How to Gain and Retain Local Credibility With Your Security Company
The need for credibility as the owner of a security company is essential to earning consistent, dependable profits. Here’s how to ingrain yourself in your community as an expert.
The need for credibility as the owner of a security company is essential to earning consistent, dependable profits. The firm itself must also be squeaky clean and well known for quality workmanship, incredible service, and impeccable integrity.
All of this is extremely important for the overall success and longevity of your business. Without it, it’s impossible to grow your business. In fact, if trust is ever lost between yourself and the community in which you live and operate, it can be extremely difficult to earn it back.
“Huge advertising budgets and PR campaigns are not a substitute for credibility. That’s good news for the small business owner who now has a more level playing field when it comes to getting their message out. But it also means spending more time establishing and maintaining your credibility because your business depends upon it,” says Shawn Hessinger, author of ‘Building Trust: 5 Tips to Establish Your Credibility for Business,’ Small Business Operations.
Where to Begin: Online
According to Hessinger, the first place to start building credibility is online. Let’s begin with your website, a proverbial island in an ocean of global business. Even though as an alarm company your focus may be local, business leaders and general consumers in your community are sure to use the Internet when they search for the security and life-safety products and services that you offer.
The bottom line, you must be in those search engines, and you must rank well in order for them to find you.
Let’s begin with an examination of your website.
There are two kinds of websites on the Internet–dynamic (exciting) and static (boring). Dynamic websites are those with changing content while static websites rarely change at all.
Where the former features changing content, including informative articles, resourceful links, and a clear Call-to-Action that puts visitors in touch with you, the latter can bore your visitors to the point of clicking off, usually using their browser’s back button.
Which one do you want to represent your company on the Internet — dynamic or static?
What you have on your website also is important. As they so often say, “Content is King,” and so it is that your website should be jam-packed with content that provides answers to common questions and solutions to problems that businesses and consumers encounter in security and life safety. If you’re not a writer, don’t let that stop you from hiring one.
Whatever you do, please know that Google, Bing, and other search engines rank websites in part on the credibility of the author of the materials you feature thereon. In other words, don’t buy cheap, inexpensive content from people who do not have a well established name in the industry. Where they charge 7 to 10 cents a word; a credible, experienced writer will charge from 35 to 50 cents.
If possible, set up a blog on your website where you or an authority on security and life-safety can provide helpful stories that people want to read. Once they’ve read one, and if it provided them with helpful, interesting information, they’ll come back time after time to read more.
You also should consider providing guest articles to other websites and blogs to generate backlinks to your website. Always feature the links and a short excerpt to your guest articles on your website to further build credibility with prospects and those in the community whom you know. There’s no greater honor than to have someone respect and trust you enough to publish your article(s) on their website.
Another online hotspot where visibility is essential is that of bulletin boards and messaging systems. Here, people of like mind alarm installers, service techs and many others — gather to discuss the issues of the day.
In this case they’ll discuss technology and marketing as it pertains to security and life-safety. Join the fray, provide helpful information, give people the benefit of your professional experience. Unless you give, you won’t receive anything back.
All of this spells “expert,” “authority,” “credibility,” and a ready source of “quality information” to those who find you through the many search engines there are on the Web.
Local Outreach: Feet on the Ground
On a local basis, think in terms of leadership. Join a charitable organization, such as the Salvation Army, a local Rotary Club, a Chamber of Commerce and donate to a worthwhile cause(s). Offer your services as a speaker to local service clubs, colleges and universities, business networks, special interest clubs, local business publications and others.
According to Lori Nash Byron, author of 17 Ways to Find Speaking Opportunities, “The sure-fire way to accelerate your reputation as an expert and boost your business box office is to speak. From short talks to panel discussions and auditorium-filled formal presentations, public speaking catapults you from relative unknown to business superstar”.
So what do you talk about? Today, you might choose to discuss what it might take to minimize the likelihood of a school shooting at your local elementary, middle, and senior high schools.
If your area of expertise is CCTV (Closed Circuit Television), then talk about what a remotely monitored camera system will do for you local school district. Access control? Discuss the school lockdown features available within the purview of the access control system your company uses and how it can be used to safeguard access to individual classrooms and offices during a crisis situation.
In a word, pick timely and interesting topics around which to develop a number of talking points. If possible, develop a Powerpoint program that offers visual help in showing and proving each one. Provide a handout with your business card and a short biography so everyone knows who you are and how to contact you by phone(s), fax, email, website and USPS.
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