3 easy and inexpensive ways to look more professional when you’re starting out

3 easy and inexpensive ways to look more professional when you’re starting out

For bootstrapping young businesses, making a professional first impression as you build your brand is key.

Although hiring a branding expert may be too large an expense in the early days, you can still help your business stand out in the best possible way without breaking the bank.

Just follow these simple marketing moves that will help people to know, like, and trust you.

1. Build credibility with your own email address

A custom email account isn’t costly but is well worth the effort. Sending company emails from a Gmail or Hotmail account will raise questions about the legitimacy of your business (if they ever make it past your customers’ spam filters.)

If you’ve already registered your company’s domain name for your website it’s a snap to set up a custom email address. Google’s paid service (G Suite for business) is a powerful email system that you can easily set up yourself if you are just a little bit tech savvy. If you want to call in the professionals, a friendly local firm like Bloody Computers can set up your email in a cost effective way.

2. Build your brand with a customized logo

An effective eye-catching logo will attract new customers, help you stand apart from competitors, build trust in your brand and, ideally, inspire customer loyalty.

Many small businesses decide to go it alone using web based software like Canva.

While this may create a useable logo, using a professional local designer like Anthony at Brandstorm may be more cost effective than you think.

A professional designer will want to discuss your company’s brand identity with you. Being clear on your brand before your first consult will streamline the process, ensuring you get exactly what you want.

This article from LeanLabs help you pin down your unique brand identity with twenty questions.

3. Build trust with a professional photo

Before strangers will buy from you, they need to get to know you.

A high quality photo for your website and social media accounts, in addition to professional web content and engaging social media posts, is a must. Nothing makes a business appear more “fly by night” than a faceless LinkedIn avatar—or less professional than a grainy, out of focus selfie.

Again, a local photographer can create a professional image for a reasonable cost.

You can also do it yourself if you’re on a budget following these quick headshot tips from HubSpot.

Next steps

Marketing is an ongoing commitment for every business, and as your business and bottom line grow you can invest in new strategies to maintain a profitable company.

In the meantime, these simple “must do’s” will help you make that the positive first impression with your customers and with would-be investors, potential partners, and lenders.

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