It’s easy to hide behind a curtain and “let business be business.” However, focusing on being a more likable business can do a lot to enhance your reputation among your community members, customers, and employees.
1. Your About Us Section
This is the one place on your website where you’re allowed to brag about yourself. Tell your readers how your small business got started, what your specialty products and services are, how the business has grown or changed over the years, and what your goal (or mission statement) is. The more you can explain who you are and what you believe, the more likely you’ll come off as trustworthy. Think of your “About Us” section as a description in a dating profile; you want to give the impression that you’re a likable business. People will read it and then determine if you’re a potential good fit for them.
Your “about us” section is designed to help you build your brand online and familiarize potential customers with your name. Let your individuality shine through and let prospects know why they should work with you over someone else. Putting yourself out there can take some guts but when you do, it pays off.
2. Layman’s Terms
Be Real. Stop going over people’s heads and just talk. If you can’t have an open and honest conversation with people, no one is going to listen. People are over the jargon and just want real communication. Besides they’re more likely to buy from or work with you if they actually know what you’re talking about. Business in 2018 is all about connecting with the customers on a personal level and meeting them where they are. That means personalizing every conversation, every call, and every meeting.
If you’re only using industry jargon that an average person wouldn’t understand, you’ll drive any potential leads away because they’ll either think you’re hiding something or you’ll make them feel uncomfortable that they don’t understand what you’re talking about. Be personable and just be yourself. Your prospects will be able to tell if you’re only interested in them to pitch a sale.
3. Share It
Don’t hesitate to share information that is non-work related. Candid photos, stories, or videos that affected you on a personal level are not off limits, as long as they remain appropriate and in line with your business’ values. As a rule of thumb, it’s generally a good idea to steer away from politics or other controversial topics, unless it’s clear your business is associated with the same beliefs.
Sharing inspirational images or funny videos shows a unique side of you and can make your company more likable. If your prospects or customers can personally relate to what you share, your relationships will grow stronger. Sharing will also help to develop your small business brand online and let people know what you’re about. Let your personality shine through!
4. Social Media Profile
Social media is an amazing way to connect with prospects and existing customers as well. Apart from being able to go through their public profiles to do personalized customer research, you can also directly connect with them through follows, comments, likes, and direct messages. Keeping up with your social profiles shows prospects and customers that you’re engaged and active online. Since that’s where the majority of your business will be coming from, it’s important to be known on various online platforms, as well as your website.
The same goes for emails. Make sure when sending out email campaigns you’re not just sending them from the company, but from a specific person in the company. Again, this tells contacts you care and has been proven to increase click through and open rates.
5. Be Present
Share information that isn’t just all about your company. It’s tempting to only promote your company, but focusing on industry or market information will make you a more relevant, authoritative resource and a likable company with your target audience. Get outside your business bubble and interact with what’s going on around you. Especially for small businesses, you depend on your local community for support. Get involved with other related businesses and communities to grow your network and connections reach. You need to show you’re invested in them as well and you care about who your customers are and what they’re involved in.
6. Use Emotion
Be funny (and serious). Yes, it is possible to manage both. If you can have fun, share some humor and joke a little with your customers in person and on your social profiles. Making people smile is one of the easiest and most friendly ways to gain a dedicated supporter and it goes a long way in developing lasting customer relationships. People want to know that you’re actually human and that you can relate to them. Again, just make sure there is an air of professionalism too.
Being a likable business is an important strategy and can mean the difference between someone opening or not opening the lines of communication with you. There is often a gray area of conversation, engagement, and discussion and making sure to be more likable and trustworthy is an important and often overlooked endeavor.