Whether you’re a kitchen table crafter or a small local bakery, attracting customers can be a challenge when you’re competing against large, well-established brands.

Fear not, by making your small business look bigger than it is, you can convince shoppers that you’re as trustworthy as the company they’ve always relied on.

  1. Make your website work for you

To give visitors the impression that you’re an established business, you need a smart, professional website. High-quality images, engaging copy and a site that’s easy to navigate will give you the best chance of turning visitors into customers. But to attract these visitors in the first place, you need to be found by search engines.

See also: The basics of building a website

Help Google discover your website by using plenty of relevant keywords and phrases. To find out what potential customers are searching for, start by brainstorming a list of words and phrases associated with your products or services.

You can then use the Google Keyword Planner to discover how often each keyword is searched for and how competitive it is. Knowing this makes it easier to decide which words to include.

Blogging regularly can also help your business move up the search rankings. Make your posts succinct and engaging, include keywords and share them on social media for added exposure.

  1. Create a company email address

A dedicated business email reassures customers that they’re buying from a successful, trustworthy company. They’re also more likely to remember an address that features your company name.

If you’re on a budget, simply create a free email address when you register your domain name. You can then have emails re-directed to any of your existing email accounts. Alternatively, try the free email service managed by your web hosting provider.

If you need a more sophisticated email service and extra business tools, pricier options include Office 365 and Google Apps for Work.

  1. Be consistent

Once your website and email address are up and running, make sure that the rest of your marketing materials are a good match. Invest in a well-designed, eye catching logo and consider adding a slogan that reflects your core values. You can then feature it on your website, business cards and leaflets. Consistency is crucial, as you’re aiming to create a strong visual identity that customers will recognise.

  1. Make the most of your phone

To come across as a large business you’ll need a dedicated phone number. Buying a mobile phone may be the easiest option, but what if you could combine the flexibility of a mobile with the reassurance of a landline number?

Virtual business numbers are the perfect solution. Whether you opt for a local or national number, calls are automatically redirected to your mobile and you can even add a virtual PA service to ensure that you never miss a call.

See also: A beginners guide to Instagram

  1. Be social

Being active on social media is a great way to convince customers that you’re a business to be reckoned with. Posting regularly creates valuable connections, but it’s important to think about the personality of your business before you get going. Choose a tone of voice that will appeal to your target customers.

To keep followers and gain new ones, interact with them by posting special offers, enticing product images and competitions. However, be realistic about how many posts you can manage and learn to schedule them ahead.

Thinking big is all about persuading customers to give you a try. Once they’ve stepped out of their comfort zone, the quality of your products or services will convince them to come back for more.

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