The concept of “doing better than the competition” might seem vague or even abstract at first, but in reality, it’s much simpler.
You know you have to offer good service, fair prices, good customer service — and although these are true, they are also vague, since these are true for any service. And most importantly, these are not necessarily what will differentiate you from the competition.
Here’s what you should actually do to stand out.
Become a reference of good work
Offering good work is essential, but you already know that. So what will differentiate you from all others?
When you become a reference of good work.
Or in other words: specialise. Choose your field and work towards becoming a reference on that area, so that when people think about your service (painting, plumbing, cleaning, etc) they immediately think of you.
This can obviously take some time — anywhere from months to years, depending on the area you service — , but it should always be a long-term goal for your business.
For this to become a reality, then yes, you focus on the basics:
- Offering quality work
- Offering great customer service
- Offering a positive experience in general
To stay above the competition, you have to be on the move — both literally and figuratively. Sitting around waiting for phone calls will only get you so far.
So what do we mean by staying on the move? Three things:
- Interacting with leads both in person, via phone, and social media
- Being active on your social media profiles
- Being proactive towards new customers
These three things should take up most of your time — if you keep yourself busy doing these, you’re doing it right.
Improve your online presence
When we talk about having an online presence, people automatically think they should have an account on every main social media and post daily on all of them.
This isn’t necessarily the case. Caring for multiple social media accounts is much more time consuming and energy draining than it looks.
We will dive into the specifics of which social network is better for each businesses soon, but for now, if you have to choose between Facebook or Instagram, choose Facebook — it offers more business-related tools you can use with ease to promote your services, and it makes it very easy for locals to find your business.
Care for your brand
Caring for your brand is a visual effort that only works if you provide quality service. Here’s how good branding generally works:
First, it brings customers in. The visual appeal of your business from the outside: your logo, your business card, your website, the first impression they get when they meet you — all of that counts.
And second, it gives customers a positive association. Provided you offer customers a good service, whenever they see any sign of your brand, they will remember the positive experience they’ve had with you — which in turn, makes them more prone to hiring you again and recommending your work to others.
This cycle is very important. To make sure it works, you can start from the basics: is your logo a good representation of your business? Is your business card on point? Is there something about your brand that puts people off?
Remember: it’s always better to make the most effort on getting it right during the beginning stages of your business (the first few years). Once you have years of marketing and media out, it’s much harder to make changes.
Use customer reviews
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — customers reviews go a long way. A really long way.
Whenever you can, ask customers you’ve serviced to leave a few words about their experience on your website (hence the importance of having this feature on the website in the first place) or your Facebook page.
Anyone looking for your services will feel much more confident in hiring when they see dozens of others who were satisfied with your service — especially if it’s someone they know.
Any doubts? Do you have any more questions about how to differentiate yourself from the competition? Let us know in the comments below!
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