The first coach I hired years ago was a professional named Tim. One of the lessons he taught me about background marketing is still valuable today.

In our sessions, he kept mentioning something he called “background marketing.” I had never heard of that term and didn’t know what it meant. Finally, I mustered the courage to ask him to explain.

He said background marketing is best described as the image people hold of you aside from your normal marketing efforts. A good example of this is one client who was a smoker. She sent me some material to critique in the regular mail. The moment I opened the mailbox, I could smell smoke.

My client had no clue about smoke residue and I’ve learned most smokers do not. Non-smokers know that smell all too well and don’t care for it. An opinion would be formed of her before anyone ever saw the quality of her work and she was really competent in her work.

Here are several examples of simple everyday things to consider as you go about your daily business operations.

  • All facial hair should be kept neat and trimmed. This includes nose and ear hair. Don’t be more than 24 hours from your last shave.
  • Tattoos should not be visible.
  • There is supposed to be a gap between your two eye brows, prevent a “manbrow.”
  • Make sure belts don’t show how your waistline has expanded or contracted through wear holes or marks on the belt. When there is a need to change holes, change belts.
  • Keep fingernails trimmed, polished and neat.
  • Button up shirts, leaving only the top button undone. This is not the time to show a hairy chest (men) or cleavage (ladies).
  • Make sure notecards, stationary and business cards are clean and professional.
  • Phone ringers should be appropriate, eliminate loud songs and startling noises.
  • Answer the phone in a courteous, polite and consistent manner.
  • Teeth, breath and hair should be clean, fresh and well kept.
  • Be alert, courteous and polite with everyone you come in contact with on a daily basis.

These simple little things that happen in the background make up your background marketing – and are how others form their opinions about you and your business. Make sure the message your prospects and clients are receiving is the message you intend to send and your business will be better for it.