In a time where startups are a dime a dozen, and your big corp competitors have a limitless marketing budget, do you ever worry about how your new business will fare?
It’s human to feel that way. Truth is, if you don’t do something about it, your startup won’t stand a chance. One good way to rise above this challenge is to create brand authority for your new business.
First impressions are crucial. In an era that’s more visually-minded than any other time in recent history, first impressions make or mar a sprouting new business.
A bold and professional brand is the difference between getting across to your customers and getting drowned out. Once you have a strong, established brand, customers begin to look out for you, rather than the other way round. Want to learn how?
1. Create a streamlined visual brand
First impressions are 94 percent design-related, so it’s understandably plays a large role in how others perceive the quality of your business.
The key to a streamlined visual brand is consistency. You might not have the money to hire a professional graphic designer when you’re just starting out, but by maintaining consistency with your logo, fonts, and colors, you’ll appear a thousand times more professional at first look.
Keep your logo simple, scalable and legible. Create one logo option for horizontal formats and one square variety, like a symbol, to give yourself flexibility, and use them again and again.
2. Use high-quality pictures
Look through LinkedIn for a moment, and tell me you don’t take the people with professional headshots a little more seriously than those who cropped their head out of an old casual photo.
High-quality pictures go far, particularly for a new business. Invest in professional headshots as well as branded photographs that can be used on your website.
Consider having them taken in your workspace or another fitting environment, ensure the color scheme is consistent with your visual brand and stock up on them so you can consistently utilize them in social media posts, pamphlets, newsletters and so forth.
3. Create an attractive, user-friendly website
According to a Stanford research, 75 percent of users make judgments about a business credibility based on the design of their website.
When potential customers or hires want to find out more about you, chances are they will look online, which is where you can fail if your website looks like a basic DIY job, complete with tacky colours, poorly chosen fonts, terrible imagery or badly written copy.
If you want to appear bigger and more established, now could be the perfect time to improve your website or get a brand new one done.
4. Keep up a consistent, authoritative voice
Consider this: Would you choose to undergo surgery with a specialist who spoke timidly and appeared to be uneasy with the procedure or one who talked confidently and seemed familiar with the procedure? It’s a no-brainer.
Take the phrases “I think…” or “in my opinion…” out of your company vocabulary. Own your words. Act like you’ve been there some time before and show that you know what you’re talking about.
Use a clear and bold tone of voice on social media, webinars, emails or your website — and maintain confidence and consistency.
5. Get a more impressive address
What’s your office address? An address within a residential lot – e.g. Flat 2A Osuntokun Avenue, New Bodija, Ibadan – could leave customers with the impression that yours is a small home-based business. Even if it isn’t, customers are likely to conclude so.
Paying for a PO Box address is a solution. Or you could rent an office address in a more desirable area of town.
Of course there is nothing wrong with being a home-based business, but bigger companies aren’t usually operated from someone’s home.
6. Register your business
Registering your business is a quick, cheap and relatively easy task. It will enable people to take you more seriously. Find out how to register your business in Nigeria.
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