You've worked on your business idea for a year and know exactly where you want to head after leaving the corporate world.
If setting up a business sounds like a straightforward process, with establishing a company, email and domain name; the hardest part is defining your brand and who you’re going to serve.
While it’s very tempting, and entirely reasonable, to want to shout to the world "hey I’m here, work with me, look how awesome I’m, my work is so beautiful", it’s not enough anymore. With overwhelming competition, you want to stand out and not become interchangeable for clients to pick a cheaper version of you. It's where creating a consistent experience for your brand comes in.
To create consistency, you need to do the groundwork of understanding your brand and the clients you’re serving first. Once you're clear about what your brand stand's for you can set a process for on-boarding new clients.
1. Create a process for your client from initial enquiry to end.
Stream each step from customer enquiry to delivery; it starts with the enquiry form on your website, the auto-responder and how you follow up.
Have a system in place to on-board your client with a task list that you can cross off at each step to make sure you're giving excellent service.
2. Don’t hesitate to offer a free consultation as an initial meeting to understand if you’re the right fit.
It will offer you and your prospect choice and make sure you both want to work together; it's also an opportunity for you to educate your client and set expectations, be very clear with your process, make sure the prospective client understands what they’re signing up for and create trust. It might sound alien to decide not to work with someone, but not everyone is your customer.
3. If you offer a programme, test every step your client will go through, from sign up to download.
check the links, create copy and worksheets on brand, get help from a virtual assistant to create the documents for you. Have a customer service email address in place if anything goes wrong and reply promptly. When someone parts with their money they might feel a bit wary at first, not knowing if they made the right choice? Don’t disappoint them, give excellent service and support.
4. Visual Consistency across platforms.
Create visual content on brand that will make it easy for your clients to recognise you across platforms, check your logo on Facebook, and other social media, your newsletter, blog post feed. Look at your profile, banner images, don’t mix and match - stay on brand.
5. Create a branding identity kit
create a file with all the logo sizes, profiles, banner images. Write down colour and fonts combination. It will be useful if you want to delegate your work.
6. Design your blog post
make sure your visual content is up to scratch, for each image you post ask yourself is this on brand, will this help your ideal client and what are you trying to say.
7. Be cohesive on and offline
if you have printed material align it with your brand, use quality paper, give your clients a luxury experience, create a welcome kit for your customers when you’re on-boarding them, wow them, create the unexpected and make them feel special.
8. Be a professional,
treat every customer like a queen, set expectations, be clear about your process and pricing, educate them on your benefit, wow them all the way and create a great experience.
What your client will remember is how you made them feel!
9. Your design has to speak for your brand
when a prospective client visits your website for the first time, how do you want them to feel, and you won't have much time to convince them that you’re the right fit for them. Create a great first impression and link with high-end visual content. Make your site easy to navigate.
10. Don’t forget to smile
all the way and yes people can see your smile over the phone.