Brand reputation is everything. You can’t buy it, but it’s one of the most valuable things that you possess. In a small business such as home inspections, your reputation is one of the most powerful tools that you’ve got. But it might also be a significant detriment if you think your reputation will take care of itself.
Brand management isn’t just a buzzworthy phrase. It’s real, and you can help craft a reputation that brings in business whether you’re just starting out or have been in the industry for years.
Home Inspectors Need Online Brand Reputation Management
Some small business owners who serve a small geographical area tend to think that what happens online doesn’t really affect them much, if at all. Small Business Trends says that’s “dangerously wrong.” Your online reputation, or lack thereof, can affect your bottom line.
When customers have a positive experience, they tend to tell their friends. And when they have a negative one, they shout it from the rooftops to anyone and everyone who will listen. Where do they do this? To a large degree, through social media.
That’s one reason why you need to be online and actively using social media. Set up a Facebook page and Twitter account. If there’s a complaint, you can respond to it and help manage your business reputation. If there’s a glowing review, you can be there to thank them personally.
The Internet Bolsters New Businesses
One of the biggest drawbacks to a fledgling home inspection business is that leads depend on word of mouth, and word of mouth depends on customer experiences. Small businesses tend to rely on tactics such as reduced rates for services as a way to entice customers to take a chance. But Brian Hughes, CEO, Founder, Digital Marketing Expert at Integrity Marketing & Consulting, writes for Huffington Post that adjusting rates, either up or down, might have the opposite effect.
Positive word-of-mouth advertising does more to bolster your business than any amount of rate tweaking ever could. After all, it’s not necessarily a discount that customer really wants. It’s a home inspection by a professional that he can trust.
When potential customers can see online testimonials and reviews plus business / customer interactions on social media, he gets a better picture of what your business is really like. When he can interact with you himself, he gets to know your brand a little better.
It’s time to generate some buzz, get to know your market, and grow your business brand. Your reputation depends on it, and your business depends on your reputation. Business Insider agrees. “Being accessible and accountable increases trust,” they explain. And in an era where consumers trust businesses less and less, trust is an invaluable asset that can help a brand new home inspector grow into a profitable, successful company.
New home inspectors have a lot of responsibilities beyond performing inspections, and PR is one of them. If you’re ready to join the ranks of men and women who have carved out a new career and are managing their own business reputation, enroll now and learn at your own pace.