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We all know that the best form of advertising is word of mouth. Ask any successful business owner and they will tell you that the majority of their business is from referrals. Livvie Matthews talks about reputation, and how it can effect your business.

Reputation...What's Yours?
By Livvie Matthews

With all the news of unethical corporations and businesses in
today's troubled economy, is it any wonder the public is asking
who's trustworthy in these seemingly untrustworthy times and
skeptical about who to trust for doing any type of business?

With the financial and economic crisis dominating the news, there's
no doubt about it...we are in an economic storm.  Unemployment is
up, consumer spending is down, cutting back is in, and over
spending is definitely out!

Whether you are a new or an established business, these are
changing and often scary times and changing times require
changing courses...literally.

But not all is doom and gloom.  At this time it's critical
you review your current marketing materials and develop
new marketing messages that address your clients concerns,
their changing values, and their priorities for helping them
and their clients survive in these economic down times. 

Time is of the essence, and if you don't feel comfortable in
revising/creating your new materials or are pressed for time,
contact a reliable freelance copywriter. 

Reputation...a good, solid one, is critical in surviving this
economic down time.  Here are a few tips for you and to
pass on to your clients:

Build Positive Relationships (a good reputation)...
You must build relationships with your clients and fellow
netpreneurs by building a good, solid reputation, one client
interaction at a time.

A good reputation (being honest, reliable, and trustworthy) is not
just something you can say you have...not unless it's backed up
by satisfied customers and documented feedback. 

It use to be that "word of mouth" was the best advertising (if it was
good) and to some extent it still is.  But with the Internet your
business reputation is just a Google, Yahoo, and MSN search away.

This can be local, national, even global information on you, your
business practices, and it's reputation...good AND bad.  Clients are
not going to waist their time let alone their money on a business they
can't trust.  If your business reputation is not one of credibility and
trust, you won't's that simple!  

Even with the overwhelming size of the Internet and the online
businesses, business still boils down to people...people make
decisions based on relationships, and relationships are

Lay A Solid Foundation…
Start building a good reputation by presenting yourself as reliable,
honest and trustworthy; a person who knows what you're doing;
be a person of your word; and foremost…always, let me repeat...
always...put your client first. 

If you say you are going to do it.  If you
have given a specific time on time.  If there is a
problem...fix it.  If you've received an e-mail...answer it.
Address each client as if they are the most important client
you have...because they are!

Be confident and competent in your business.  Enthusiasm
is exciting and contagious!  Your client will get caught up
in your enthusiasm.

Make your web site, newsletter (e-zine), products, and marketing
materials “user friendly” by asking for your client's participation
and their opinions, and then maximize their input.  

Let them get to know you and your business.  On the Internet,
you can build both personal and business relationships without
actually “meeting” the person. 

In my 11+ years online, I have “met” some of the nicest, most
helpful and friendliest people online since building my first web site, through my current web site
(A word of caution:  Do be careful online!)

E-Mail - A Top Priority...
E-mail is to the online line client what the telephone is to the
storefront business...It is the lifeline!

Answer all your e-mail inquiries as soon a possible. Try to make
it a priority to respond within 24 hours.  This demonstrates a great
deal about you and your business practices and it also reflects your
character.  Make sure all your e-mails contain your e-mail signature
(sig).  Your e-mail signature is a great way to advertise your business.

Be as helpful and as personable as possible. Most of the time these
people will become clients.

As we "hunker down", we'll learn two things: 
1) As with all storms...even an economic storm can be weathered
2) We can be known as trustworthy in seemingly untrustworthy times 

Establish yourself as being reliable, honest, and trustworthy, three of
the main ingredients in building a good, solid reputation.  Then your
clients can answer...Reputation...What's yours?


Livvie Matthews provides a wide range of freelance
copywriting services including Brochures, Web Site
Content, White Pages, e-mail Marketing, and Newsletters. 
Visit or e-mail
[email protected]


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Ten ways to Sharpen your Business Edge
Promotion Techniques

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