Building trust has never been more important than ever before. Find out the best way to build your brands and create a lasting relationship with your customers.
Winter is coming, which means businesses need to brace themselves even more.
The line, as inspired by Game of Thrones, is not only about changing seasons but also applies to the economic climate.
We can expect a tough time ahead, but it’s also an opportunity to become stronger. Businesses have to be more resilient now than ever before. We have to push harder and become even stronger.
It’s all about showing up even when we don’t want to show up.
It’s about moving forward even in tough times.
It’s about constantly being present even if we don’t feel like it.
And once you do, you build trust.
One of the most difficult things in business is building brand trust. Conversely, one of the easiest is to lose it.
If we already have brand trust, we shouldn’t settle. We have to show our clients that we’re there for them even if it means leaving our comfort zone.
Winter is coming for all businesses, and the point is to make ourselves VITAL to the businesses that we serve. And being VITAL is to have people remember us because of the value we provide. It’s about the impact and the building of trusting relationships.
That’s the kind of relationship that a VITAL accounting firm aims to create with its clients. We want them to know us as agile and able to adapt to new circumstances.
Businesses want to work with an accounting firm that can help them save money, and then make and keep more of it.
And the first step to do so is to build trust, even and especially in tough times.
Building trust is about building your brand, but not just your personal or company brand. We’ll explore the three brands that every accounting firm should build if it wants clients to see it as VITAL.
The Three Brands You Need to Build
Building trust consists of building these three brands. All of them are equally important, and it’s essential to make sure they’re in alignment with each other.
Today, a business brand is no longer enough – people want to see a person standing behind it. That’s why it’s so essential to build your personal brand alongside the company brand.
Your personal brand is all about commitment.
It’s about showing up even when one may not feel like it. If a business leader promises to show up four times a week on a conference call and share their insights, then they have to do it even if they feel like skipping a day.
One of the reasons why I show up for my audience is because I’m building my personal brand. And I’m doing that by building all of my knowledge into an asset.
I share my thoughts and ideas with my audience. But I don’t spend hours thinking about what I’m going to share with my audience tomorrow. It often comes naturally, and people love it.
Personal brand is about being who you really are and sharing your thoughts and knowledge with the world.
When building a personal brand, your content doesn’t have to be perfect and all planned out. The most important thing is to show up and don’t let down those who trust you.
Some people have a strong personal brand where everyone likes them, but nobody really knows how they can help other people. Nobody actually knows what they are doing or what they can help clients with.
Maybe there are a lot of people who could use your services but they just don’t know what you’re offering.
Your business brand serves to clear up the confusion.
You need to make sure that everyone knows what your business is exactly about. You need to talk about services you provide and about the ways you help people.
There are a lot of ways to make people notice you and trust your business.
One of the best branding strategies is to productise your offer. Even those that don’t have a physical product can make a product out of their services.
By listing everything that you already do with your clients, then turning it into a product. Make a package out of it. All that’s left is to give your product a name, and there you have it!
The point is to take away the fact that you’re selling time for money. Instead, you’re now selling a product that can help people – it’s an entirely different approach.
When buying the product, people are actually buying the transformational journey with you.
The big idea behind the product brand is to convince clients that what you offer is the product they’re looking for. It’s exactly what they need – a solution to their problems.
Productising an accounting practice isn’t an easy thing to do. But it isn’t that difficult either. You just have to think in terms of how you help people and then turn that into a package or product that people can buy.
Four Tips for Building Brand Trust
Now that you know the three brands you need to build, here’s a list of tips you can use to build brand trust.
Focus on Content
Content marketing isn’t exactly a new thing. But with the help of the internet, it’s becoming increasingly popular. And there’s a good reason for that.
Creating useful content is the best way to establish yourself as an authority in your field and build trust.
The key insight here is to understand that the content shouldn’t sound promotional or salesy. Your goal is to create authentic content that focuses on helping people solve their problems.
Remember that your content shouldn’t focus on you or your business. Instead, it should be on the people reading it – your customers.
Many studies confirm that people’s trust in a brand increases after they find useful content on the brand’s web page. Fortunately, there are different ways to provide such content.
But first, you must understand what’s bothering your clients and what problems they might have. Only then can you come up with solutions and strategies that can help them. You can also provide related tips from your professional experience.
Some businesses are afraid to post a lot of content because they believe no one will hire them if they give away too much for free. But that’s not true.
What’s true is that the more useful content you give for free, the more new clients you’ll attract.
Build Relationships Throughout the Entire Buying Journey
What’s the right time to focus on building relationships with our clients?
The truth is, there’s no right time.
We have to focus on building relationships all along the way.
Many people think that the key moment to do so is when you sell something to a client. But that’s not when their buyer’s journey ends.
You should focus on building relationships before, during, and after a sale.
Make sure that the client loves your product and service. You have to reinforce the fact that your business is the right business for them and that you have a solution to their problem.
If you don’t build a relationship with your customers, they could leave and go to your competitors just as easy. But if you focus on building genuine relationships, they’ll stay and even refer you to others.
Remember that relationship building doesn’t end at a sale. That’s when the fun part starts – you can be authentic and you don’t need to convince them to buy from you. They already know you and they trust you.
Be Honest and Transparent
It’s all about honesty and transparency.
People can tell when you’re not being real. What’s even more dangerous is the fact that there’s a guarantee you’d lose them forever when they eventually find out the truth.
Building trust doesn’t mean you have to pretend to know everything. It’s okay to admit that you don’t have an answer to some of their questions. But it’s important to try and find out.
What sets great accounting firms apart is that they’ll go above and beyond to find a response, even if it takes them a few hours. Admitting that you don’t know everything but you’re willing to find out is a great trait. It shows that you’re humble and that you never stop learning.
Transparency is even more important when something goes wrong. If that happens, don’t try to hide it. People will appreciate you more if you’re open about everything.
Keep Providing Lots of Value
The best way to stand out from your competitors is to provide value. You have to do it genuinely and consistently, not just when you want to promote something.
Remember that the one who gives the most gets the most.
There are many ways to provide value to your clients. Maybe it’s excellent customer service. Perhaps it’s answering their questions in live Q&A sessions online. Or sending them valuable tips and reminders.
Giving value doesn’t cost a lot. All it takes is a bit of your time and dedication, but the result will exceed your expectations.
Those who go one step beyond are those that win. They gain the trust and loyalty of their customers, which is something that every business should aspire to.
Find Your Pace
To be truly successful, a business owner needs to focus on building all three brands. That’s the only way to build trust and lasting relationships with clients.
But building trust isn’t something that happens overnight. It requires strategy, effort, and consistency.
However, there are things you can start doing right now that’ll soon start to pay off. If you build all three of your personal, business, and product brands, people will perceive you as a VITAL and trustworthy firm.
Check out our other articles to tap into more resources for managing a profitable accounting firm.
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