Did you know that the human brain makes judgments within a matter of milliseconds?
In other words, we’re wired to make snap decisions.
And if you’re a business owner, you need to start thinking about what your business looks like at a glance.
Think about it. When your customers and competitors stumble about your business online, what sort of judgments are they making? What sort of impression do you leave on people after they’ve done a bit of digging about your company?
Reality check: all business owners need to be aware of how their companies are being judged online. Despite having a compelling story or otherwise amazing product, one single bad impression could sink your sales.
What sort of judgments are we talking about, though? Consider the following four pieces of your business to keep in the back of your mind.
1. Your company’s track record
Transparency matters to consumers at large, meaning that having a squeaky clean track record automatically puts you in good standing with potential customers. Whether it’s successfully scoping an SOC audit, avoiding fraud complaints or having an A rating with the BBB, anything you can do to signal that you do business by the book is a plus.
This is also why rating and reviews sites matter so much to modern businesses. As such, make sure to respond thoughtfully to anyone who puts you on blast and show appreciation toward positive feedback.
2. Whether or not you “look the part”
While you certainly shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, there’s no denying that amateurish marketing can definitely hold a business back.
From your company logo to understanding what makes a “professional” design, companies today score major points through style. Rather than stick with templates and generic marketing materials, consider outsourcing graphics and design work to actual professionals. Seriously: doing so can make a world of difference.
3. The status of your social community
While the value of your brand’s follower count on social media depends primarily on your industry, there’s no denying the positive notion of an engaged community.
For example, a business with thousands of followers that regularly goes back-and-forth with customers looks like a million bucks versus an account that’s gathering cobwebs. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with a social site, it’s probably best to ditch your long-term presence there for the sake of optics.
4. How much you charge
Whether or not people see you as a top-shelf offer or something from the bargain bin ultimately boils down to your pricing structure.
Deciding how much you charge is undoubtedly tricky, but oftentimes it pays (literally) not to take extremes. It’s all about positioning: you can position yourself with a low price-point as budget rather than bargain, for example. You can get the best of both worlds by boasting a variety of products that take on both ends of pricing spectrum (think: both high and lower end offers).
The fact remains that all companies are open up to being judged online. Keeping a positive reputation boils down to how you present yourself and ultimately manage your reputation: by understanding these elements of your business, you’re more likely to do exactly that with ease.