Thursday, May 19, 2011

How To Run A Successful Business: Start Building Your Reputation NOW

You're young, so when you first approach a customer, expectations are going to be low.

This is great for you!

In most situations, you have the disadvantage because you're so young. But when you can use their lack of trust to make yourself look more impressive, you are certain to sell them on your idea!

Follow these tips to start building an impressive reputation and prove those stereotypes wrong!

Tip #1: You Gotta Dress For Success
Do you ever see Donald Trump walking around New York with his jeans down to his ankles or a Yankee's cap turned sideways on his head? No? There's a reason for that. People automatically judge you based on your appearance. Yeah, yeah, people always say "don't judge a book by it's cover". Unfortunately, it just doesn't work like that in business. When you dress like you don't care, people will think you don't care and lose respect for you. Studies show that those who dress well are 35% more successful than those who don't. So, lets keep those belts tight and put on our nicest shirts. Dress for the job you want to have!

Tip #2: Have A Rock-Solid Sales Pitch
"So, um, what do you do?" Chances are, you're going to be asked this question multiple times throughout your career. This is why your sales pitch is very important. People don't want to stand around all day listening to your life's story. A sales pitch explains your business in about 30 seconds (130 words or less). Practice your sales pitch and share it with others. When you have delivered your pitch, hand over a business card and ask about meeting up again sometime.

Remember to give your pitch to everybody. Whenever someone asks you about yourself, your pitch should be the answer. You never know who might turn out to be a customer. And besides - the more people who know about you and your business, the better. Perfect your pitch by practicing it on your family or repeating it to yourself in the mirror.

Tip #3: Carry Business Cards
You need business cards with you at all times no matter how old you are or what you do. They present an easy way for potential clients to contact you and remember you. Not only that, but having business cards as a kid will really impress adults. It gives you credibility and shows how serious you are about what you do.

Tip #4: Social Media
Using social media (i.e. FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, ect), you can connect with people from around the world. Say you're on FaceBook and someone posts, "Looking for a great web designer. Any ideas?" Drop them a link and say, "I'm a freelance web designer. Check out my work and see what you think." If they like what they see, they'll hand you the job. Social media is a GREAT way to connect with clients and spread the word about your business.

Tip #5: Create A Blog
Creating a blog is free and even profitable. A blog is a fantastic way to show off your work. Let's say you're a freelance web designer. On your blog you should provide information about the service you provide, how people can contact you, and include examples of your work. People will visit your blog, be impressed, and hire you to get the job done. Just make sure it looks sharp and is easy to navigate (more info).

Tip #6: Have A Portfolio
Your portfolio is a collection of the work you've done in the past. By showing off your best work, people are able to see how well you can do the job they are looking for. A portfolio is a must in any business. Customers don't want to assume your work is good. They want to be convinced that you are the right choice for them. A strong portfolio is a powerful tool in gaining clients.

Tip #7: Use Testimonials
You like to brag about your business and what you do, but people are less inclined to trust your words than those of your previous customers. Testimonials are just that. When a customer describes how your product or service "changed their life" when they hired you, you can use that as leverage to pull other potential customers in. They see how much your previous clients loved you and they'll consider you for the job. The more testimonials you have, the better.

Hey you! Know any other ways to impress potential customers? Leave a comment below! :)

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