Branding initiatives can help increase sales and ROI.

Converting leads into business is the bottom line for building business and bringing in dollars and sales. How do you get those leads and convert them into sales? Branding is one of the best ways and you can tap into your current customers to help spread the word about your brand.

Developing your company's brand, what it is known for, is more than simply having the same logo and fonts and colors for all of your advertising and marketing pieces. Branding goes much further – it goes to the heart of what your business is. Are you known as the "go-to" expert in your industry? Have you built a reputation on quick, quality customer service? Do clients know it doesn't matter to whom they speak at your office; they will get top quality care without being passed from person to person before they're taking care of? In addition to knowing what your physical brand is, you need to work on the intangible aspects of it as well.

Following your efforts to understand your brand and promote it from within your company, you need to go to the source for brand promotion, your current, satisfied clients. There's no better way to build your brand and your reputation than through word-of-mouth. Tap into your client base and have them become the evangelists for your company and your services by asking for reviews. The conversation can be as simple as, "We'd love it if you'd recommend us to your friends/or write leave a comment on our blog/or write a review on Yelp."

Here are three ways to focus on building your brand before you rush out and ask for client recommendations and word-of-mouth referrals:

  1. Build an impeccable reputation. Your reputation will go further to building your brand than will any marketing campaign you buy.
  2. Make it easy to request referrals. If your clients – even completely satisfied ones – have to jump through too many hoops to leave a recommendation, chances are they won't.
  3. Offer incentives to customers who refer leads that eventually convert to customers and sales. Referral bonuses are great incentives to satisfied clients.

No matter what industry you're in, do what you can to set yourself apart through your customer service or other means. Stay front of mind with customers; make sure that when they're in the market for your product or service, you are the supplier they automatically think of. To survive and thrive, you need to set yourself apart with your brand and do what you do best to keep customers happy if you're looking to them to help promote your company.