Small business branding advice
When your website, online videos, and marketing collateral don't represent how good your business really is
Have you ever worn a clown costume to a local chamber event, or how about a gunny suit to a business trade show in downtown Phoenix? Sure, the answer is obvious, or it should be, but look at the root of why you haven't or won't wear such outlandish attire. Simply put, "Your image is important to you." It's amazing to note that business owners and managers (and dentists and medical professionals) will take such great pains to dress accordingly yet she/he neglects the image of their own company. Looking at the example above, suppose you did wear a clown costume to a chamber event, this argument presumes you aren't a professional clown or looking for laughs; do you think you would have been taken seriously? Should you be taken seriously? The utopian answer is, "Yes, you should be", but the reality is, "No, you won't be taken seriously." Your image does matter. In fact, you could be the most competent industry professional in the room and people might not give you the time of day because of your image.

Granted, the example above is a little far-fetched and preposterous. Small business owners certainly won't make this mistake with their attire. Let's take this illustration a step further and apply it to a business owner or manager's marketing and promotional materials—the same rules and guidelines do apply. From online marketing videos, websites, brochures, trade show graphics and even business cards—they all reflect an image of your company to potential prospects. Think a moment and ask yourself, "What image are my support materials reflecting to my potential prospects?" Even if you are competent or an expert in your chosen field—your image does matter, and there are people who will or won't do business with you based on your image. If your prospect is not a referral and not knowledgeable in your field, she or he will most likely make a number of crucial judgments and assumptions about your company based on…yep, your small business' image.

If your small business' or your practice’s image (website, online promo videos, and marketing collateral) needs an overhaul, invest the resources and hire a professional. A lackluster image might be hurting you more than you think. It’s a mistake to think customers, clients, or patients will honestly tell you that your outside (your image) doesn’t match your inside (the quality of the products/services you provide).
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