Using social media to become known in your industry is no longer just a vehicle for celebrities and public figures. The incredible thing about it is it’s accessible for anyone to talk about their expertise and talents. You no longer need to have been on TV or radio or written a book to be seen.
You can use your personal brand to elevate your visibility so you can become the go-to professional in your industry. It’s an effective way to stand out from your competitors.
Forget the cynics and naysayers who say personal branding is just a marketing ploy and something not worth wasting time or effort on. Personal branding is all too often misunderstood as something where you have to share personal details or talk about some major incident in your life which changed you. Personal branding isn’t this.
It is about showing your personality and being relatable and real wherever you are, whether online or in person. In a crowded market where consumers have access to all kinds of media and review sites to decide whether they like you and want to buy from you, standing out from the crowd matters. In 2022, if you’re not taking advantage of personal branding, you are missing a golden marketing opportunity.
Personal branding when you work in a regulated profession
This can be a real challenge especially if you are working in an industry that doesn’t traditionally encourage you to use your personality and give your perspective. Regulated professions such as financial services, accountancy or the law profession are not usually known for urging their representatives to stand out as individuals, but maybe more fit into a corporate identity.
The aim of this article will help to give you a fresh perspective on why using having a personal brand and using social media will give you a huge advantage, especially if you are running your own business or working independently in these sectors.
How social media marketing works for your personal brand
Building your personal brand means you can use your personal profiles on platforms such as LinkedIn and Instagram to encourage prospects to get to know you. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others work equally as well. From there they can grow to like you and hopefully trust you. They are then much more likely to want to hire you.
However, this isn’t about posting lots of salesy and spammy content promoting your offers. All this does is encourage more scrolling.
If you want people to stop on your posts and actually give you some attention, then you’ve got to give them something worth investing their precious time on reading or watching (yes, a short video can work very effectively)
Talk about what makes you you
I call this sharing your superpowers.
What are your talents? What is your expertise? What’s your experience? Who do you work with? How do you help them? What are your offers and services?
It’s not just these though. It’s not just what you do and who you help. You also want to let your target audience know why they should choose you over someone else. I call this using your ‘why buy me?’ pitch.
How to craft your ‘Why Buy Me?’ pitch
Here’s some questions to ask yourself which may help you.
What are you truly passionate about in your business?
What are your values?
What motivated you to start your career or, if you are working for yourself, what motivated you to start your business?
What makes you unique and different?
What do your peers and previous clients say about you?
What do people think of when they think about you?
Why do you think you can help the clients/customers you want to help?
What will the transformation be for those who buy from you?
Craft these responses into your ‘why buy me?’ pitch, which can be included in your elevator pitch.
This is the kind of information that will have you standing out from the competition. Tell your story and get your ideal clients interested in you and wanting to know more.
Use this to show your personality in your social media profiles. Include these details in your LinkedIn About section and your other social media bios, so that you immediately draw your audience in with what your superpowers are and what to expect when people buy from you.
The more value you can give to your audience the better and posting your own content on social is the perfect vehicle for highlighting your personal brand and attracting your ideal clients.
Creating high value content
What does high value content mean?
Aim to create posts which are
Informative, Educational, Entertaining, Inspiring
It doesn’t have to be all of these, but it does have to be something that will stop platform users from scrolling.
If it’s meaningful, relatable content which encourages your audience to respond either through comments on the feed or in direct messages to you, then treat this as content which is working.
One of the best ways to be relatable is to show your audience that you understand their pain points and problems.
Don’t assume that you know what they are concerned about or looking for the answers to. You can only find out what the pain points and problems truly are if you ask them.
It’s perfectly ok to ask questions. Ask your audience what is bothering them or what they would like help with.
I recently posted about the topic of asking questions on a LinkedIn post and received this perceptive comment.
‘Asking questions is key and it’s how we learn. In my role as a pensions’ specialist, I need to establish an individual’s goal by asking questions. From this, I am much better positioned to do all I can to help and support them.’
You can ask as many questions as you wish to help inform your content. Conducting simple surveys with three or four questions or having a sample group that you ask questions to can be useful.
Keep a list of all the questions or problems that your audience ask about. This is a highly effective starting point for creating your social media content especially if you ask questions in a personable and relatable way. Make sure you put your personality into the answers too.
It may not have always been the practice to ask questions of your clients, especially in a regulated profession but you can gain so much useful background information to inform your social media.
e.g. Do you worry about asking how much it costs to hire an accountant?
Do you feel having a financial advisor is a luxury?
Are you embarrassed about speaking to a financial advisor?
Are you worried about a lawyer confusing you with legal jargon?
