As the founder of ShareStory, with seven years under my belt, I've gained a clear insight into the power of first impressions in business. Astonishingly, more than 80% of our business has come through word-of-mouth referrals. This blog is an eye-opener for all founders who might not realise the impact of their first impression and how it can be a game-changer for their business.
Earning referrals is no small feat. It involves offering an exceptional product or service, delivering it flawlessly, and leaving a positive, lasting impression. It's a combination of hard work and patience, waiting for those satisfied customers to spread the word. When someone refers your business, they're putting their reputation on the line for you. That's not just a referral; it's a massive compliment.
This is where branding - and great branding, in particular - comes into play. Your brand is, essentially, your reputation. It's the memory and perception that people have of your business. In the context of referrals, great branding helps you align your business with either who you are or the aspirations you have for your business. It maximises the value of each referral.
Here are some ways to make the most of every referral:
Imagine this scenario: Someone recommends your business, but the potential client is turned off by what they see online. It's a lost opportunity that happens without you even knowing. If you're embarrassed by your website, you're likely losing visitors and potential business. A simple metric to watch is the correlation between direct searches for your business and your website's bounce rate. If people are finding your site but leaving quickly, that's a clear sign that your branding isn’t making the right impression.
In conclusion, great branding is more than just a nice logo or a catchy tagline. It's about creating a strong, positive impression that makes both your customers and their referrals proud to be associated with your business. It's about turning every referral into an opportunity to grow and succeed. Remember, your brand is your reputation, and it's one of the most valuable assets your business has.