You Need a Stand-Out Brand
We’re all drowning in online noise. Everyone has a soapbox. Everyone’s up on it trying to be heard. Entreporn luring the naïve with get-rich-quick schemes. Glorification of ‘the hustle’. It’s made small business marketing a bitch to win.
So, how can service-based business owners build a brand that stands out? How can you connect with your tribe and make them fall in love with you?
I’m going to share some simple ideas in this blog:
#1: Embrace Your Influencer Status
When I talk to clients about building an influencer brand, most react with shock, shake their head, push back the air with their hands, and enthusiastically decline.
“Oh no. I’m not an influencer. I’m just a [insert title here].”
Thanks to the rise of our shallow, photo-obsessed Insta-influencers – being referred to as one has lost its pearly sheen. But, being an influencer doesn’t mean you’re pushing freebies with selfies. It simply means you are a thought leader publishing valuable tips and insights for your niche.
If you want to stand out – you must be comfortable with publishing.
#2: Know Who You Are and Who You Serve
I recently attended a digital marketing event for real estate agents, where I heard Julie Masters (#girlcrush) speak about the Influencer cross-section.
How can you stand out?
There are millions of accountants, financial planners, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, event managers, copywriters. It’s not enough that you are just a service provider.
You need another speciality. What makes you different to everyone else?
Not just a kick-ass copywriter – but a brand voice virtuoso for bold women building an authentic business brand.
Not just an accountant – but a small business growth-focused accountant driving change in a boring and passive industry.
Not just an event planner – but a heart and community-minded event experience specialist.
You are that and some. Figure out your cross-section.
# 3: Always Be On Brand and Present
For your business to connect - you must be authentic. To build an authentic brand, you must live and breathe it. You must always be on brand and present. For example:
You can’t present as a daggy, humble, stay-at-home mum bustin’ ass on no sleep, and then show up to coffee in a power suit with salon-styled corporate hair. How intimidating. But, you could show up with some ugly cupcakes your kids helped you make and then knock back a soup bowl-sized long black over strategy.
And, you can’t portray a warm, friendly, helpful brand in your website and social content, but then be cold and elusive when responding to comments and emails. This includes your comments in online group discussions.
You’re in the business of business. Someone is watching. All. The. Time.
#4: Out-Contribute with Inspiring Thought Leadership
In another nod to Julie Masters - is the notion of 'out-contributing'. This doesn’t mean flood your platforms with garbage. Out-contribute means to share high quality, valuable information for free that you know your audience needs. Quality over quantity. The interwebs calls this - Content Marketing ;)
Find the medium that best suits you and your audience. That could be a weekly podcast where you answer one FAQ in detail. A monthly How-To video series you upload to your YouTube channel. Or, weekly blogs where you share the ins and outs of #bizylife, smothering it with your well-known wit. Cue: #5.
# 5: Add a Sprinkle of Your Personality
Some people fear sharing personality in their business content in case they appear unprofessional. Others lack confidence writing anything that isn’t the white-washed corporate dribble we were taught at school and forced to continue writing throughout our painful #corplyfe years.
Your personality is how people connect with you emotionally; how they relate to your message and journey. It's how you charm them and make them fall in love with you. But, whoever you are - be consistent.
Cue: the humble, stay-at-home mum who doesn’t enjoy baking, or, the high-flying “hustler” churning out motivational ‘you can do it’ memes. Or me – the caffeine-addicted copywriter sharing a light-hearted interpretation of #bizlyfe.
Build A Stand-Out Brand and Your Tribe Can’t Help But Love You
If you’re addicted to your new #bizlyfe and you want to keep crushin’ it for years to come, you must build a stand-out brand that trumps your competition. It’s like I’d always advise young graduates applying for our programs:
“You’re not the only one – you’re one of thousands. What makes you special and why should I care?”
When you can present your unique self to your audience in a valuable and personable way – they can’t help but fall in love with you.
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to explore how to infuse your brand personality into your content so everything you write, create, publish is dripping in your scent. Uniquely you.
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