Does thinking about your finances when you retire fill you with dread?
These are the kind of questions you could ask your audience, but they will have many more. You will have to keep encouraging them to ask them but if you provide as many opportunities as possible for them to ask, then they will get into the swing of it. Use polls and surveys to gain insights.
Creating social media content from your audience’s questions
Once you have gathered as many questions as you can, you will have the basis from which to create social media posts that truly resonate with your audience. Why? Because you have addressed their needs and answered their pain points. You’ll have taken the guesswork out of knowing what to post because you already have the material with which to create high value, meaningful content which relates to your ideal client.
With your personal brand as your foundation, you can then build your social media posts using the content type that you feel most comfortable with and works best for your audience. You can answer their questions in longer written posts or in Q&A type answers. Creating video content or being on live streams on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn are particularly effective ways of promoting your personal brand. If you are confident about showing your face and speaking on camera, you’ll quickly become more relatable to your audience. It’s a sure fire way to stand out, especially if you consistently create video content.
There’s no denying that crafting your personal brand and creating meaningful, high value content in which you share your expertise, knowledge and viewpoints requires focus and patience.
This is an approach you have to commit time and effort to, but in the long run creating a personal brand is one of the best ways to become known in your industry.
When you are sharing something which is unique and individual, because that is what you are as a human being, then you’re giving yourself the best opportunity to stand out and become the go-to expert. You will no longer be the best kept secret!
When your potential clients are drawn to you by your personal brand and they recognise you as the right person to tackle their pain points with what you offer, then you are much more likely to win their business and keep them as loyal customers in the longer term.
Are you a professional working in a regulated industry and wanting to work on your personal brand? I’d like to help you. I’m keen to see many more business owners in these sectors use personal branding effectively to attract their ideal clients. Drop me a message here to see how I can help you.
Are you working in an industry bound by regulations and compliance? Do you find it difficult to get beyond these boundaries when you are marketing yourself?
Does it affect what you post LinkedIn or any other social media platform? Is it something that, in all honesty, you dread?
You may occasionally post a congratulatory message or inform your audience of an event you attended, but that’s it.
If you work in a profession such as financial services, law, accountancy and such like and you are posting content, it probably feels easier to post industry news or share something that’s been posted by an influential name.
You may be someone who has never posted or even commented, but you use LinkedIn to read and be informed.
In fact, of the 750 million plus account holders on LinkedIn, only about 1% is creating content. The rest are either commenting or consuming content (known as lurking). Then, of course, there’s the high proportion of people who have a LinkedIn account but have never used it.
If you are one of those users who would you like to be part of that tiny proportion creating high quality content that actually gets your LinkedIn profile seen then, let me tell you, you can achieve this.
You’ll need to overcome the obstacles that are prevent you from revealing something of your thoughts and views and stop you from showing the person beyond the profession.
What are your obstacles?
There are all kinds of reasons why you may feel cautious about writing content which shares your thoughts and opinions about your industry or gives an insight into your personality.
- You’re worried about what others will think.
- You’re worried about how you will appear to your colleagues or peers.
- You’re worried about appearing unprofessional.
- You’re worried that no-one else is doing it.
- You’re worried about not sticking to a script or saying the wrong thing.
- You’re worried that you haven’t got anything to say that’s ground-breaking or even remotely interesting.
As I’ve mentioned before in one of my LinkedIn posts, I appreciate the challenge in keeping within professional boundaries. It can be difficult to find your brand voice if that isn’t what you are used to.
However, let’s see if we can break the mould.
Put your audience first
Why should you post your own content which shows authenticity and shines a light on you as a person, rather than as just another professional?
Think about your customers and clients, both current and potential ones. They are people and it’s these people whom you are trying to connect with on LinkedIn, not brands, not corporations but people.
What’s In It For Me?
When people read your content, they are thinking WIIFM? What’s in it for me? They aren’t initially thinking of the quality of your product or service (that comes later) They want to know if you have the solution to their problem or if you can give them the transformation they are looking for.
If you are too salesy in your content, they will scroll on by because they will see you as just another salesperson. No disrespect to people in sales!
If you are too bland in your content, they will scroll on by because you haven’t captured their attention and they’ll continue to search for something more interesting to read or watch.
By creating more personable, human-centric content, you are much more likely to gain attention on LinkedIn. Once your target audience has got to know and like you, and you have won their trust, that’s when you start talking about your products and services.
What is personable, human-centric content?
It can be anything. Anything that you think your target client will be interested in. You will constantly hear those dissenting voices saying LinkedIn isn’t Facebook and that it’s a business platform.
