There’s a stigma surrounding online businesses. It's almost as though they’re considered not as ‘professional’ as a more established business with a physical address or office space. While that might be the case for some companies, it doesn’t have to be for yours. Developing a reputation and maintaining professionalism is essential for your business, helping to make sure your clients receive the best service possible when they choose you.
Take a look at some of the following tips for keeping your online business professional...
Develop a professional brand
Creating a brand for your professional business is an easy way to give your business the professional look that resonates with potential clients. Brands aren’t just for big businesses, you can easily create a brand for your freelance business too. Hire a graphic designer or use a creative suite like Canva to help you make your own. Use your branding across your website, business cards, invoices, email signatures, etc. to help keep everything consistent.
Be clear about your working hours
One of the best things about working online is that you get to choose your own working hours. But it can also be your downfall. Like it or not, many businesses continue to work within the 9-5 zone and expect to receive timely responses to any queries that they send. Make sure your working hours are clearly stated on your website, and even in your email signature to help clients know when they can get in touch with you.
Make your contact details clear
Your clients will want to get in touch with you in a variety of ways, including phone, email and by mail.
While email and phone are easy to divulge, your home address doesn’t always give off the professional image you want to portray. Besides that, the beauty of freelancing is that you can do it anywhere, so you might not always be home or in the country to receive your mail.
A physical address from physicaladdress.com can allow you to maintain contact easily by mail, allowing you to access your correspondence from wherever you are. It’s important that you make time to manage your inbox regularly, as a lack of contact could lead to frustrations with your clients, who might not choose to work with you again.
Meet them face to face
When you run an online business, it can be easy to hide behind a screen, but getting out there and meeting clients could be a great way to provide that professional edge. Whether you choose to hire out a meeting space regularly, or you meet at a restaurant or bar, it’s good to have some face to face contact and get to know your clients a bit better.
One of the biggest things you can do is work on professionalism from your end. Ensuring you’ve got the right mindset and workspace to be productive and efficient will be essential in getting those long-term clients on your books and making your freelance business a success.