Today, people don’t have to wait until they meet you to get a first impression of you or your business.
With the availability of instant access to potentially hundreds of articles, reviews, images, and other information about you and your business, consumers are finding it relatively simple to establish a first impression.
Are you making a good first impression?
Take a minute to think about all the different components of your online presence.
- Customer Reviews
- Business Directories (i.e Better Business Bureau, Manta…)
- Press Releases
- Blog Articles
This is not a complete list, but you get the idea.
There are a lot of different avenues for potential customers to make an educated judgement or a first impression about you and your business.
Have you been monitoring and maintaining these different components to ensure your making and a good first impression?
It’s not just about the content being published, these savvy consumers are reading your profiles to gage your character.
How do you make a GOOD first impression?
1. The most important thing is to truly understand who your target market is!
Not just a statistical visual (i.e plumbing contractors with revenues less than $200k and 10 or fewer employees), you need to know their frustrations, pains, and worries. What are they struggling with right now, and what avenues are they using to find the solutions to these pressing issues?
Once you understand this you can create content that will speak directly to them, which will help them see you and your company as the solution they’ve been searching for!
Consumers need to know that you have the solutions they need. If their first impression is that you’re the “expert” with “all the answers”, you’ve done a good job.
2. You need to make your online profiles personal and engaging.
By personal I don’t mean they need to be able to learn every detail of your personal life, but they should be able to relate to you on a personal level.
Remember, we are humans trying to interact with other humans. And humans crave relationships, connecting with people they can relate to and rely on.
Add some details to your profile that humanize you;
- Are you married?
- Do you have kids? (maybe throw in their ages)
- What are your hobbies?
- What do you enjoy doing on your days off?
- Why do you do what you do?
Again, this isn’t a complete list, but you get the idea.
When people can relate, “oh I have 3 kids too!”, they feel compelled to engage. You can make your profile engaging by making it easy for them to contact you (email address) or to continue to learn more about you and your business (links to other content).
Their engagement opens the door for more opportunities for you to make a good first impression!
3. Use videos and photos to provide consumers with a visual.
For some professions, a profession headshot is a must, but sometimes, it’s better to use an image that offers a glimpse of your personality. Don’t go overboard on this one, too much personality can create a bad first impression.
You may even find it effective to add images of your family, especially if you’re a family owned and operated company.
Remember to include images of your employees on your website, individual photos are good, but “team” photos help consumers gain insight into your company’s culture. Make these “team” photos fun!
Videos, as long as they aren’t too scripted, can offer a good introduction to the real you! With a video consumers get to have their first “interaction” with you “face-to-face”.
A simple video of you and others they will have contact with, can help you make a good first impression!
4. Make sure your website’s design is making a good first impression.
Your website is often the very first impression a prospective customer gets of your company.
You want to be sure they see something that is visually appealing, organized, and professional.
Because consumers are spending much more time researching and reviewing companies before they make any kind of buying decision, they often judge your companies professionalism by the look and feel of your website.
Having a professional and appealing website doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.
What experiences have you had? Have you asked your customers about the impact your virtual first impression had on them?