Yes, we know it’s a place where people do business, but it’s also a place to network and have conversations. When we’re networking, we talk to each other, and we don’t just dive in talking about what we sell. We start conversations about all sorts of things.
Here are some starting points to help you think about conversation starters:
- What are pain points of your customers/clients?
- How did you start in your business/career? What inspired you?
- What have been your greatest wins/greatest learnings?
- What are your ‘tools of the trade’?
- Show your office – is it at home or do you work in an office space?
- Show your locality – highlights of the area where you live or work.
- What books have you read, or podcasts have you listened to (not necessarily business ones)?
- What do you do to unwind from the pressures of work?
- What are your favourite meals/drinks?
- Are there any places you have visited on weekends away or holidays?
- Are there any causes or volunteering roles you are passionate about?
This list isn’t exhaustive. Hopefully it’s a start for you.
Getting over the obstacles
Regarding what others think and how you appear to your peers:
If you’re posting original content which reflects your personality and your values, then you’ll be a beacon for attracting your ideal client. That’s a positive thing.
Regarding appearing unprofessional:
You will have considered carefully what you are going to post, so give it a go. There is nothing unprofessional about creating content for LinkedIn. It’s positively encouraged, and you’ll be rewarded for it.
Regarding being the only one who is doing it:
Think of this positively. You’ll be standing out from your competitors and in the golden 1% of content creators.
Regarding not sticking to a script or saying the wrong thing:
There is no script for writing your own content. It’s uniquely you. Find your own tone of voice and get into a regular habit of writing posts. It will become easier. Make sure that you are staying within the guidance of your industry, if you are posting about anything where you need to fact check. It also goes without saying to not post anything controversial.
Regarding you not having anything to say that’s ground-breaking or interesting:
You have a personality, and you have something to offer – we all do. Remember people buy from people. If you are talking about topics which are helpful, informative, interesting and even entertaining, then something will catch your audience’s attention. Give them a reason to have a conversation with you. You can talk about your work, but equally be open to talking about your interests, hobbies or stories which have caught your attention.
Think about why you are posting. You are looking to build ‘know, like and trust’ so allow the audience to get to know you. Also help them in liking and trusting you too, not just by posting with informative and entertaining content, but by also commenting on their posts.
Don’t forget LinkedIn is a social media platform as well as a business platform, so commenting is key. The LinkedIn algorithm will reward you for engaging on other people’s content as well as posting.
You are likely to feel rather uncomfortable about talking about some of these topics. It will feel unnatural at first.
You don’t have to do all this in one go. Building your audience on LinkedIn requires patience and is certainly a long term game.
Start small. Try posting one ‘human-centric’ post and see what the response is. I suggest doing this regularly, maybe once a week, as well as posting your usual content.
Keep an eye on the kind of response you get to you more personal post. Whilst you are posting, also go and engage on 5 -10 other posts with comments. This will help you to set a mindset for engaging and making connections that count on the platform.
Do this for a few weeks and see how you feel about the process. Stick with it. The more you get into the habit of posting this kind of content, the more comfortable it will feel.
Why your personal brand matters?
Jeff Bezos, former Amazon boss, said,
‘Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’
If you want to control this and it matters to you that your brand is built on a good reputation, then why not write your own script?
Who’s showing their personality?
Ariel Lee – Financial Advisor
‘I write content pretty much every day because I feel like showing up consistently is vital. I don’t have content pillars or any strategy, really…I just post what’s on my mind that day with the goal of starting as many meaningful conversations as possible.’
Kevin Dunn – Senior Manager/ Mortgage and Protection Advisor
‘I always thought I had a face for radio, but I was persuaded at my networking meetings to give video a try. Over lockdown I started posting weekly 60 second videos to put out some good vibes and I’ve kept making these ever since to promote our company.’
Laurence Fishman – Partner/ Chartered Accountant
‘Now more than ever, it’s about not only working with people who give you the right advice and support your business needs, but also you like. To achieve this, you have to know more about the person in order to understand them on a deeper level. If the connection is there, a professional relationship is more likely to be a fruitful one. ‘
Rory Brazil – Financial Broker
You may well have read this and still not be convinced. I understand.
Having said all that, if you have read this far, there is likely to be a part of you that recognises the value of ‘know, like and trust’ but you are just not sure how to start building relationships with your audience through your content.
As I mentioned earlier, just start with a simple post, maybe at the weekend. It’s easier to start posting more personable content when you are feeling relaxed.
Keep an eye on how well these posts perform compared to your usual content, and check if you gain more profile views as a result too. If you see success in your new approach to posting, then hopefully you will do more.
