By Jon Michail
Will you reach a million people this year? Or maybe ten million? Is the thought of all that advertising just too painful to dwell on?
The reality is you can now optimise your brand for a fraction of what it cost twenty years ago. Remember how you had to hire a public relations outfit to spend gazillions on newspaper ads, radio spots and TV commercials? Yes, they reached a lot of local people, but they didn’t do a lot for your national – let alone your exposure.
Now things couldn’t be more different. You can reach a huge potential audience by modestly investing in a website and using the right strategies to get noticed.
Just about every kind of social media is free. It’s up to you to make the most of those opportunities by getting serious about building your brand, personal or business. Show the world just what you can do.
- Understand the here and now. Begin your social media strategy by identifying the outcomes you want to achieve. Set some benchmarks like increasing brand awareness and improving traffic to your brand’s website. Regular evaluation is key to understanding what is working and what isn’t. The beauty of using social media to increase awareness of your brand is that it’s easy to adjust your strategies as soon as you realise a certain type of post or messaging isn’t capturing an audience.
- Check your Google profile. Too often we find stuff there that makes people look like idiots. It’s time to boost your profile and prove you’re a professional. Your personal life is just that – personal. Your on-line persona should attract, not repel. Remember, content is King, and Queen!
- Make your content original. You’re not the only person doing the things that you do, so make your words challenging and different to all the others. Consistency is the key. If your followers know that you’re going to make them think, they’ll come back to you for more of your wisdom and common sense.
- Make the most of social media. Whether you’re at home, the office or on the go, you can post to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram and many other social media platforms every day relevant to your audience. Make a point of reaching out every day. Set a goal – say three or four posts a day – and keep to it.
- Emulate the people you’d most like to be. How did they get to the point where others want to be like them? Without exception, they’ll be consummate professionals. They have thousands of followers on social media, and they put themselves into the public arena with positive, legitimate posts and articles. Their websites invite responses. Their interactions with the public are professional to the core and hopefully they practice what they preach.
- Build your fan base. How do clients become your loyal fans? By buying your products and making use of your services. And because those products and services are the best, those clients will keep coming back. If they’re able to access an interactive web page and connect with you through social media, they’ll keep checking in, again and again. Consider adding a separate Q&A section or forum on your site where people can easily interact with each other. Encourage collaboration, get your audience involved!
- Be different to the others. How many times have you been to the hardware store and not known which brand of widget to buy? Why? Because they all look the same. Create a point of difference. Be courageous. That way you’ll achieve instant recognition.
- Think beyond local. Don’t box yourself in – local means you’re creating barriers for yourself, both mentally and physically. Today’s complex web of communication systems means that nowhere is beyond you. Remember, your local community behaves differently to a global audience. You should segment your brand strategy when targeting both local and global audiences and the technology is there to assist you do this succinctly.
- Thank your loyal clients and reviewers. Clients love to be rewarded and brands love being talked about. Bring them together and reward your loyal clients. Ask them to add reviews on your website, and testimonials to your LinkedIn profile.
- Engage the client community. A clear sign that you’ve moved from simply pushing your brand at social media is when you begin making an active effort to focus on your brand community. Your content and messaging will now be relevant, timely and engaging for your media audience.
- Pace yourself. You’ve heard the phrase ‘All things in moderation’? Think about that as you distribute your brand content through social media channels. A good rule of thumb is to devote half to three-quarters of the social content to useful information. The rest should be about the brand itself. Keep it entertaining and relevant, and visitors will come back for more.
- Understand who your clients are. Find out who and what influences them. Your social media marketing strategies will be more effective if you can learn how clients discover media content and how they use it. Find out what motivates them to take action when they read your content.
Use these suggestions to build your brand empire and in a very short time, you’ll be reaching further and wider than you ever thought possible.
Now is the time to optimise your Personal & Business Brand…
Jon Michail is Group CEO of Image Group International, an award winning author and recognised as Australasia’s No 1 image coach. Image Group International supports executives, entrepreneurs and their organisations to become iconic and monetised leadership brands.
He is a regular commentator in international media organsations ABC, CNN, NBC, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Success, The Financial Review and Vogue.