3 hacks to make your small team look and act bigger

Sophia Ellis
Sep 04, 2017

I remember when I first started using Buffer. I was getting regular emails from them, and quickly decided to sign up for their blog notifications, as I found the content really helpful. They churned out quality content and useful information about their ever-improving product across multiple platforms with such precision. “There’s no way this isn’t a huge team in a big office somewhere,” I thought to myself.

I became curious as to how companies like this ran, and so I did a little research. I was completely shocked to find out that Buffer only consisted of around 20 remote team members at the time. They weren’t even in the same city. Yet their online presence and customer service was impeccable.

Obviously, the fact that they had managed to perfect a system so well had a profound effect on how customers – and potential customers – viewed the company. I realized that in many cases, small startups were ten times more responsive and intuitive with their audience and customer base, than huge corporations with much more capital dedicated to customer services.

I wanted to know why and how small startups could set themselves up to operate like large, reliable and well-established teams.

After a lot of research, I discovered that it comes down to three main tactics:

For a short preview check this video out!

1. A confident, consistent, and authoritative tone:

If you compare the content of small (and I mean obviously small), inexperienced startups, to companies like Buffer, ActiveCampaign and Hubspot, you’ll notice a vivid difference in tone. From the outset, companies that we now consider to be market leaders in their field (such as Hubspot), have adopted an authoritative tone and chosen to be informative rather than ‘salesy’. They’ve positioned themselves as experts in what their customers need. Yet, they still do so in a tone that is far more informal and personal, than that used by large corporations. These small companies and startups use simple language and visual tools in order to display information intuitively. We trust their content and believe in their ability to help us. As a result, even if they’ve only been online for a few months, we view them as credible sources. Sometimes, even more so than large corporations. And this keeps us coming back for more.

Hubspot nails a consistent and authoritative tone.

2. Personalized automation:

Corporations have invested heavily in automation. There’s no shortage of chatbots to find on corporate sites, offering instant assistance as soon as you click onto a page. But are they always successful at replicating a real customer service assistant? If you’ve ever “spoken” with a startup or small business, you may have had a more positive experience with a real, human assistant. But the problem is – as a fast-growing startup, or any team looking to quickly build a large customer base – how do you use technology to converse with all of your potential customers in a way that isn’t robotic? Again, some of the world’s smallest teams nail this. By knowing how to take full advantage of technology – but still keeping it personal – your company will appear light years ahead of your rivals.

Here are some of the most effective tools:

  • AI chatbots to answer customer service questions on your site
  • Demo videos for different target markets
  • Personalized weekly emails with relevant content

3. Polish Your Brand With Free Resources

Multiple platforms and communication systems can be a burden as much as a blessing. If your brand isn’t polished and consistent across all platforms with quality graphics, copy, and photography (if applicable), then any inexperience will immediately show. Every single impression that a company makes, wherever online it may be, adds to a customer’s overall perception. Usually, you can tell immediately if a company is new, small, and inexperienced… but sometimes you can’t!

Some free resources to get polished:

You don’t need a team of 50 to look and perform better than a team of one! There are plenty of companies proving that to be the case. We hope these tips are helpful in setting up your team to do the same. For a collaboration platform that helps your team accomplish more together, try Hibox free today.

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