This is a positive step on the road to building your personal brand. This will help you to become known as the ‘go -to’ person in your industry because people will know you, as well as what you offer. They are much more likely to do business with you.
In the end, people do buy from people.
Would you like to know more about how to start working on your personal brand? I’m keen to help more professionals working in regulated industries use personal branding effectively to attract their ideal clients. Drop me a message here and let’s have an introductory chat.
You’ve started building your Clubhouse following and now people are connecting with you on Twitter or Instagram.
Do you feel a bit embarrassed when they go to check out your accounts?
It will make a huge difference to the way people connect with you, if your social media bios are optimised and clear about what you do and who you are reaching out to.
Follow my top 5 to-dos and you’ll have a better understanding of social media and how you can use it to reach the people you want to reach.
Your new connections will know more about what you offer and will also keep following you to find out more.
Know who your product/service is aimed at and who you are trying to reach.
Ask yourself: Who do I want to attract? What questions are they asking? What do they want answers and solutions about?
Top tip: Be as specific as possible about who you want to be attracting to look at your content. Aim to build a community that not only wants to follow and learn from you but also can help and support each other.
Be on the platforms where your target audience (customers/clients/who you want to reach) is.
Ask yourself: Do I know which platforms your target audience is spending their time?
Top tip: Don’t make assumptions about social platforms even though it’s an easy thing to do e.g. Instagram’s age demographic seems to attract 25 – 40 year olds but more and more 16 -24 year olds and over 50s are using it.
Be bold! Ask your friends, associates and your existing audiences which platforms they use. Do as much research as possible, so you don’t waste your efforts spreading yourself too thinly across too many platforms. My advice is 2 platforms at the most so you can manage them well.
Complete your social media bios as fully as possible.
Ask yourself: If someone landed on my bio, would it tell them know who I help but also grab their attention?
Top tip: Make sure your bio/ profile page answers these questions.
What are your offers?
How do you help your target audience?
What do you stand for?
How will they feel different as a result of working with you or using your product?
Don’t forget to put your name, your geographical location, a link to your website (if appropriate) and the easiest way to contact you.
Look at the profile pages of other individuals or businesses who are offering something similar to you.
Ask yourself: Who else do I know who’s doing something similar to me and whom I admire?
Top tip: This is the community/ collaborative nature of social media. We all learn from each other and it isn’t copying to get ideas from others. Take a look at the kind of content they are posting for inspiration and ideas.
Create content which best shows off your product or service. This could be photographs, video, written posts or content that has been created by your followers.
Ask yourself: What am I good at in terms of content creation? What do I have time to create?
Top tip: Social media can be very overwhelming so you can certainly make your life easier if you
- create content that you are comfortable with making
- create content that you have time to make
- build up a bank of photos, videos, quotes, reviews from your audience
Make sure your content meets what your audience is looking for. Random posts or being too general is likely to put people off from stopping on your content and reading it. Remember social media traffic is very busy so your aim should be to post content which grabs attention and sparks interest.
THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT!
Get into a good habit of posting. There are differing views about often you should and what days/times to post, but my advice is consistency over frequency.
If you are consistently posting at a particular time, even if it’s only once or twice a week, your social media account will look healthy. Then your target audience is more likely to keep visiting your account.
Once you have gained your confidence and established a routine for posting, the overwhelm of running your social media accounts will hopefully be a distant memory.
If you need more information and support on how to get the most from building social media connections with your Clubhouse followers, please contact me.
What does your personal brand mean?
Does it matter?
How can having a personal brand make a difference to your business brand?
Personal branding has become a bit of a buzzword, an overused phrase that leaves many rolling their eyes. Are you one of those who is left thinking what on earth is personal branding about?
Why does a personal brand matter?
Whether you are starting out as a new business owner or you’re an established entrepreneur, you’ll want to be found in the market. We all need clients, right, but it can be so disheartening on a competitive and crowded playing field when we’re pitching against others, but not being seen.
Have you ever found yourself going to networking meetings and then ending up feeling slightly dejected because there were others there running a similar business to you? How do you start to stand out?
This is where your personal brand can make the difference. I was a teacher for a long time before I became a social media marketer. I had fantastic social media marketing training and I felt confident that I could help small business owners with their social media, but I was struggling to raise my profile. Do you know how many social media managers and consultants are out there?! I needed to find a way to find my own voice and stand out from the crowd. Working on my personal brand proved to be key.
Find your superpowers
Your personal brand defines what makes you different and what you can offer that will help your customers. You need to find a way for your expertise, what you’ve got to offer, your knowledge and your talents to stand out. Think of your personal brand as a package which represents what you offer and how you can make a difference to your customers.
