By Catherine Lang-Cline
You work so hard to grow your business, but what if you were simultaneously working against it? It’s not as crazy as it seems. Many business owners make the following common mistakes that may be costing more business than you realize.
1. Having social media accounts but not staying current with them. Maybe you signed up for Twitter but quickly got busy with other things. Or you’ve forgotten all about your company’s Facebook page and haven’t posted any updates for the past two years. If this happens, how do prospects know that you are still in business? A dormant page raises a lot of questions about company’s professionalism and ability to complete a job.
Social media is a simple, free way to get customers to see your name and brand, over and over again. If you’re at a loss for content, just talk about things occurring in your business. Pass along useful tips and sometimes, toot your own horn. If that feels awkward, just think about how you would want others to talk about your business and post things with that voice. If it is still difficult, you can re-tweet or share other people’s articles that are pertinent to your area of business to show that you are connected and the expert in your area. The important thing is to be consistent and to have a presence where your customers are; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat or something else. Otherwise, people might think that you have closed your doors.
2. Downplaying your business. When introducing yourself and your business do you say things like, “We are a small firm,” “We have only been in business a couple of years,” “It’s just me right now.” You get the idea. You start downplaying your ability even though all your customers say you are awesome. If someone has a huge project that you are perfect for, are they going to give it to someone who might not seem like they can handle it? You might be a solopreneur, but they don’t need to know that. It sounds so much better to hear, “I am the President and Founder of my company,” “We bring years of experience to the table,” “We have a tight team of experts that can tackle anything.” Always talk like you are equal to your competitors or other vendors your potential client might be working with. That is the business you want and it makes them comfortable to know that you can deliver. Don’t make it sound like it is a risk to take a chance on you.
3. Not becoming involved in the community. People like working with people they like. So you need to get out there are show people your passion so they can see how likeable you truly are. Sponsor or volunteer at events that are affiliated with the people you want to do business with. It shows that you care. Attend networking events and meet the same people over and over, they will tell others how friendly and helpful you are. Join boards and write articles or newsletters to exhibit to future clients that you are the expert. If you’re not doing the work of staying engaged, connected and visible, you won’t be top of mind when it’s your prospects’ time to buy. By avoiding these common ways of sabotaging your business, you help ensure all your hard work pays off. Get out there, talk about how great your business is and let people know that you are ready to get to work!