As small business owners we are all looking for ways to build our brand and encourage our customers to stay customers. Let’s be honest, sometimes our best efforts still feel like we’re just doing the same thing and hoping for different results. We all want to increase sales and make our business stand out. Here are a few simple strategies to get you and your team brainstorming and collaborating on how to build your brand.
1. Create a memorable customer experience through great customer service.
Customers talk. Period. What are you leaving your customers with? What is the final impression you give to a customer? Whether you have 20 employees or 1, training your employees to always treat the customer with respect and just an honest attempt at being friendly, is pretty easy. People always seem surprised when they find someone that makes eye contact, smiles and genuinely wants to help. Customer service doesn’t have to be difficult. Create a strong culture of employees that are truly friendly and that know your product or are honest enough to say, “I’m still learning and training.” That’s ok to say! Afterall, we’ve all been through job training at one point or another. Encourage your team to leave your customers feeling like friends. Create an environment where people want to be around your team. That’s a memorable customer experience that people will want to come back for.
2. Create a discount program through a newsletter or email list.
Everyone loves a discount! It’s really easy to create a printable 10% off discount or an online code discount for your newsletter recipients. Create a program that is easy to use for your customers and even easier for your employees to honor.
3. Create an environment of local citizenship and support.
Whether you are a small business in a small town or a small business in a big city, there are always ways to volunteer and support your town. Encouraging your team to give back or supporting a day where you and your customers show up to volunteer, is a great way to get your company’s name out in your community. Ask for volunteer matches from your customers. If you have 12 employees, ask your customers for 12 volunteers to match up with your team to volunteer. Now, you’re engaging your customers, giving your employees the chance to give back and strengthening your brand by being present in your area. Even doing a book bag drive, coat drive, blanket drive – whatever drive speaks to you – encourage your customers and employees to get involved to give back!
4. Create your social media presence and community.
While you’re out there volunteering or donating your goods collected, take pictures!!! Use the pics of your team giving back on your social media! Build the community by mentioning the nonprofit groups you are volunteering with or giving goods to. Tagging your other local businesses to encourage them to do the same can have a positive ripple effect in your hometown. Create a social media presence and build that community every chance you get. Social networking is the quickest way to grow your brand following.
5. Give a freebie from time to time.
Who doesn’t want a freebie? Whether it’s an actual product from your brand or a trinket of marketing, putting a free something in someone’s hand, always fun and always works! Not many people turn down free stuff! Have fun with it! “Wow, you are our 27th customer on the third Wednesday of the month!” Surprise someone out of the blue with an easy freebie and don’t forget to post it on your social media! Have fun with it!
6. Utilize your website for content and resources that support your customers.
If you’re a mechanic, you may think your website just needs to have hours of operation and a street address. But, what if….just what if…your website became the place your customers go to for resources on their car. Little things, like “how to change your wiper blades” or “best ways to get vomit smell out of your car upholstery.” – We’ve all been there, right? This content is a great way to utilize keywords for your website ranking while also adding really valuable information for your clients. Again, social media!! Make sure your community knows these resources are on your website by adding links to your content. Oh, and your team at Localmize can help you with content and your social media!
7. You know we love a referral program or a loyalty program.
Referral programs and loyalty programs are a great way to give back to your customers! Encouraging your customers to help your business and then offering something in return is always a great plan! You can even create a referral program with the other small businesses in your area. Utilize your social media platforms to give shoutouts to each other about products, partnerships or volunteer opportunities. You’re growing your brand, encouraging your customers to be a part of your growth and you’re helping out other business owners at the same time! Win, win, win!
Got questions on content or social media? We can help! Reach out to us at Localmize to show you how easy it is to build your brand, your website and your social media presence! Contact | Localmize