Imagine you’re on a supermarket shelf. What makes you the sparkly, shiny, different package to all the others that are on the shelf? Are you are going to be the one that people are drawn to because you have got your personal branding right?
What does it involve?
Think of your personal brand like this:
- how your offers help customers and clients to address their pain points
- how you show up on social media
- what your website says about you (not your product or service)
- what you say and how you behave when you go to networking, both online and in person
- how you talk to people about your business
Your personal brand creates transparency and trust in your business for new followers on social media or people who land on your profile after a Google search.
Yes, you have your business brand, whether it be a physical product or you have a service that you sell, but if you add your personal brand to this, you’ll establish the all important ‘know, like and trust’ relationship more quickly.
I speak from personal experience. I started on this journey thinking about my personal brand about three years ago. Since then I have thought carefully about my motivation for my business, what my values are, what my expertise and knowledge is, and how I package this up into offers which help my audience decide if they want to buy from me. My personal brand has enabled me to get my ideal clients, because they know who I am.
Why are people put off the term ‘personal branding’?
Understandably there are those who are sceptical about talking about their personal brand, perhaps because they think it’s all about being personal. Surely, it is about having to talk about your life story or family or sharing photos of what you had for breakfast. No, it doesn’t have to be.
Show your audience what your expertise is, what your knowledge is, what your mission is, how it is that you want to help people. My personal brand encapsulates wanting to help entrepreneurs feel more confident about creating content and less overwhelmed about posting on social media.
You control the message
There is strong evidence that if you are prepared to talk about your values and your mission, this will ensure you have control about the public view of you. You can control the message that is being put out without there being any misconceptions or doubts.
Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos said,
‘Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.’
If you want to control this and it matters to you that your brand is built on a good reputation, then you’ve got to craft the message.
How to ensure your personal brand is authentic
Spend some time reflecting honestly on what you think about yourself. You’ll also want the message about yourself to align with what other people say about you too.
Try this activity to start working on crafting a personal brand message which is genuinely you. It will help you to meld together what you see as your strengths and incorporate what others think about you.
Start by listing the following:
- words which describe your character
- your wins
- your greatest successes, not just in your business now, but what you’ve done previously.
- businesses you have previously owned or previous jobs you’ve had
- go back to your successes from when you were at school and college
- think about the good things that people have said about you in the past
- your current expertise, knowledge, skills, talents and interests
You want to write everything down.
Then look at your client reviews and testimonials. Look at what other people are saying about you, your friends, your associates. This will also take time.
Brain dump every bit of information that’s about you. There will be more words, phrases and statements than you realise.
Then start to cross off and discard all the bland, samey and boring bits that are not going to help you stand out and lack dynamism. Whittle your lists down until you get to statements and words which you feel strongly define you, but are also reflected in the words of your clients, your community, your friends, your associates.
Shorten it down to as few statements as possible because you want your brand values to be as focused and succinct as possible.
I managed to summarise all my information into three neat themes – Communication Counts, I’m happy to stand out from the crowd and The teacher in me.
These themes are authentically me. Take a look at my table to see how I arrived at them. The statements listed underneath each heading are what I regard as my superpowers and what others have said about me.
You could arrange your statements in a table like this to make it visually easier to understand.
Don’t try to be everybody’s cup of tea
Find out what is authentically you and become known for what you want to be known for.
It’s all too easy, especially on social media, to compare yourself to other people. It is more important to think about what makes you different to them. This is: You. Think about yourself and what makes you authentic.
You don’t need to be liked by everybody. You don’t want to be everyone’s ‘cup of tea’. Trying to please everybody and be all things to all people will result in your content becoming the same as everybody else’s. In other words, beige and forgettable.
Your personal brand will help to focus on the customers and clients that you want to attract. If you’re too general and bland, you won’t attract your ideal clients in the first place and then they are less likely to come back to you.
Make your personal brand so powerful, strong and defined that people want to keep coming back to just you. They won’t be tempted to look elsewhere, because they’re a bit bored with you.
The sweet spot is when what you’re offering matches the needs of your ideal client. This is key for marketing your personal brand.
Hopefully, I’ve helped you to see the benefits of a personal brand and how it enhances your business brand. Think of it as a way to express what you want to be known for. If you keep in mind that ‘people buy from people’, your personal brand is an asset that you need to promote. It will help to drive your business forward.
Would you like to know more about how to craft your personal brand or define your brand values? I’d like to help you. I’m keen to see many more small business owners use personal branding effectively to attract their ideal clients. Drop me a message here to see how I can help you.
