of the logos of the big brands, you recognize it straight away. Even if you just see words or phrases that are written in the same font, you will instantly think about this brand. To give you an example, think about Coca-Cola. The way it is written, with all the loops and hoops in the writing, will instantly make you think about the brand.
To illustrate how effective branding is, try to take the Coca-Cola font and write a different brand name in the same font, such as Microsoft. Afterwards, show this to a random person and ask them what brand they instantly think about. The answer will always be Coca Cola. This is what's called brand awareness.
Now, the advise SME's or sole traders are getting from marketing companies, especially the ones who just start out in their business venture, is that you need to have a logo so that people can start recognising your brand at some stage.
Unfortunately, nobody tells you how long it actually takes for your logo to be recognised. There is another thing to consider, unless you can attract hundreds of thousands of people, worldwide, your business is unlikely to become a well-known brand. I know the truth hurts, but unfortunately this is a fact for many SME's.
So, what can you do to stand out? How can you promote your business better?
I know I'm probably repeating myself with this advise as I have written about it in many articles, but we have measured it, and today I can tell you with absolute certainty how you can create more awareness, promote yourself effectively and not only stand out, but make sure that you increase sales over the next few years without doing something too different from what you are already doing. Ready? Here it goes:
Simple ways to make your business stand out from the crowd
- All you need to do is use a photograph of yourself combined with your logo/brand or simply put a picture of you on any documentation that you provide to potential clients
In other words, it has been proven effective that including a face on marketing collaterals generates interest and raises brand awareness. So here is a list of marketing tools where you can include your photograph in:
- Business cards - Adding your photo to your business cards will work in several ways for you. First, it will help people to instantly remember you. No matter how long you wait to contact the person again, if you have met in person, handed over your business card, they will remember you. It is easier for us to remember faces rather than names.
Another aspect to consider is: How many business cards do you throw away on an annual basis? It's probably a lot if you go to regular networking events or meet a lot of people. The cards more likely to be kept are the ones which stand out or the ones with a photo on it. We tend not to throw away those cards. This is due to the fact that we have no problem throwing away a faceless card, but we certainly have a problem to throw a human being into the bin. Your card will be kept, especially if the other party liked you. Another factor is that if you get to the proposal stage, and offering your services to a client and lets say they have 2 or 3 other proposals on the table, who do you think they will do business with? The answer is not surprising: In 8 out of 10 cases, the proposal went to the person with a picture on their card. Consequently, the sales growth we have measured over the past 24 months with 10 business owners is on average 18%.
In addition, one surprisingly helpful result is that this method can also help you get rid of time wasters. Imagine you went to a networking event, and there is a person you didn't like or didn't feel you had a connection with. If a few days down the line this person gives you a call, and you don't remember them, they might be able to get you to meet with them. Only for you to discover that you will never do business with this individual. So, your time is wasted and so is his. However, if you have your picture on your card, this individual is less likely to give you a call as they probably felt the same about you. This is a win-win scenario for both businesses.
- Flyers - I think we can all agree that flyers are an utter waste of time. However there are still many businesses who rely on their flyers being delivered to households or businesses alike. Again, by simply adding the photograph of the business owner to the flyer (no other changes were done on the flyer to measure real results) their return went from 1.5% to nearly 5%.
- Sales and marketing letters - A similar approach was taken with sales and marketing letters. We are talking a physical letter rather than an email. In this case, we have used the sales letter with a follow up campaign (a phone call simplly asking if the letter was received and to try to arrange a meeting). Previous results showed that the meeting rate was approx. 15% (which is still impressive) with a 30% closing rate. However, after adding the photograph on to the letter the meeting rate went up to 39% on average with a closing rate beyond the 50% mark.
- Brochures - A lot of brochures are done to enhance the sales process. This is usually to provide additional details/benefits to the client. We don't have real results on this one as it usually was combined with giving away a business card plus the brochure, but after talking to potential customers and asking them about the difference between the 2 brochures shown with the same content, all customers noted that the brochure with the photograph made a difference in their purchasing decision.
- Email - Adding a picture to your email can also provide certain benefits. You can either have it as part of your email (usually shown somewhere in a corner) or add the photo as part of the content or signature. The benefits are great, especially if you have an email list that you use regularly to send out a newsletter. People like to see who they are dealing with or see the person behind the content. We have talked to 25 customers about this and 16 of them said that they would at least open the newsletter if they know the person or feel they have a connection with them. Only 9 out of the 25 had no interest in this, but they did like the fact that they can see a person is behind the newsletter.
There you have it. 5 ways how your individuality can help you drive more business, automatically without major changes to your content or marketing material.
I know what some of you might say now: "I have so many business cards, I don't want to throw them away." Well, here is a simple solution: Give those away to people you don't want to do business with. The biggest question you need to ask yourself is this:
Do you want to make 2016 your best sales year yet? In CoachClinic, we use this simple task of change to determine if the client is ready to work with us.
So, today I dare you: If you make this change and provide me with proof of a before and after business card and send it to me by email, I will provide you with a complimentary Sales Consultancy where you get 1 hour to pick my brain on how to drive even more sales to your business. Do we have a deal?
Thank you for reading
Want more marketing advice for your growing business? Check out my other articles: