It’s so easy these days to create a website using a user-friendly template and platform, throw up some basic information, a shiny Shopify tie-in store and some social media shares and call yourself a business but unfortunately, with such ease of set up, there’s a vast number of businesses out there that are simply looks with no substance. They’re businesses that have been set up to make a quick buck rather than out of the authority of experience.
While some of these businesses will see rampant success due to an overdilution of brand bombs through social media and brand alignment, your business – which is likely to be more authorative, may not stand a chance because people get used to solely seeing the ‘show’ and not the substance.
Your brand needs to be an authority on its industry. It needs to offer something that others do not, it needs to come from a foundation of honest-to-goodness hard work and determination and the experience of establishing relationships with clients and suppliers to reflect this.
Other than the exceptions above, a well-crafted web presence will only get you so far, there needs to be value behind the work, behind the brand. You also can’t launch onto the industry scene and call yourself an authority right away either, you won’t win friends in the industry and you won’t win the right clientele either. Focus more on establishing the right industry relationships, partnering with other industry businesses where possible to create a kinship that clients will relate to and from which you can get good word of mouth from those industry insiders.
Focus on education – learning everything you need to know about the industry, the business, your competitors and create a business model that reflects the values you want your business to emulate and the experience you can contribute to the industry.
You also need to ensure your business has a point of difference. So many businesses these days effectively just copy what someone else has created – jumping in at the entry point instead of putting in the work, trying to poach clients, but again, this kind of business isn’t going to last long. Your business needs to achieve a level of respect and credibility that is only achieved through establishing relationships and making a name for yourself associated with professionalism and quality.
Commit to the work on your business’ foundation before you launch unprepared and spend time educating yourself in as many ways possible to ensure that when the time comes, you can begin establishing yourself as a credible authority in your industry. You can’t build a skyscraper without a solid foundation and you can’t create credibility from a pop-up business.
Good things take time. Authority is achieved not awarded. Cultivate your brand image and the clientele and industry respect will come.