It’s so tempting to believe you should be all over social media. There are so many platforms to choose from. With the introduction of live social audio spaces such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, it’s easy to feel inundated.
Being strategic about which platforms you choose will result in a more engaged following. Every platform has different features but here are some considerations which should help you to choose.
Where is your audience on social media?
Aim to be where your customers are. If you want to reach out to your audience and create a community, you need to discover which platforms they are hanging out. You need to be in the same place as them. Try to find out which social media party they are at. I have written here about the analogy of the social media party.
Don’t go to a party where all your friends and family are because they aren’t the ones who are going to buy from you. Look for the platforms where your potential customers are.
How do I know where my audience is?
Don’t make assumptions about where your audience spends their time on social media. It is worth considering that certain platforms may attract a certain age or gender demographic e.g., in 2020 33% of the global Instagram audience was aged between 25 and 34 years but there are now people aged 40+ using the platform regularly.
The most constructive way of finding out where your audience hangs out most is to ask them directly. You could do this in a survey, especially if you explain that you are looking for information to give your followers a better user experience. Ask in the survey which platforms they use most and on what days and times. Make the most of asking your present customers and potential ones about their social media habits.
You can also ask some of your present audience by messaging them directly. Ask 5 – 10 of your followers, however many you feel comfortable with.
Your findings will enable you to make these become your go-to platforms, where you can ensure there will be an audience who wants to hear from you.
Is it better to avoid being on too many platforms?
There are some marketers who are keen to suggest that you need to be on as many platforms as possible. Be very wary about that.
This is how a lot of business owners become overwhelmed by social media – the belief of needing to be on all platforms for maximum visibility. Being everywhere is not as straightforward as it sounds.
Every platform works differently with varying algorithmic demands. You will need to know how each platform works in terms of posting and engagement and there are ever growing lists of platform features to learn about.
The challenge is posting content that is going to be seen on the feed and will attract a growing reach. If you have got limited time, and let’s face it most of us have, the best thing to do is to focus on one or two platforms at the most.
Is there some content that works better on some platforms than others?
You may choose to be on a specific platform because there is certain content that works more effectively on there. Make the most of the platform by using the features that work best for you.
Here are two examples:
- I use Twitter mainly for Twitter chats and joining the new live audio feature Twitter Spaces. If you think you could commit an hour week to being on Twitter, you could focus on joining a Twitter chat related to your industry or your locality or a Twitter space. (You’ll find Spaces that are running at the top of your feed on your phone.)
- If you prefer going Live using Facebook or Instagram, using this feature will give you a presence on these platforms. This is a great way to create video which is spontaneous and gets your message out there.
Whichever platforms you are on, make sure that your bio explains exactly what you offer and who you serve on each platform. You may choose to say ‘come and find me on Instagram, that’s where I live, or that’s my home’ in your Twitter bio, that’s a good way to have a presence on each platform. At least then anybody who’s randomly popped onto your Twitter account will know that this is not the platform to see your best content.
You may feel it’s more appropriate to not be on a platform which just has your bio on it, than having minimum content on your account.
The benefits of cross posting
Again this is a practice which divides the opinion of social media marketers. Some believe you should try to make the content for each platform as distinctive as possible. In my view it is fine to adapt the same post to match the features of different platforms.
Here’s some ways to cross post:
- Post content from Instagram onto your Facebook page
- Share your Instagram Reels and Stories onto Facebook. It is easy as your are prompted to do this through the Meta Business Suite.
- Repost your posts from Instagram and Facebook onto LinkedIn.
- Create a summary of a post on one of your other platforms into a 280 character tweet.
If you are overwhelmed by social media, stick with one or two platforms, and really get your teeth into them. Don’t fall into the trap of shiny object syndrome.
Don’t be distracted by thinking you’ve got to be here, there and everywhere on social media. Spreading yourself so thinly will not benefit your business. It is bound to drag you down. It’s likely to be hard to get momentum to pick yourself up again.
Getting consistency across your platforms
Try to link everything up if you are going to be on different platforms. Make sure that your headshot or logo is the same across all your platforms. Make sure that it’s consistent across the board if you’re going to be on different platforms.
Choose the platform that best suits your content
Remember that there are different types of content, which work better for you, depending on which platform you’re on. For products which are visually interesting, Instagram and TikTok are going to be your go to places.
Make the most of visibility that you get through social media marketing
This is a perfect medium to build a community on. By focusing on this, you find out what your customers problems and pain points are. Address those problems and people will start to see you as somebody that they want to buy from. This is what makes social media so powerful. It’s a noisy world out there, but this is a fantastic way to stand up and stand out from your competitors. If you use it well, you use it strategically, it will lead to sales.
