People buy from people…people they know, like and trust.
Smart entrepreneurs know that customers want to know more about YOU before they buy from you.
To stand out as an authority, a resume or LinkedIn profile is simply not enough. You need a cross-platform marketing approach to demonstrate to your customers your knowledge, your trustworthiness, and how you conduct business. You need to build your personal, professional brand.
And you need to do this while still running your business
Learn more about work-smarter methods to build and cultivate your brand – your “know, like, and trust factor” – without turning marketing into a full-time job.
TURN LEADS INTO SALES.
Tip #1: Use consistent visuals, graphics, and head shots
Visuals register with the brain first – so the first thing a consumer should see is a consistent brand look.
Brand EVERYTHING the same way. Think of Coca Cola or Apple. They look very different – Coke’s red, swoopy logo versus Apple’s Zen bluish silver website. Both are successful. Both send a consistent visual message that goes on all their content. You would never confuse one for the other.
Take a lesson from the big dogs: there should be no confusion about who created the content. Your business name, logo, tagline, and colors should register quickly with the user. Have a GREAT head shot taken – it’s worth hiring a pro for this – and use is EVERYWHERE.
Super-bonus tip: make sure that your logo and name are clickable – and check it on a mobile site to make sure that it does not scale down to the unreadable.
Extra Super-bonus tip: Your logo can simply be your name. Text logos are simple to create with any graphics program. Look at my logo shown at the top of the page. Just text.
Tip #2: Go big in 2 or 3 social marketing channels
Choose your marketing channels based on where most of your customers are already hanging out.
There are lots of demographic studies about age, sex, ethnicity, income, and even intent around marketing channels. What is a marketing channel? Facebook, your blog, LinkedIn, Instagram, guest posting on industry blogs, Snap, Periscope, Pinterest, and YouTube are all examples.
Don’t forget traditional marketing channels
TV, radio, print, and industry publications are an overlooked way to attention and authority. Well-written articles on a closely related topic are often welcomed – and get you in front of your target audience without the pressure of a sales call.
Once you have a track record (and maybe some help), add more channels – one at a time. But make a splash in your chosen ponds first.
Tip #3: Half of all internet traffic is now mobile – is your content?
You spend time (and maybe money) getting people interested in you and what you’re selling. Make sure that whatever content you create is frustration-free across all
You only have a couple of seconds before a visitor decides to stay and view or bounce away from your content – maybe forever. You got them to your content, don’t chase them off because they have to pinch and scroll.
Mobile accounts for 50%+ of all Internet traffic. Try Google’s free Mobile-Friendly test site to make sure that your content, including all graphics, are easily viewable.
Super-bonus tip: use buttons for important clickable links in your mobile content. It can be frustrating to tap-tap-tap on a text link that just won’t connect with your
Tip #4: Be the (wo)man with the SMART plan
“Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” — Benjamin Franklin
A marketing and sales plan does not have to be complicated – but it does need to be written – and it needs to be SMART.
Specific – define the goal (new leads, increase in sales)
Measurable – define the quantity (65 leads, 8% sales increase)
Assignable – define who is responsible for exact tasks
Realistic – is the plan realistic? 8% yes – 800% no
Time – set out t timeline for completion – with milestones
Once a week: Review your progress and pick out the ONE THING you want to accomplish next week.
Once a month: Review your progress on weekly goals. Pick out the FOUR WEEKLY THINGS you will do next month.
Once a quarter: Review your progress on monthly goals. Pick out the THREE MONTHLY THINGS you will do next quarter.
Once a year: Review your progress on quarterly goals. Pick out the FOUR QUARTERLY THINGS you will do next quarter.
Tip #5: Ask your audience what they want to know
As Homer Simpson would say “D’oh!”
What better way to deliver EXACTLY what your customers want, and build your “know, like, and trust: factor than by answering the questions that your customers are asking?
Spend your time in your chosen social marketing channels reading what your clients are talking about, answer the question, and refer back to your site.
Ask yourself the following: What posts get the greatest response? Are people confused, opinionated, passionate? That is a sign that you should be creating content around this.
