A really big thing that is being said right now is to be authentic. The reason is that by being authentic, you will not blend in with others within your niche. Click to Tweet
By just being you, people will get to know, like and trust you which is key to getting to sales or enrollments. When you are just starting out, it is very easy to want to be like some leader within your niche. The problem with that is that you have to constantly keep up with them to know how they react, what they are posting and how they are responding and that just might not work for YOU.
The goal of any new or small business is to be relevant to your niche. Click to Tweet
Being relevant means being closely connected to your ideal customers. Click to Tweet
As the customer begins to trust, the revenue begins and grows. Click to Tweet
When it comes to marketing, the worst thing that you can do is blend in with others. Click to Tweet
Companies are sending information to not only you, but also your ideal customers, and often it is not relevant information. (What is my definition of relevant in this case? Something of value) If all the customer is receiving is “Buy this now” or “I have a special going on right now” messages, it will be considered SPAM by your customers. Most people open less than 50% of their email. My personal percentage of email opened is less. I have done my best to narrow down material I open to just 3 or 4 leaders. Why only so little? Of the 300+ emails I receive, only 3 or 4 are ones I can count on being something worth my time. I can count on their material to consistently be high quality.
If you are not providing value, you will be forgotten. Click to Tweet
Good content marketing makes a person stop…read…think…and behave differently. Click to Tweet
Think for a moment of a brand that you feel connected to. It could be another internet marketer, a restaurant, clothing store, anything. What is it about them that make you want to do business with them? There are components to their philosophy of doing business that resonates with you. It could be personal relationships that have been formed through purchases. The bottom line is that the experience that you have makes you want to come back for more.
Now contemplate your business or your personal brand.
What components resonate with your customers? If you don’t know, then ask them. Click to Tweet
It is nothing short of lazy to publish a message that people have seen or heard thousands of times before. Click to Tweet A great example is “Family owned and operated since…” Show people that you are a family owned business. Show that you have been around for a long time and make sure you are doing it in creative ways. If you are usually full of humor, make that a part of your marketing. You will draw your own carefully narrowed niche and these will be your best customers. They will tell others about you and why they love you.
It is a very noisy world and even more so on the internet.
People are constantly trying to outsmart Facebook and get their posts seen by more. Click to Tweet
I see articles about Google’s search engine and how to rank high. There is actually a very easy way to get all of this done without studying methods and tricks. Put out high quality content and do it on a consistent basis and do not be like others in your field. The only way to not be like others is to be you. If your material is different and of high value, you will attract the people that you want.
The tiny cost of failure is dwarfed by the huge cost of not trying. ~Seth Godin
Here are tips to make sure you are not “blending in”:
- Stop giving messages that no one is interested in. Social Media and Social ads are designed to connect you with your target customers. Not to everyone. Click to Tweet
- Broadcast your Personality. Great examples are Apple and Harley Davidson Apple draws people because of their commitment to quality, while Harley Davidson attracts customers because of their continuity of products and service.
People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it. ~Simon Sinek
- Leverage your assets. Find creative ways to show off your company and anyone within it. Click to Tweet Finding a way to show off your business while being creative will be difficult, but well worth the effort.
- Give your customers a remarkable experience when they purchase. Click to Tweet As a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that the product as well as the purchase experience is something that your customer wants to talk positively about.
- Make your employees the stars. The public wants to hear directly from employees as ambassadors for the company who can attest to its integrity, the quality and relevance of products and services offered and the operational strength of the company, including its leadership.
“Employees are considered the most trusted source across most clusters of trust attributes, especially among those attributes grouped under engagement (50%) and integrity (37%).” ~Edelman Trust Barometer 2014
- Engagement and integrity are always going to be a key for building trust with your business. Click to Tweet
If you are busy imitating someone else, what is going to happen when you “goof”? Will people see you as a fraud?
- Use tools to help you. Some great tools you can use are: Hootsuite, Canva, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and even SnapChat or Vine. There are many more tools that are available for a small cost, but all of these are free. If you feel you do not have the time to do those things, look and see if it will be worth the Return On Investment (ROI) to hire someone to do that for you. It may be time to outsource one or more things.
- Take time to create a marketing plan. Just like you put together your business plan, you need to spend time creating a marketing calendar. Click to Tweet This should include a timeline that incorporates seasonal themes like promotions you might run during the holidays. Make sure that your calendar covers all of your platforms from website, blog, social media, advertising trade shows and networking events. Putting it all on paper will ensure that you are covering all your bases.
- Do a giveaway. Everyone loves to get something for free. Click to Tweet Of course you are already giving great and valuable content to your fans or followers, but everyone loves something for free. In exchange you can ask for their email. Of course you want it to be related to your niche, and never give away too much or discount too much as you do not want to appear desperate.
- Survey your audience. Find out what your customers want. Click to Tweet If you have an actual brick and mortar business, you could offer a discount to those that take the survey on their next purchase. People will do it for as little as 5%, but of course you will see better results with a higher discount. Ask what your customers like and do not like. Ask what they want to see. You can then use that information to give the products they asked for by advertising “By Popular demand” or write a blog with “Answers to your questions about…..” Google as well as Monkey Survey will allow you to do this for free.
As a brief summary, be sure that you are being authentic. People are looking for businesses that are ethical, listens to their customers, are transparent and open and that communicate well. You will always keep a customer when they feel that they come before profits. If you follow those simple steps, you will see your business not only grow, but thrive.
Your turn: What do you do to ensure that you are authentic in your business? What would you ad?