Would you like to know more about how to be more strategic with your social media marketing? I’d like to help you. I’m keen to see many more small business owners use social media effectively to attract their ideal clients. Drop me a line here and let’s have a chat.
2020 was certainly a year like no other and one many of us would prefer to write off.
I’m still pretty much a newbie in running my own business – just about three years. 2020 gave me learning opportunities which made me more confident and focused in achieving my business goals.
If you’re someone who is finding it hard to find your groove with digital marketing, take a look at my five top learnings.
- Be bold about getting to know people online and put an effort into fostering those relationships. I have made some great connections by attending conferences and courses and by joining in events like Twitter chats. Showing up online means I have given myself the best opportunity to be seen. I also value engagement so I set time aside for commenting on social media posts. I believe it’s just as important as posting your own content.
TIP: If you take time to join in conversations and engage on social threads, you’ll soon start making new acquaintances. Set aside time to be active on social media for short periods each day or at least 3 – 4 times a week.
- Broaden your connections. This is in no way a reflection on other social media managers but, once I realised I needed to go further than just connecting with them, my audience became more diverse and interesting. I was no longer just chatting with a whole load of people like me.
TIP: By spreading your social media wings and starting to engage in conversations with people who are outside of your industry, you’ll start to become involved in other networks. The great thing is that you will start being looked to as the expert in these new circles.
- Keep an open mind about everything and be prepared to explore. I have found reading, listening to podcasts and attending events this year has given me a broader perspective about social media marketing and marketing in general. For sure this is impacting on the offers I put out and how I want to run my business.
TIP: If you feel your business needs a freshen up or an injection of something, be prepared to do some research and explore the possibilities. It may be that you would like to have some training, or you are looking for an app or tech to help you. You may even consider hiring an expert to come in and give you some support.
- Networking is key. I have found this beneficial in so many ways. Having to explain what my business is about to groups of strangers is good practice as an elevator pitch. I have more confidence to talk about my business and share my expertise.
TIP: If you can commit to a regular networking meeting each week for an hour, you’ll soon find that you start to establish the all-important ‘know, like and trust’ factor in your group. Get to know different people at networking sessions. Then engage on their content on social media and vice versa, to establish more conversation.
- Speak your own words and be yourself. Being honest and real has helped me to stay authentic (yes, I know we hate that word!) It has also meant that I can say what I’m thinking without fear of repercussions or worrying that someone doesn’t like me. I know I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I know I want to work with people who are my ideal clients. If someone doesn’t like what I’m talking about or how I’m saying it then, to be honest, that’s their gripe not mine.
TIP: You can’t be all things to all people so show up as the real you with your own thoughts and opinions. People will want to do business with you if they see you as an honest and genuine person.
What’s your focus word for 2021?
There’s of course so much more I could I mention. I’m well aware that giving a limited number of bits of information is a greater help in terms of processing. That’s the ex-teacher in me coming out!
I intend to continue learning in 2021. In fact ‘Exploration’ is my focus word for this new year. Gaining knowledge and finding new opportunities is an exciting prospect.
Have you given any thought to a word to help you in your business throughout 2021?
Would you like to know more about how to be seen online and attracting your target audience? I’d like to help you. I’m keen to see many more small business owners embracing personal branding and getting seen through effective digital marketing. Drop me a line here and let’s have a chat.
Answer your customers’ pain points through your social media posts and your marketing is more likely to convert to sales.
However, there are many business owners who understandably would rather hire someone to write their copy for them.
How do you appear as authentic as possible if someone else is writing for you?
The essence of using social media effectively is that it is personal, and it invites engagement and conversation. If you want your social media copy to sound as if you have written it, then how can someone else recreate your voice?
Some businesses will use automated bots to generate social media posts but this is about creating content that informs, educates and entertains – not just content for promoting and selling.
You need something that is intrinsic to your brand. It’s your tone of voice.
What is tone of voice?
If the business is clear about the kind of language it uses, the style of communication and the use of particular words and phrases, then its tone of voice will be very apparent. We can call this verbal identity.
- Is your tone of voice formal, informal or even colloquial?
- Are there particular phrases your business uses regularly?
- Is your style friendly and familiar or practical and matter of fact?
Then on a deeper level:
- Do you talk to your customers in the way they talk about you?
- Have you asked them what they think about you through feedback and reviews?
- What kinds of phrases do they use to show what it is they like and value about you?
Yes, finding your tone of voice will mean having a conversation with your audience. If you put the time in with them finding out what they like about you, this information will help you to develop your tone of voice.
It will be more real and speak to them in a way that resonates and grabs their attention. Don’t forget, if you don’t hold onto their attention, they will start to drift elsewhere.