Super-bonus tip: pose questions on social media. “If you were buying (your product), what is the one thing it must have?” “What is the one thing that would keep you from buying (your product)?”
You will get a lot of nonsense answers, but you will also glean some insight into how your customers think.
Tip #6: Promote your content
If you are creating content around your customers questions and needs, it’s time to go back to these same places and talk about solutions to their problems.
Find discussions around your topic, answer the question, and post a response with a link back to your content, telling readers that you have even more on the topic.
Super-bonus tip: add (new) visuals. Graphics or videos increase engagement but up to 200%. There are lots of tools and free websites sites that let you create fast graphics that will make your content stand out.
Extra Super-bonus tip: Participate in the conversation. When someone posts an answer, respond. Comment, ask a follow up question, post a resource. Be engaged.
This does two things: keeps the conversation at the top of the flow (recent active posts generally stay near the top of most social media feeds) and increases your social engagement –which Google rewards.
Tip #7: Content does not have to be original – but it has to be good and relevant
Curated content (content that you have found and passed along) can be just as powerful as original content – with a couple of rules.
First – only use curated content that is really good, reflects your personal and business standards, and adds to the conversation you are having with your customers.
Second – add your commentary or review. Read the content and glean out the relevant facts for your readers. As an expert, tell them why it’s important. Highlight key parts for the skimmers in your audience.
Third – attribute the content to its original creator. No stealing or plagiarizing. Email the original creator to let them know that you are sharing their content. You might get a shout-out from them and access to a whole new audience.
Super-bonus tip: automate your content curation by setting up Google Alerts and Feedly.
Tip #8: Make sure your digital footprints all lead home
Any time you create content, your readers should have an immediate way to click back to your site.
Guest posting? Add a bio section to the post with an invitation to learn more about whatever you just posted about – preferably a link to another specific, related piece of content. (AND add a great head shot – one that you use across all channels)
Should you have a website? While not absolutely necessary, a website gives you a place where YOU control how content is presented AND gives you a place where
you can be intentional about building your audience and your marketing plan. READ MORE IN THIS POST
Super-bonus tip: Create a custom bio for your social media – and refresh it at least twice a year (quarterly is better). Even better, have a couple of custom bios precisely tailored to different audiences.
Tip #9: Create a gotta-have-it-now reason to click over to your site in the form of a
Lead magnets don’t have to be long or difficult to create.
The best lead magnets solve a specific problem that your business solves for them. The upside? People who click on the lead magnet are self-selecting as your target market. Win-win.
Super-bonus tip: Try different lead magnets for different audiences. Test your results.
Extra-super-bonus tip: Repackage your most popular content. Take three blog posts and make a short eBook. Distill the points in a post down to a cheat sheet. Add visuals and your branding. Eureka! You have a (nearly) ready-made lead magnet.
Tip #10: Create a landing page – or six.
If all your visitors arrive at your home page, you are asking them to figure out what you want them to do next.
Yeah…how is that working out for you – and your customers?
Now imagine you can custom-tailor the experience for your visitors and deliver tailored content rather than a bewildering set of options?
You can when you send them to a landing pages.
While you won’t create a landing page for every piece of brand content, you probably have themes or client audiences that are distinct enough that you can build landing pages around their visit.
Super-bonus tip: Track where your visitors are coming from – and how they engage. Double down on what works.
Tip #11: Take names (and email addresses)
You’re in business to make money, right?
And having a bunch of potential customers to contact who have already expressed interest in you would be fabulous, right?
If you’re nodding along and saying yeah to those questions, then it’s time to step into the wonderful world of email marketing.
Email isn’t scary. I have a Jumpstart Email video series coming up that explains the setup and tips using a free version of Mailchimp and a guide that helps you get started. Sign up on my email list. Seats for the training will be limited; my subscribers get first chance to register!
Super-bonus tip: Tip #9 suggests creating a landing page.
Add an opt-in box and gather email addresses. And watch
your customer lead list grow.