Your work at home (in your closet). You do all the work for your company (even though you refer to yourcompany as “we”). Sometimes you feel like you can’t compete with bigger companies simply because you’re a freelancer or solopreneur.But let me let you in on a little secret: it’s all about image. It doesn’t matter how many people you have (or don’t have) working for you, or how much money you bring in. If you present a professional appearance, there’s no reason someone wouldn’t hire you just because you’re a company of one.
Start With a Great Website
Your website is the window to your business. It’s what potential customers first see when shopping around for your product or service. You want what they see to reflect your professionalism. Investing in your website tells visitors that you care about your business, and will care about theirs as well.
Good website design is no longer exclusive to companies with big pockets. Today, small businesses can create their own sites on minimal expense. WordPress is a blog platform that many small businesses use to set up their websites. Other sites like Homestead and Snappages walk you through customizing web templates. All of these require minimal technical expertise, and you can get a website up and running in about an hour.
When designing your site, make sure to include these components:
- Your company logo
- Contact information
- Details about your products or services
- Keywords, so that search engines can find you
Visit your competitors’ sites to get ideas about what’s appealing and what’s not. Keep your design simple; overcrowding it with words and images will only turn off your visitors.
Quote Like a Pro
Another way you can look more professional is through your proposal and quoting process. It’s important to document what you’re proposing to a potential client so that he can easily review what you offer, as well as share it with other decision makers. Simply giving a verbal or email proposal lacks the professionalism you need to be taken seriously.Start with good quote software (might we suggest QuoteRoller?). Your proposal should, at a minimum, talk about your company briefly, as well as outline the potential client’s needs or problems, and how you can address them. It should include pricing, broken down so that your potential client understands exactly what costs are factored in.
Your proposal should be easy to read, not overly long, and should include next steps. Should the reader email you to say he’s ready to proceed? Call? Send payment?
Professional on All Fronts
Remember: you’re the only one who knows exactly what your back operation looks like. The image you portray through interactions with your clients, as well as the marketing you do through your website, social media and your blog, is what everyone else sees. Make the effort to maintain consistency across all channels you use to market your brand, and you’ll see more customers coming your way.
See how professional you can look with QuoteRoller’s proposal software.
Photo credit: fakhar.