Many startup SEO agencies face the same predicament as any other business: they need to popularize their SEO services just as other business popularizes their products.
It seems sort of ironic that SEO startups seek to popularize themselves yet their core business is popularizing other businesses.
It’s tempting for these SEO startups to collect their target audience’s contact information and send spammy forms and content informing them about their SEO services or to send them messages on platforms like LinkedIn informing of their SEO services. Apart from being a nuisance, spamming your potential clients is criminal and will only manage to get you in trouble and damage your reputation.
You need to be patient and strategic to build your reputation and credibility. Some strategies you can use include:
Trustworthiness –The only way to be credible and reputable in the SEO industry is by realizing that your customers are your elevators, and as such, you need to earn their trust by keeping your promises and delivering on your commitments.
Build your expertise –You must take time to learn and practice the skills it takes to be a great SEO. In turn, engage with your clients. Give them satisfactory services, communicate with the regularly, and listen to their feedback. Your clients will progressively build their confidence in your expertise.
Consistency – The SEO services that you offer and your interactions with you clients are critical. They are the vehicle that will take your business to greater opportunities. Your services must be consistent to give your clients the assurance that you will be able to bring forth the expected outcomes.
Patience – Appreciate that trustworthiness and expertise will never be earned overnight; they take time, robust processes, and consistency on your part. Patience is your only guarantee to building credibility.
How, then, do you demonstrate to your potential customers that your SEO agency or startup is credible?
1. Have a human touch
It is well known that humans are relational beings and this also applies to business. Your clients want to have a relationship before they commit to using your professional services.
This is the reason you will find that many organizations include pictures of their team or leadership in an effort to create a connection with their intended audience.
Make the effort to include high quality pictures of yourself and your team on your website(s) that will bring a human element to your company.
2. Encourage feedback
Feedback from your previous clients is a good way to get you referrals. You can include them as testimonials on your website to as act user generated content.
Try as much as possible to back up the testimonials with other details like the date, statistics, and job titles of the people leaving you positive feedback. If possible, include their pictures—with their permission, of course. Also include a link back to their sites as this is also a way to enhance your ranking. Studies have shown that testimonials can increase conversion rate by as much as 102%.
3. Use clear case studies
Using a client’s case study has more weight than a simple testimonial because case studies outline what you’ve actually achieved for your client. You can build your case scenarios by volunteering your skills if you are allowed to share that business’s results in a case study on your website.
Case studies are backed by statistics and figures that help clients build confidence in your services by showing that if you are able to achieve such results for a particular client, you can do the same for them.
4. Handle negative criticism with positivity
Today’s clients have no problem giving reviews and user feedback. They will accept your products or drop you from their list of service providers based on the reviews you get. In addition, users are more than happy to write negative feedback and reviews on your platforms, which can be extremely damaging if it’s not handled correctly.
You should never ignore negative feedback. Know how to handle bad reviews because mishandling them could cause even more problems. Offer to further discuss the issues with the user in person or on the phone, and take responsibility even if you were not at fault. This assures other users that they can depend on you to correct a mistake if one is brought to light.
5. Build your personal credibility
Many people build successful businesses only to be brought down by their inappropriate actions or personality or the actions of others at their company. It is important to build a strong, positive character as it will reflect well on your business.
Some characteristics to practice are:
Punctuality – Even when the client has committed to using your SEO agency, you must remember that his time is important to him, thus you must be punctual in your appointments and schedules. There are plenty of tools that make it easier to manage your schedules and appointments.
Politeness – Always use appropriate language and gestures whenever you deal with your clients, staff, and other stakeholders to avoid offending them. Some gestures and words may be acceptable in some cultures but offensive in others, so do your research.
Presentation – Always try to present a professional image of you business to your clients and to others through appropriate and decent dressing.
Personable – Be friendly and accommodating when you meet with your clients. Be approachable, pay attention to what is being said (practice active listening), and give feedback when appropriate or prompted.
Prepared – Do extensive research on what is going to be discussed. Have all the details and documents needed for the meeting to avoid appearing as if you are unsure and unqualified.
It is not easy to build trust and credibility, especially in the service industry because the competition is high. Most businesses tend to fall along the way and seek quick fixes. Quick fixes can lead to quick wins, but eventually fail because you haven’t taken the time to really understand the problem and come up with a solution. The only sure-fire strategy is patience, consistency, and trust.
Disclaimer: This is a guest post. The author’s views are entirely his or her own, and don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of Beanstalk Web Solutions.