The secret to landing big contracts isn’t deeper pockets or more manpower—it’s getting prospects to trust you. Understanding this fact has not only helped our startup marketing company land on the Inc. 5000 list, but it has helped the roughly 2,000 small businesses we’ve coached to compete with the world’s largest financial institutions. Based on our experience, here are six ways you can jump-start your credibility.
Pay Attention to Branding
Branding lends an air of credibility and professionalism to any company. Small businesses can implement a successful branding strategy from the outset by ensuring that all visual assets, such as company colors and logos, are complementary and present across all marketing communications. I suggest working with an experienced web or graphic designer who can help you achieve a consistent look. Social media profiles, in particular, should be custom tailored to match your professional website. To date, our design department has rebranded over 230 separate companies, and in every case, there has been a measurable increase in their lead volume as a result.
Apart from consistency in design, large companies understand the importance of using a specific tone in all marketing copy. With a bit of research, small businesses can adopt this practice just as effectively. Whether your company’s tone is hip, informative, corporate, or otherwise will be dictated by your target demographic and the language they speak.
Partner With Established Businesses
One of the greatest advantages large companies have over small businesses is longevity. Fortunately, late bloomers don’t have to be left in the dust—they can borrow some of this credibility by teaming up with businesses that have already earned the trust of customers.
It’s not necessary to enter into partnerships that are long-term or legally complicated. Instead, focus on targeting established companies that complement your product line and offer to promote their products or services in exchange for an endorsement.
Besides cross-promotion, other partnership opportunities exist, particularly online. For instance, it’s common for influencers to team up and publish an opinion post or a special report on a trending issue. These posts have a tendency to go viral, and everyone involved benefits from the publicity.
Alternately, you can form partnerships with trusted nonprofits by volunteering services or helping to raise funds for community initiatives.
Robert Sofia is a best-selling author, award-winning public speaker, and financial industry marketing entrepreneur. His tactics and strategies are used by thousands of financial institutions nationwide including INC 5,000 and Fortune 500® companies. Robert’s work has been featured in dozens of national publications and financial industry journals, and he has keynoted conferences for world-renowned companies including Ford Motor, Adobe, TD Ameritrade, Prudential and many more.
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