Guest post provided by: Andrea Shillington, Brands for the People
If you’re a visionary entrepreneur who wants to make a positive difference then I invite you to consider that you’re more than an Entrepreneur–you’re a marketer. Even if this doesn’t feel natural to you, right away, I ask you to try this mindset on so that you may have more impact and make more money.
Marketing is the key money maker in your business. When you do it effectively you can create passive income, automate steps in your business and free up your time for something else!
Here are Andrea’s 5 keys to building your online brand:
1. Expose your customer’s hard truths in your brand’s message
Most companies try to get their customers to buy from them by communicating how their brand is different, higher quality, cheaper price, simpler process, friendlier service and so on. The problem is…. your competitors are already doing this. If you’re not creating the money or impact you want, then it might be time to try something new with your brand’s messaging.
The reality is that the majority of your potential customers are actually in an unconscious state. Meaning they are not ready to buy “right now” instead they are in a state of subconscious pain, fear and frustration, but they are not actively seeking to get out of this state.
As the entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility to wake your customers up from this less than desirable state. You do this by exposing the internal dialogue going on in your customers mind with your brand’s messages. When you uncover the hard truths spinning around in your customer’s mind you will persuade your customers better than anyone else. Infact, your customers will be two times more likely to buy from you when you communicate to them this way!
2. Give your customers some love first (before you ask for the sale)
If you want your customers to come knocking on your door then consider how your online brand can help you to establish trust and build a relationship with your customers. You do this by creating articles that answer questions, solve problems and add value to your customers (just like the article you are reading now.)
As I said in point #1, not all customers are ready to but “right now”, in fact ONLY 3% of your ideal customers are actively have the problem you solve, but 67% of customers are in an unconscious state of mind. This means 67% are just not shopping right now. They could be aware for the future or could have even tried something similar to what you offer and have “decided” it doesn’t work.
This group of your customers who are unconscious represents a much bigger opportunity than the customers who are ready to buy today.
Create trust first by digging deep into the problems your customers are facing and look for ways to solve their problems with your brand’s content marketing. When you take this value-based approach to your marketing you’ll create a bridge for your customers that helps them become conscious of a solution to their problem.
Rule of thumb here is give value first, second offer a solution.
3. Stay top-of-mind with your brand’s email marketing
The #1 way to monetize your business online is with email marketing. So, if you’re not already collecting your prospective customers email addresses then get on this strategy pronto! Your customers are not necessarily ready to buy from you the day that they learn about you. Email marketing provides you an opportunity to build the relationship with your prospective client by adding value to their lives first.
Email marketing is also one of the best ways to increase the return on your investment of your social media and blog or video content marketing efforts.
Which brings me to my next point…
4. Create an irresistible Email Opt-In
When a prospective clients first learns about your product or service offline there is courting period at the beginning of the relationship. Often some value is exchanged like a free sample or free advice. It’s even more important to build this relationship online because your online brand is competing for attention in a global marketplace.
So, the question to ask yourself is what can you offer your customer that would trigger them to take a risk free action such as providing you their email address. The key here is providing them something really compelling so that they leave feeling instantly empowered and can apply what they learned immediately. It’s about quality not quantity.
Just be careful, not to give “too much” it’s more important that what you give is quick, easy and can be applied instantly. Less is more, provided it’s delicious and juicy.
5. Claim your market niche & make sure it’s failure proof
What does Facebook and Amazon have something in common? They both started off small? Facebook started off by only offering an account to people with a harvard email address and Amazon started by selling only books. Now both companies have global reach with a diverse range of customers and products.
The point is, if you want to build something big you have to start by narrowing your focus and claiming your market niche. The truth is, if you start by selling to everyone you will have a harder time of igniting your business into high growth mode.
Once you think you have a market niche, here are some simple ways to failure proof your market niche:
Can you run a Facebook Ad that says “Click like if you love [insert your niche]”?
Can you Google it (using the key word tool)?
Are there already Facebook groups, magazines, forums?
Do you customers identify with what you’re calling it?
Special thanks to Ryan Deiss & Nick Unsworth who pointed out these failure proof strategies.
I’d love to hear from you… What’s helped you to build your online brand? Leave your comments in the space below.
Andrea gave up the corporate world to pursue her passion to help startup businesses become world famous brands. Going much deeper than logo design, Brands for the people was born to help startup businesses with a vision to change the world. Brands for the People is a Vancouver branding agency serving entrepreneurs with big ideas all over the world.