What does your tone of voice add to your marketing strategy?
If your marketing strategy is built on what your business stands for (your vision, your mission, your values) then your tone of voice will be easy to identify and it will be authentic.
Be sure to always keep your target audience and ideal customers at the forefront whenever you are speaking. Your style and tone should resonate with them as you need to be able to communicate with them clearly. Building that marketing focus of know. like and trust in a way they can relate to is key.
Once you have added your tone of voice or verbal identity to your marketing strategy, it will make creating content so much easier.
It will make it so much more straightforward when you want to outsource it too.
If you’d like to talk to me about developing an authentic tone of voice for your business or how to identify your ideal client, drop me a message on the Contact form.
Are you a little sceptical about using social media to promote your business?
Can it really make a difference the way potential customers see you?
Yes it can, because people don’t buy things in the way they used to 20 or 30 years ago.
Nowadays, your potential customers are searching online, using social media sites, reading reviews, doing comparisons and looking to see if you are going to solve their problem for them.
Think of social media marketing as if it is a big party. You and your ideal clients are at the party – but then, like all good parties, so is everyone else.
The idea is that you want your ideal clients to find you at this party and then decide that they like you long enough to want to hang out with you. Once they’ve made that decision to spend time with you, then you can start to embark on building a relationship with them.
They get to know you, like you and hopefully trust you. If they trust you enough then eventually, when they are in need, they will buy from you.
It sounds like it might take some time and energy, but if you want your business to stand out from the crowd at the social media party, then you need to win people’s trust.
It’s not about broadcasting what you’re selling.
Marketing using social media is not about a broadcast. That’s advertising.
Marketing is something much more subtle. With social media marketing you use what you know about your target audience to get into ‘conversations’ with those people who are interested. With planning, attention to detail, consistency and patience, it will lead to sales and the creation of a loyal customer base.
So why does social media leave some businesses feeling that it doesn’t work?
When I say that I help businesses with social media marketing, I’m often told by businesses that are not finding their customers and clients through their social accounts.
Then I hear the scepticism.
‘I’m on it but I don’t get the reach I’d like with my posts.’
‘I don’t see all my efforts converting into sales’
‘It’s a bit of a waste of my time.’
‘I don’t see really understand how it works.’
Have you considered that your target audience is attending the social media party i.e. on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter but then going home disappointed because they haven’t met anyone they really like? They haven’t met you because they haven’t managed to find your business, due to all the traffic that passes through the feed.
How do you change that so that they do find you, follow you and grow to trust you?
Avoid the disappointment
Unfortunately, the low barrier of entry into social media marketing means that many businesses embark on using it without any real plan.
Setting up a social media business account is relatively easy and, with 67% of the UK population using social media, people believe it should be easy to use it to promote their business.
For many though, their efforts are leaving them feeling disappointed and deflated. It’s not everything they thought it would be and, what’s more, their posts aren’t converting into sales.
What’s the true picture?
The reality is that you’ll need to put a plan in place. Clear planning and messaging as well as patience and consistency are some of the important factors which will contribute to building your success on social media.
Ask yourself these questions:
What’s my message to the huge audience on social media?
How am I showing that I can solve their problems or match what they are looking for?
Do I know the kind of questions they are asking? Am I offering the answers they are seeking?
Are my posts attracting my ideal client?
Do I know who my ideal client is?
What platforms are they mostly on?
Do I create content which is interesting, engaging and keeps them coming back for more?
Do I focus too much on posts which are promotional?
Show your target audience that you care
The answers to all these questions matter because these will show how much you care and want to help your target audience. Enabling them to get to know you and your brand will help them to decide if they like you enough to stick with you.
Hopefully that will lead to that all important trust element which will eventually translate into a sale.
- Showing up when our audience expect us to and with a consistent message will also build the trust.
- Posting at the times your audience is most likely to be online gives them more chance of seeing your content in the feed.
- Using a consistent language and tone of voice in your posts will help to emphasise this.
How does all this make a difference to finding your ideal clients?
Your marketing is more targeted by being based on the needs and behaviours of people who are searching for products and services like yours i.e. a target audience of potential customers.
Your audience is kept informed of the latest offers, new stock and other updates easily if you are regularly posting and engaging on your platforms.
You can show your target audience you care by the way you connect and engage with them. Social media marketing most definitely can help your business if you are prepared to plan and use it strategically.
Are you ready to take the next step to getting a plan in place to boost your presence at the social media party?
I can help you to create a content plan and develop content which resonates with your target audience.
Drop me a message if you would like me to help you to be more visible.