What can a small-business brand do to build credibility? Here’s what we’ve learned.

We love our office building. It’s in a great, walkable community and everyone that visits always compliments the unique décor.

If it’s their first time visiting us, our guests think that we occupy the entire building – all two stories of it. They’re always surprised to learn that we are simply one suite among many others and often comment that we seem bigger than we actually are.

It’s a huge compliment, and one that’s gotten us thinking: What can a small-business brand do to build credibility?

In reality, we’re a small, nimble team in a modest space — which allows us to manage our resources and communicate efficiently within both LEAP for Women and our consulting firm, Recourse Resource. We have a talented team and it works out great.

But you and I both know that to many people, size matters. And a polished brand is often perceived as being upheld by a bigger business entity.

In our journey as a startup, we’ve learned some important things about brand credibility that apply to any new or small business — and we want to share them with you!

Think Digital

Every business should be online these days, but having a website isn’t enough to build credibility. To begin growing, you must present a robust and consistent digital footprint.

There’s no shortage of social media platforms and it can quickly become overwhelming when you think of managing a presence on each one. Think strategically instead and take stock of where your customers are and build a presence on those platforms.

For example, at Recourse Resource, we focus much of our efforts on building a robust presence on LinkedIn where our target customers, healthcare leaders, will likely encounter our posts. Meanwhile, at LEAP, we have a lot of fun interacting on Facebook with women entrepreneurs.

No matter which digital platforms fit your business niche, it’s important to make sure your brand looks to be alive and well, which brings us to the next point…

Be Consistent

Your website and social media accounts are only as good as the content that’s on it.

A robust content strategy ensures that you have a consistent presence on the platforms you choose. A great starting point is to keep your website up-to-date with fresh, relevant information, which includes updating your blog with regularly-scheduled posts to establish your voice as an expert in your field. Additionally, developing a strong social media presence on those carefully selected platforms can take everything deeper in the quest to personalize your brand.

Be sure to use a consistent voice everywhere your business exists online. A case of multiple personalities can cause confusion for your customers and potential customers alike, but a consistent voice will establish a strong foundation for your brand as your audience comes to know you as the authority you are.

Be Selective

Money is key to the survival of a small business — and so is your sanity. Knowing your niche and working within in it are critical to your business’ growth.

In other words, it’s okay to be selective.

At our consulting firm, for example, we target healthcare delivery organizations. We’re confident in our offering and understand our niche, so we choose to be selective among our prospects. We know when to pursue working together or refer a prospect to someone else who might be a better fit — and that enables us to do our best work.

It can be tough to turn down potential business, but if a client or collaborator isn’t the right fit, you could cost yourself more time and money than you bargained for. Be bold enough to work within your zone, even if it means saying no from time to time.

It can be scary to think about building a brand from scratch, but you’ve got this!

Remember: Doing things at a high level of competency, and with consistency, are the keys to establishing and maintaining your brand’s credibility. If we can do it, we know you can, too!

About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO

Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.

She loves LEAP because:

We’re an authentic resource for women who want the nitty-gritty details of running a business. I want everyone to have the same amazing resources I had.

A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.

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