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Inside Waddle

5 Ways to Boost Your Business Image & Get Professional

Get social, get a "proper" website & clean up your image if you want to get noticed

Team WaddleTeam Waddle

It’s time to gain the edge on your competitor and come up with a sleek strategy to gain a sweet 20% advantage on the rest

You constantly monitor your competitors looking for who’s doing it better than you and determining who’s not doing it right..

By now we’d imagine you’ve been constantly tinkering with your brand, who you sell to, customer key pain points and even put together some buyer personas of your ideal customer/s. You’re in the early stages or been trading for some time and are looking to sharpen the edges.

Before you get lost or don’t know where to start, just remember it’s not all that difficult to present a professional image, sharpen those dull edges and get rid of some of those bad habits that present a lackluster effort to shine through when closing the deal.

Check out this list to get you started:

Get your language right for your target audience

Language can take so many forms and can be interpreted in different ways, so it’s very important that you understand how you convey your message keeping it uniformed across all the platforms that you intend to distribute your voice.

Clients/customers like consistency and like to feel a common theme or feeling across the whole company when they are dealing with you as a whole. It not only instills professionalism, it’s also a critical part of your sales process and comes with added trust.

Have you even noticed that when you visit big brands they use the words “we” and “us” a lot? This is referred to writing in ‘first person plural’. On all advertising materials including websites (excluding blogs) they avoid using “I” that can convey a feeling of singularity instead of using “we” & “us” which magnifies a collective feeling or team of people. Clients like to work with successful companies that have a certain mood or culture that in some way may attract them to your way of doing things.

Spelling and grammar need to held at the top of your must-have list. Just because it might be a blog doesn’t mean that readers will forgive you. You might get away with it once, however if it’s scattered through materials you’ll quickly build up a negative image and lose followers and potential sales as a result. People will never point out that you’re a good speller, but as soon as you start pushing out stuff that has mistakes, you’ll be tarnished.

Pay extreme attention to your website, our team read and re-read a hundred times over blogs and website copy and still found mistakes that were staring them in the face. Get someone else to read over your copy if you’re not confident and remember to fix mistakes as soon as you discover them. 

Our last point on language is to keep it simple or in the tone of your audience, using big words or replacing simple terms that your audience understands with smarter sounding words will only force your readers to lose interest and disconnect with you. Speak to your customers as you would normally do in conversation through your creative copy.

Become user-friendly with your website

We know you constantly hear that you need a great website! The truth is you do need a smart looking website however, two of the most important things that make a site great are easy navigation and speed.

We like to include search bars in as many places as necessary and categories on the blog to allow for navigation through topics. A big mistake that is seen too often is trying to include too many fancy graphics that really don’t mean anything or have no place being there. You need to think long and hard why it’s there and does it serve a purpose? Or do you just think it looks cool? Remember to steer well clear of stock images of people in business suits shaking hands or pointing at some notes.

That second thing is speed of your site. There are thousands of hosting providers out there and you might think that if your site is a little slow who cares right? Trust us, even a slightly slower site can cause a “bounce” meaning your visitor will not view any other pages and go somewhere else out of fear of waiting a few more seconds to load a page. We recommend trying Amazon web services (AWS) or asking your web guy to put your site on a dedicated server, it cost more however, you’ll be amazed at the speed increase.

Lastly, don’t overcrowd your home page (landing pages). Think about your key message or product and display this simply and clearly “above the fold”, this means to keep your most important stuff at the top of the browser window without having the user having scroll down and include a call to action in plain view, preferably in the middle of the page giving a clear indication of what you want them to do.

Domain Names

One of the seemingly harmless mistakes is opting for a free website or using one of those auto builders that you see like Wix.com, they are great when you’re just starting and need to get something up quickly, however, let’s get serious, do you want people think you’re a real business? Purchasing your own domain name only cost around $20, get your email address and stop using Hotmail or Gmail for your business email.

Customers are a very smart bunch these days, they can easily spot these finer details that you thought won’t matter, in the world of technology today you need to establish your own business identity from the get-go.

Email Signatures Are Our Pet Peeve!

How many times have you received an email with no contact details on it? We cringe when this happens and if it hasn’t happened to you then, no way!

Email is pretty much the only formal communication between each other today and leaves a lasting imprint in your readers mind. Do you care enough to create one? Does anyone work there but you? How the hell do I call you, or do you expect me to waste my time visiting your website to get your phone number? These are a few questions that go on in your customers’ subconscious mind.

At the very least you should include a neat looking couple of lines that displays your name, position, phone number and website that is branded to your company/trading name. Don’t put in all the hard work of selling yourself only for some minor image details that can creep into your customers’ mind that may manifest some doubt.

Social Media Existence

It’s fairly common knowledge today that if you’re on social media you need to be publishing and sharing relevant information to your audience. It needs to be informative, educational or entertaining. Everything else is just noise that results in losing followers.

We see business owners who get enthusiastic and set up a twitter, Facebook, Instagram, google+ and linkedIn accounts, throwing up nasty looking profile images that look like a half-baked attempt to be anything but professional. You need to think about which channels you want to use, try starting with just two and then expand from there, ensuring that you get your profile images correct. We like to use one simple icon from our logo and use this uniformly across all social media platforms. Customers then easy recognise this and gain a sense of consistency and professionalism.

The above may seem simple and you’ve likely heard or known about these, however like everything we need to be re-aligned and reminded about the simple things that can boost your presence and polish up your branding.

Got a tip for us, or spotted any mistakes? Let us know below.

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Waddle regularly shares client growth stories, thoughts on Fintech, lending, company culture, product strategy and design.