Although statistics are a little hard to come by, data collected a few years back estimated that there were between 12 and 24 million businesses online. While it’s believed that only 650,000 of those businesses generate annual sales of more than $1000, it’s still a staggering number.
This means that if you want your online business to thrive, you need to think about how you’re going to stand out in such a crowded market. The 4 P’s of Marketing are no longer enough.
So how can you make sure your business gets noticed over the competition? What can you do to give your online business the best chance of succeeding?
You need to make clients fall in love with your online business.
It might seem a little trite, but it’s a legitimate business strategy in the modern age.
Here are some tips and tricks for building an online business your clients will love.
Become an Expert in Your Niche
Before you can stand out, you need to get noticed. Often it’ll be your business itself that’s seen as an expert in your niche, but I think it is just as important, if not more important, that the key people in your business are viewed the same way.
Here are a few ways you can achieve that:
- Be seen as many places as possible. Becoming an expert in your niche is not simple – despite what a lot of online guides might claim. It’s never easy, but you need your name to be associated with your niche, and for that to happen, you need to be everywhere.
- Know that guest posting is still a great way to build trust and authority. Google went on record many years ago to say that guest posting is not a great tactic – for
SEO. That doesn’t mean you can’t guest post to build your personal brand. Whether the links count or not, you are putting yourself in front of thousands of potential clients every time you post on a prominent site in your niche.
- Credit your inspiration. If you want to be taken seriously in your niche, you have to make sure that you acknowledge your inspiration and sources. Nobody likes a thief. Not only does this build credibility, but it also helps you get noticed by other experts in your niche.
- Know your topic inside out – this one almost goes without saying. If you want to be an expert, if you’re going to be seen as an expert, then you actually need to be an expert. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, chances are you’ll quickly get called out.
Be Likable and Become Liked
So this may sound a little wishy-washy, but as Robert Cialdini pointed out:
“People prefer to say yes to those that they like.
But what causes one person to like another? Persuasion science tells us that there are three important factors. We like people who are similar to us, we like people who pay us compliments, and we like people who cooperate with us towards mutual goals.”
So how do you become more liked?
- Help people – while it can be tough to plan out your day and get everything done, you have to be there when your clients ask questions. Detailed responses backed up by trusted authority figures in your niche is a great way to do this.
- Be friendly – you’ll be surprised how often I see this one being missed. It may sound simple, but sometimes it can be hard to be pleasant when you have a lot on your plate. I’ve found that stepping away from an issue (even for a short time) can make a difference in how my emails and phone calls come across. I am also a big fan of using sentiment analysis tools in my emails.
- Care and genuinely give a damn – being friendly is essential, but if you’re friendly without being caring, people will notice. If you want people to fall in love with your online business, you need to show how much you value them.
- Go above and beyond – going that extra mile is essential. It’s not always easys, but exceeding expectations can help you become indispensable to your clients’ businesses.
This may seem obvious but when tensions are running high, staying professional can be easier said than done. We’ve all been on the receiving end of bad customer experiences and, more often than not, we don’t use that business again.
Don’t let that happen to your business. Here are some of my favorite tips on staying professional when under pressure.
- Don’t talk down to people or judge them – there’s nothing worse than talking down to a client or prospect. It doesn’t matter how much or how little they know about your niche, you need to treat them as your equal.
- Be organized – organization is a crucial factor in ensuring your business runs smoothly. It’s also vital for making sure your clients know they can trust you. They need to be confident that you’ll deliver on your promises. I like to use tools like Trello, Clickup, and Todoist to make sure I stay on top of all my tasks.
- Take notes and follow up – there’s nothing that screams “I don’t care” more than not taking notes in meetings. While you might think you can remember everything, odds are you can’t. Note-taking is an important skill and one that helps build trust. I’m also a big fan of sending a follow up email highlighting the meeting’s most important takeaways. Clients appreciate you taking the time to do this, and it helps keep everyone on the same page.
While your clients might not fully appreciate what you’ve done for them when you’ve acted fast, quick response times and resolutions are still essential to making clients love your business.
Clients will always remember the times you didn’t act fast.
- If there’s an emergency, deal with it immediately – handling emergencies is something that every business has to do. How you deal with those emergencies has a significant effect on your clients’ perception of you and your business. You need to ensure that all emergencies are dealt with quickly and issues are solved in as little time as possible.
- Offer top quality support – according to Helpscout, 81% of companies that provide an excellent level of customer service are more successful than their competitors. Implementing a scalable support system as soon as possible is essential to getting clients to fall in love with your business.
Make Sure All Correspondence Is Timely
Timely correspondence is another way to ensure clients fall in love with your business. Going the extra mile helps build trust that’s essential for success.
- Update clients as quickly as possible – whether it’s a change to how your business works or a crisis, you need to keep your clients in the loop. This is crucial to winning the trust of your clients and helping them love you.
- Stick to your deadlines – they’re incredibly important. Even when your clients don’t or can’t stick to their deadlines, you need to make sure that you and your team are sticking to yours.
Keep Customers in the Know
Nobody likes being kept in the dark – so make sure that your clients aren’t. Employing several methods of keeping your clients in the loop is another excellent way to help them fall in love with your online business.
- Be transparent – how do you work? How do you report? Be open about these details from the get-go, so clients know exactly what they’re getting for their money.
- Set up a clients-only newsletter – one of my favorite ways to keep customers informed is with a clients-only newsletter. It makes them feel valued, helps keep the lines of communication open, and boosts retention.
- Blog regularly – you’ll probably have seen this tip a thousand times, but blogging is important. It ties back to how you become a trusted source in your industry, and it lets your clients know that you practice what you preach.
If you want clients to fall in love with your online business, then you need to be honest and transparent. You need to make sure the channels of communication are kept open and that you act in a friendly and professional manner.
It isn’t always easy – especially if a client is upset or angry – but you need to maintain that level of friendliness and professionalism.
In the world of online business, you get back what you put in – including what you put into looking after your clients.
What methods do you use for making clients fall in love with your online business?
Let us know in the comments below.
Happy Customers – Deposit Photos