BBVA API Market
Whether the start of 2014 has encouraged you to launch a new business or if you just want to give a facelift to one already underway, there are several factors you should keep in mind. One of the most common errors when building our online brand image and profile is to believe that advertising must play the leading role. Far from this, the public tends to shun those Twitter or Facebook accounts which only talk about a brand. Don't forget that social networks are a means of communication, and as such entertainment is a key factor. Whatever it is that you sell you can always do it in an engaging way, because the binary language is not at odds with accessibility.
Once we have achieved this attractive language it is vital to remember that the audience appreciates above all transparency and knowing that behind a colourful interface there is a real person who listens and welcomes their opinions and comments. Not getting a response at all is another factor that irritates the potential customer, who will lose all interest if he feels negligence in the management of social profiles. Let your audience know you're there. Act naturally, 'retweet' comments and acknowledge possible errors or failures. Humility is another top rated factor.
Also, increasingly more and more voices from around the world insist on the importance of differentiating ourselves. All kinds of publications advocate for a more personalised marketing. According to books like “The definitive guide to marketing your business on line” there´s always space to distinguish ourselves from others.
Your network of contacts
Another of the most important factors to keep in mind is as obvious as old: your network of contacts or networking. Experts like Tom Peters, considered the "father of personal branding', emphasizes that networking is "your best personal marketing tool" – and he's quite right. The more people know and are involved in some way with you or your idea, the more likely you are to receive the help and support needed for your business.
Networking will help you to:
Access to information relevant to your goals and interests
Exchange knowledge and experiences
Identify opportunities (i.e. a new or better job, an advantageous commercial operation, an interesting investment)
Being proactive, planning events within your capabilities, using and keeping abreast of new digital tools and keeping track of the people who enter your circle are essential steps. "It's never been easier to gather information about another person; or for somebody to get information about us. So here comes the key question: Do you know what the Internet says about you? Monitoring your own reputation is the first step to be able to manage it," says Neus Arques in her book “Y tú ¿Qué marca eres?” (What brand are you?)
In this regard, it is important to regularly monitor not only what is said about you on the Internet, but also if the established targets are being met. Is your number of followers increasing?, Is it stable but visits are consolidated?, How are your products/services valued? If you're on the right track don't let your guard down; and if you're not, ask yourself where have you failed and redefine your strategy.
The importance of small details
Once we have a clear picture of our online presence, there are small essential details that will help us to be successful. Planning work for the next few weeks and spending some time analysing and correcting possible errors is often overlooked. But establishing habits increases productivity, as the specialised web Entrepreneur explains in the article "A structured day can keep wasted time at bay."
Psychologically it is also very important to give ourselves an image of professionalism. Some authors even claim the importance of being well dressed when working from home. In this sense, under the witty title “Forget PJs, dress your brand even at your home office,” Entrepreneur encourages us to set aside oversized sweaters and pyjamas even when we’re working from our sofa at home. Being well dressed gives professionalism to our work and can help us to react better to an impromptu Skype call or simply ‘believe’ what we are.
Put together a professional wardrobe, don’t use old-fashioned accessories, refer to the client in a serious and strong tone of voice, use an appropriate, firm and relaxed body language … there are hundreds of factors that can help us raise the personal image behind the brand image.
Online businesses are offering more and more facilities for customers to pay for their products. It is becoming more common to integrate financing into retail applications, and it is an added value for companies that implement it within their platforms.
Startups and existing companies in the process of digitization need a new set of digital tools to help them transform their businesses and get more in tune with their customers' needs. If possible, they should develop frictionless systems that do not create barriers to entry for the business, as occurs with some banking solutions.
Taking a customer through the entire buying process until it is formalized is an arduous journey and one that faces the constant possibility of the customer leaving. However, there are ways to make the buying decision happen if you are given facilities such as agile, secure financing.