Building a brand is much more than having a fancy website or a sexy logo. We’re entering a new paradigm of entrepreneurship and self promotion. It’s not just about your visual branding, what skills you have, or what you sell. It’s about what value you bring to the table before money even exchanges hands. We’re moving towards a content first environment.
It’s about how you’re able to create a platform from which you’re able to showcase your talents and get people to know like and trust you. It’s about attention. It’s about creating your own buzz and being the go to person for whatever service you provide or whatever you’re promoting.
The Real Truth About Building A Brand in 2017: Creating Content and Your Digital Footprint
If you’re reading this right now, you’re probably someone who’s thinking of starting a business venture, an entrepreneur, or someone who wants to get ahead career-wise.
Right now, starting your business and finding customers isn’t enough. Waiting for a promotion isn’t enough. You need to make sure you have a good digital footprint not just so you can be discovered, but to build a fascinating brand so that people are interested in, what you have to say, and what you have to offer.
As someone with a lot of experience helping people develop their brands and their online presence, I’m seeing a growing need to capture and retain the attention of the people who would benefit most from what you have to offer.
Whether you’re a coach, public speaker, photographer or designer, when it comes to building a brand people care about, the truth is you can no longer go without producing content provides value. When I mention value I’m talking about content that educates, inspires and entertains people.
What’s Your Flavour?
There are so many different flavours of content. To keep things simple I’ll use the 3 most popular categories of content which are
- Blog (written)
- Podcast (audio)
- Vlog (video)
So in practical terms let’s think of it as magazines, radio and TV. Which one are you going to pick? Are you comfortable on camera? Are you a wordsmith? Or do you have a silky smooth voice made for radio?
To be honest it doesn’t really matter if you’re talented in any specific area I mentioned. That can be developed with time and practice. Start with which platform you think will carry your message most effectively and the one you think compliments your skill set or projects your personality best.
What do you want to be known for?
When you’re deciding on the content you’re going to be producing you’ll want to consider what it is you want to be known for. You’ll then want to write, film or record based on the topics that are going to be of most interest to your target audience. So for example, if you want to be known as a creative portrait photographer you can film a typical day on a shoot; the preparation, the lighting, the makeup, the shots and the final edited results. This gives your audience a behind the scenes look at how you work and what they can expect when working with you. This is powerful.
Heres another example: If you’re a consultant or coach, you can record a podcast or write a blog post on topics that aim to answer a question or solve problems that your customers typically have; for example how to achieve x result in x amount of days without x obstacle… when you’re able to do this on a consistent basis what you’re doing is building a powerful brand… remember a brand isn’t a logo it’s a feeling, it’s the thoughts, it’s the experience associated with your name. It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room. And if you’re able to solve your audiences problems and add value to their lives whether it’s through entertainment, inspiration or information; you’ll be positioning yourself for success. That’s how you build a personal brand that will impact your business positively.
Use Social Media to Amplify Your Message
When you’ve worked hard on your blog, your podcast or your video, you’ll want to get it seen by as many people as possible. Not your friends and family; they don’t count… (they’re not your audience). Find the social media platforms your audience are most likely to hang out on. It helps to know a little about your ideal target audience and the social networks they engage with most so you can focus your efforts in those places. I personally prefer Instagram and Twitter for connecting with people. Don’t just promote your content in those spaces, also take time to engage in conversations not necessarily directly related to your content. Take the opportunity to listen to those you’re having conversations with and build relationships.
Continue the Conversation in your own space.
While it’s great that you’ve got people checking out your content, you need a way to communicate with them off of social media. They may have discovered you on social media , listened to your podcast or watched your video but there’s still an opportunity to deepen the relationship with your audience…by inviting them to join your mailing list…
Yes. I said Mailing list. I know… email isn’t as sexy as the rest of them…but guess what…there’s no algorithm for email. People check their emails first thing in the morning and multiple times a day. You have much more control over how many of your contacts see your message than you would if you were to just rely on social media. You really can’t ignore the practicality of email when it comes to communicating with your growing audience.
By creating regular content for your audience, so many opportunities can arise. It’s not uncommon to be invited to do public speaking, radio and tv interviews, or magazine shoots off the back of your online content. So if you haven’t already committed to some kind of content production to support your business, now’s the perfect time to start.
Over to you..
Did you find this useful? Do you have a question? Tweet me at @andrew_cbx