Why do you need to list your business on local directories?
Most of us think of listing our businesses on directories as a strategy for getting more customers, however, directories are actually used by businesses to build goodwill, to promote their brands, and for brand awareness.
Local directories allow you to associate your business with a well-known brand, for example, I can go to a directory and search for companies in Birmingham and list my business there. This gives me the opportunity to drive more customers to my business if I have a banner advertising it on my vehicle. Once I’ve used the directory, I can then choose to link my business to a popular brand in another section of the directory. This means I don’t have to make two pages out of one if I don’t want to.
Branding isn’t just about good image either. With a great brand, people buy because they know you, like you, trust you and respond quickly to your calls. They are attracted to you as a quick and efficient service. This is possible because you have a great reputation. You can build this through linking your business to an increasing number of well known brands in the directory.
The easiest way to start using directories is to just list your business. If you do this, you may notice a difference after a few months. Firstly, a lot of the businesses that you list in your listings will then use your as a referral source for other businesses. This is great because it will mean you get more business because your business has become more personal. This also means you have more credibility because you’re giving off good PR. I’ve seen some businesses in my listings actually link their businesses to other businesses without stating specifically that you are linked! This creates a better brand reputation.
The second reason to list your business is a strategy called influencer marketing. This is when you list your business and then get your friend, colleague, family member or employee to list their business in your listings. You can then become an influencer because your friend, colleague or family member has given you their business. It’s a win-win situation because you get business and they has gained your relationship. This works because your business will grow a lot more because of the influence your business is receiving from other well known businesses.
How do you know if your business is a good one?
There are a few ways you can determine this.
1. What does your business stand for? Your business should be very clear about what it represents and how it will change the world for the better. For example, if you own a pizzeria and your business is going to be using your skills to make healthy food affordable, you need to make sure you have good values and ethics so people will trust your business.
2. What is your competitive advantage? Why would people want to do business with you? What is it that you’re offering that makes you a better choice than all the other local pizza restaurants in your town?
3. What are your core values? What are the values that are integral to your business and how do these values interconnect to create your brand? These values should reflect your business mission and your vision for your business. These values should connect to your business model so people will understand what makes your business different from others.
When you have a clear understanding of who you are and what you’re about, and when you have clear business values and core values it becomes easier to build your brand. Once you’ve built your business you should understand why people should choose you as their preferred choice. Here is a quick guide for creating your competitive advantage:
What’s unique about you: You are making an effort to make your business stand out. This is a good thing. It means you are invested in your business and want it to succeed. Good marketing is important. How do you want people to view your business? Do you want them to be loyal customers, or do you want them to be first in line for your product? These are the different elements of your competitive advantage and should be reflected in your business marketing materials.
You’re marketing materials: Why should people use your product or use your service? What is compelling about your business? Why should people choose you over any other option for your product or service? The better you understand these elements, the easier it will be to create a compelling and successful competitive advantage.
Your competitive advantage should be written into your materials so that it doesn’t look like filler. It can be embedded into your materials as a way to encourage people to read your materials so they understand more about you. It can also be discussed in your materials so that people understand why you are better than others. It doesn’t have to be a long, detailed description of your business and why you are better. Simply be sure that people understand the reasons why they should choose you over others.
There are lots of ways to develop your competitive advantage. Start with an understanding of your business, its values, and core values. Then create a marketing brochure or flyer that clearly states why you are better, and why others should choose you over others. Then develop a way to compete that talks about the strengths of your business.