1. Ignore Social Media
Social Media has been around for a while now, and guess what – it is here to stay! So if you want to ensure you don’t connect with potential customers whilst the competition is finding new ways to build up meaningful relationships, then simply ignore it.
2. Skimp on Design
The old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” may be admirable, but in reality we all do it. If your business cards look and feel a bit naff, and your logo looks like a cheap download then you are putting the wrong message out to your customers. Let’s be clear – a brand isn’t your logo. But good graphic design plays a big part in influencing it.
3. Aim to Satisfy Your Customer
Customers shouldn’t feel like you provided them “good value”. You need to WOW them so they feel like they got good value and then some! So stop thinking “another satisfied customer” is a good thing – and start blowing your customers socks off.
4. Follow Industry Norms
Industry norms are there for a reason right, that’s how you should do things? WRONG! Just because the same thing has been done the same way in your industry since the dawn of time, doesn’t mean you need to be doing it too. Break the mould – and make people take notice of the way YOU do things.
5. Compete on Price
Let’s be honest – there is always going to be somebody who can offer a price lower than yours. So having low price as your main USP is a dangerous strategy. The dangerous thing about competing on price is that you might win! It also lowers the overall value customers place on your offering – and why should a customer care about something they don’t value? Price your product/service at what it is really worth, and add value to it in any way you can.
6. Hide Your Personality
People like dealing with real people, so by injecting little or no personality into your business you appear cold and unfriendly. We can hear all you “professionals” screaming “but we run a professional business.” Yes – and there is a line you don’t want to cross, but a little bit of humanity or humour goes a long way. Make yourself likeable! Think about it – would you do business with somebody you didn’t like?
7. Do Things as You’ve Always Done Them.
Don’t be scared of change within your own business. You may be used to the way you work, and have tried and tested methods, but don’t let this put you off trying something new every now and then. Keep your business fresh and constantly evolving, but stick to your core values.
8. Always be a Salesperson
Nobody likes being sold too – it doesn’t feel good and it puts people off your brand. Instead of talking – try listening to your customers and be as helpful as you can. If you want to be an expert in your industry share your expertise and position yourself as somebody that cares. People will come naturally to you, if they can see for themselves the value you can add to their business.
9. Assume People Like to Read
OK – this is an odd one, but how many websites/flyers/posters/adverts etc. have you seen that try to cram on all the text they can in size 0.5 font. People will respond better if you can get across a quicker and simpler message of how you can help. Also – use VIDEO! With services like Youtube and Vimeo, great camera phones, and free editing software it has never been easier to use video effectively in your marketing and branding.
10. Focus on Products over People
This is a big one, and sometimes can be hard to crack, but instead of focussing so much on all the different products and services you offer. Think about who it actually is that needs your services – and then make sure that whatever you do is intended for these people. From the way you speak, to the way you dress, to how information is relayed on your website. Truly care about your clients wants and needs and go out of your way to understand them better. This will give you a much stronger place in your market.
ACTION: Look at all 10 points and rate yourself out of 10. 1 being I never do this, and 10 being I always do this. If you score less than 50 – well done! More than 50, look at your highest scoring zones and work out how you can be less boring!