3 Effective Tips to Boost Your Small Business’ Credibility

Every business, regardless of size, needs to establish a sense of trust and credibility in order to attract and retain customers. Small businesses often have a harder time doing this, especially when they’re first starting out. Afterall, credibility is something that is earned over a period of time.

But fear not, even if you’re a small business that’s been operating for a few months, there are different things you can do to boost your brand’s credibility without breaking the bank. These strategies can help small businesses grow a solid reputation, one that will help attract new clients and increase sales.

3 Proven Ways to Build Brand Credibility and Attract New Clients

1. Use a professional business address.

Regardless of whether you work from home, a coffee shop, or wherever you’re able to get a reliable internet connection, you need to have a professional business address that you can use to receive and send mail and to meet with clients or vendors.

Many small businesses make the mistake of listing their home address as their business address. There are various issues with this, starting with security. Business addresses are publicly listed and if you’re using your home address, then anyone can send mail to your home or stop by for an unwelcome visit.

Furthermore, a business with an address in a residential zone isn’t bound to inspire much trust. In fact, many people might be skeptical about your business’ legitimacy and some may think you’re a scammer or an illegitimate company.

Some small businesses prefer to use a P.O. Box as their business mailing address. Although this is a step in the right direction, these addresses lack the business resources that your small business may need: designated suite number, meeting space, office space, business services, etc.

Implementing a virtual office, or several if you want to grow your business to different markets and locations, is often a good strategy for small businesses.

Virtual offices are affordable, flexible, and provide access to key business resources including but not limited to a reputable business address, mail handling and forwarding services, live receptionists who can receive calls in your brand’s image, a business center directory listing, and access to à la carte conference rooms and office space.

A quick but important side note on virtual office services: virtual office packages tend to include the option to get a local phone number. There are 4 distinct benefits to having a local business phone number:

  • Security – Listing your cell phone isn’t safe, especially if it will be made available online.
  • Professionalism – If a potential client, partner, or vendor calls your personal number and they get a personal voicemail greeting, there’s a high chance you won’t hear from them again.
  • Balance – Having a business number will make it easier to maintain work-life balance.
  • Automation – Having a business number means you can customize automated message greetings
  • Customer Acquisition If you get a business number together with a live receptionist service, then you can rest assured that all of your calls will be handled professionally which can improve your customer service and lead capturing.

2. Set up a professional email address and website

Having a well-designed, functioning website is not an option for businesses anymore, it’s a requirement. The first thing many people do when they’re looking for a new product or service is search online.

If you don’t have an online presence, those potential clients will never know you exist.

Once you have a website, make sure you keep it updated with current information. Just having a website isn’t enough, people want to know your business is active and ready to engage as soon as they’re ready to reach out. If your website looks outdated or has outdated information, that can negatively reflect on your brand and persuade a potential client to opt for a more polished and accessible competitor.

To keep your website updated, consider posting regular blogs (at least once a week) and making sure that you’re updating your deals or offers with visible expiration dates. If you feel like writing a blog once a week is too much to start, a good shortcut is to have your social media feed embedded on your website. Keeping active on social media will communicate to prospects that you’re up and running, and ready for business.

Most website hosting services also have the option for email hosting services. This means that instead of sending emails and proposals from an @gmail.com address, you will be sending them from @nameofyourbusiness.com email address. This goes a long way in presenting an image of credibility and it can also greatly help your branding efforts.

Pro tips for website and email:

  • Include client logos and testimonials in your website.
  • If you’re a team of 3 or more, include a team tab on your website and include images.
  • Make sure your email signature includes a link to your website and social media profiles, as well as your logo.
  • Make sure you have different email addresses for different purposes: customer service, sales, returns, etc.

3. Create quality content

Big businesses are often led by experts in their fields. Boost your small business brand by creating and sharing quality content to present yourself as an authority, and be sure to utilize different formats. You can write regular blogs or articles, create videos, write an ebook or a whitepaper, and share valuable insights on LinkedIn, do regular webinars, or host or participate in podcasts.

Pro tip for ebooks and whitepapers: make them free, but ask people for their email address before downloading. This enables you to build a robust email list while providing useful content.

Another way to present yourself as an expert and thought leader is to participate in events related to your industry, you can participate as a sponsor, a moderator, panelist, or keynote speaker.

Not only will this help boost your brand credibility, but it will also help you connect and engage with your community and customers. Relationships build trust and this can be easily done through readily-available content.

Last but not least, make sure you share your content across different platforms. As you amass a portfolio of work, be sure to share it on social media and get the word out.

One final bit of advice

As the owner or even a team member of a small business, you’ll want to look the part. When you’re ready to meet with a prospective client or business partners, either virtually or face-to-face, make sure you’re dressing the part. The same goes for your meeting venue. Meet in a professional setting or at least one that projects your company’s image. Coffee shops have their role, but remember that the location in which you do business sets the tone and image of your brand.

To build credibility you and your business have to look the part, this is why a professional address, a professionally designed logo, professional email addresses, and an active website can go a long way in building your brand’s reputation.

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