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  • Written by Diana Smith

The way in which others see your business only seems like something that you have no control over. After all, it’s their own subjective matter, right? Well, the concept of branding represents a scenario where you get to tailor the image of your own company in order to alter the way in which it appeals to your target audience. By taking control of your startup’s public image, you’ll also plot the future course that your company will take, as well as ensure that you get a head start over your competitors. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips to help you out with this.

Build a great website

The first thing you need to do in order to take control is to build a great website. Why? Well, because your website is the place where everything starts and ends. If you decide to share your content on social media, sooner or later, your audience will end up on your site. If you decide to insert some internal links, the thread can probably be followed to your homepage. This is why a great website is the beginning and the end of any great public image building.

Choose who you’re associating with

You must have heard of the phenomenon where a famous influencer gets involved in a major controversy and companies start backing out from this collaboration. The problem is that by the time they severe their bond, the damage is probably already done. In order to avoid the likelihood of this happening, you need to make sure you know exactly who you’re associating with. Do some research on their digital footprint and check if they’re the kind of person that you want to represent your brand.

Provide value

The secret to a successful relationship (regardless if it’s business or personal) lies in the fact that each of the two parties gets some value from the other person. This is why you need to find more than a few ways to provide value to your audience. You can do this by providing quality products/service, by creating great content or by developing a customer-centric business model. Combining all of these methods would give you the best effect, which makes it into a no-brainer.

Go old-school

Sometimes in order to gain a reputation boost, you need to adopt business-promotion practices that are seen as more traditional. Why? Well, because this gives your business an illusion of continuity and longevity in the business world. It also shows your interest in traditional business world values which are often romanticized by the general public. For instance, instead of just exchanging your contact info via your smartphones, what you should do is print some personalized business cards and distribute them to your potential partners and customers.

Be the one who listens

Perhaps the simplest way of improving the way in which your customers see you is to simply try and listen to them. The first step in getting there lies in creating efficient customer service, however, sometimes you need to get personally involved in order to see some progress. Once your audience notices that you’re not just listening to what they say but also making an effort to implement their suggestions into your business model, you will notice a swift rise in your customer loyalty and retention. Also, this is probably the most reliable way to see if your business is really doing well.

Don’t argue with people online

One of the most important tips that you’ll ever receive in the business world is that you should never allow your ego to take over when it comes to online criticism. Even if it’s clearly not constructive criticism but, in fact, a malicious comment that most likely comes from an internet troll, you can’t let yourself get dragged into it. One popular proverb claims that arguing with a fool is like wrestling with the pig – you’ll both get dirty but the pig will enjoy it. To everyone else, you’ll seem non-professional, easily aggravated and even outright ridiculous.

Invest in transparency

The last thing your audience expects from you is some transparency. You see, when it comes to the cost of your products, you need to state the full price, including the taxes and shipping. If you or someone on your team makes a mistake, you need to come forward with it and take full responsibility. Being transparent is something that will make your audience trust you and feel safe while interacting with your brand. This feeling of safety is exactly what you want your business to be associated with. Keep in mind, nonetheless, that it only takes a moment for you to ruin this effort for good.

One of the things that you might have noticed from the above-listed is the fact that you can learn a lot of these lessons from your own personal relationships. By listening, avoiding absurd arguments, providing value and being transparent, you can make people like you more. The same thing goes with your brand, as well. Just start looking at your brand as an individual entity and all of this will become a lot more apparent.

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