One way of increasing the likelihood you’ll take some desired action, is the ability to look at a goal, plan or task in a different, more inspiring way.
If it doesn’t provide a big enough reason for you to take action, you most certainly won’t take it.
Human beings get stuck in persistent patterns of thinking that frame the subjects of those thoughts in a certain way, and moving beyond these frames of reference can be very difficult if left unchallenged.
For individuals, such thoughts often centre around self-doubt. Self talk may go along the lines of “I can’t do [blank]”,” I don’t have the necessary experience, skill-set, knowledge, resources, etc”.
Businesses can also display this negative thinking; “we can’t compete with [blank]”, “we can’t compete on price” etc.
So what is the consequence of thinking like this? Well, we don’t take action, we don’t even try it, we just talk ourselves out of it and move on.
Maybe this is the right thing to do, maybe thinking abstractly against it is better than ploughing time, effort and resources into a doomed endeavour, maybe, but maybe not.
If we’re not careful, this way of thinking becomes a coping strategy that lets us off the hook and allows us to not take action in an act of self preservation. They become coping excuses.
A more productive way of thinking about it may be in asking “what if”. What if we did this, and what is the possible upside?
“What if” is a creative question. It opens up possibilities, rather than shutting them down. What if we could reframe the way we think about our weaknesses, and recast them as strengths?
In 1962 advertising executive Paula Green came up with a now famous slogan for Avis car rentals, that took advantage of their weaker market position in relation to Hertz, repositioning it from a weakness into a strength. The slogan “we try harder” let prospective customers know Avis would be more attentive to their needs than Hertz would be.
Stella Artois did something similar with their “reassuringly expensive” advertising campaign in 2004.
It’s all about finding a more empowering story that reframes your perceived weakness into strengths, for your own benefit, and also from a marketing point of view.
Here are a few examples:
Smaller size; being smaller allows you to be more nimble and adaptable than big players
Less experienced; don’t have as much skin in the game, nothing to lose by doing things differently and disrupting the status quo
Less prestigious location; can provide better value for money because not paying as much in rental costs.
Are you working in a so-called “dull industry” like insurance, software development, car servicing and the likes? If so, you’ll know it’s difficult to create marketing that is engaging.
These industries aren’t exactly high octane fuelled or sexy, but they are necessary for many individuals and businesses.
So how can you effectively market these services and stand out from the competition, so you’re not seen as another commodity provider?
It’s all about providing something that surprises and delights prospects and customers, over and above what they would normally expect from you.
This could include helping customers discover something that provides value for them. For example, a few years ago a friend of mine, who worked at a car service centre, told me I didn’t have to take my new car to the dealership to have it serviced, in order to maintain the warrantee, and that I could take it anywhere as long as the official parts were used. Now I didn’t know this was possible at the time, and I actually ended up using the company he worked at to do my next car service, at a big discount. However, I wondered why they didn’t make more of a song and dance about this situation in their marketing material.
So education is one way of surprising and delighting customers, giving them a free taster is another. If you’ve ever visited your local Costco, you’ll have probably seen them giving out free food tasters. This is great for introducing customers to something they haven’t tried before, and everyone loves to get free stuff. You can also do this remotely, through free trials (great for software) or posting out free samples (merchandisers used to do this quite often).
You can also help prospective customers reframe their perceptions of a service, product, or industry, by offering it differently. For example, maybe provide life insurance that pays back a bonus if not used within a given timeframe. This would shift the perception of life insurance as being a necessary cost, which doesn’t provide any direct benefit to the person paying for the policy, into something that could be considered an investment.
The point is to try to look at your business offerings and figure out ways of giving your customers something that is relevant which will surprise and delight them.
People are curious and like to learn and experience “different” and “new”. Do this on a regular basis and do it well. Delight them and they will more likely come back again and again.
We discussed in a previous post, the importance of capturing attention when carrying out marketing activities. To summarise what we covered in that post…
Marketing only works if you can first capture your prospect’s attention, otherwise all your other marketing efforts go to waste. Capturing your prospect’s attention is the combination of standing out from the crowd and providing something of value in the pursuit of one of their goals.
So that’s where we’ll pick things up.
Having won ourselves a few seconds of precious attention, nothing more, we must make the best of the time we’ve got. The question is, how can we maximise the opportunity?
Provide something valuable
We must ensure our sales patter is interesting, in that it provides some value that the prospect wants or needs in their journey towards the attainment of one or more of their goals.
A goal could be something big, like building their own business or making the next big phone app, or something small like having a clean car, or a new set of pots and pans to cook with.
There are a couple of ways to help them move towards their goals. The first is to show them your solution and explain the benefits and features of what you offer. If they are currently in the market for it, then as long as the price is right, the value is communicated, and they have enough trust in your ability to deliver on your promise, you’ll have a decent chance of them buying. Having said that, most prospects will be wary of committing straight away, without having previously built up some trust in you, your company or brand. This is particularly true if they have never heard of you before.
There are several ways to building trust quickly. The first is to appear professional in the way you present yourself, your brand or business. You do this through your communication; such as signage, website, social media presence and literature.
The second way is to have a physical location (premises) which prospects can visit and check out. This gives the perception that you are rather more stable and dependable than if you were solely a web-based business. We’ve all experienced problems with internet only businesses who can’t be contacted easily when things go wrong.
Finally, one of the best ways of building trust quickly, particularly with regards to new prospects, is to have plenty of good, genuine customer reviews or testimonials, preferably stretching back over several years. This helps with the perception that you’ve been around a while. Good search engine rankings also help to demonstrate longevity, because they are difficult to circumvent.
Make it easy
Having minimal friction in your buying process will also give you more chance of getting a sale. The fewer hoops prospects have to jump through to buy from you, the better. This is why Amazon’s one click shopping option is so popular.
I did say there were two ways to help move prospects towards their goal, we’ve covered what to do with those looking to buy straight away, but what about those that aren’t ready yet, but who may be in the next 30 or 60 days or so.
You can focus on building your brand with these prospects, by providing free extra value in some way. If you sell pots and pans, you may offer some great recipes that make use of those pots and pans. If you’re a car valet, you may provide free branded car air fresheners, or some tips and tricks to remove stains and spills from car upholstery.
What you’re trying to do, when giving out gifts, advice, tips and tricks, is build a relationship with prospects, so they get to know, like and trust you, so that when they are ready to buy, you are in the frame to make the sale. The things you do to provide the extra value must support your core offering, the thing you’re trying to sell to them, otherwise it won’t make any sense.
With that in mind, it’s better to keep adding value over time, rather than just doing it as a one off. By keeping your brand in the forefront of your prospects’ minds you will improve your chances of getting the sale when the time comes for them to buy.
Once you’ve captured your prospect’s attention, you have to provide something of value for them. You can do this through the benefits and features of your offering.
If prospects are ready to buy straight away, make sure your sales process is as frictionless as possible.
If they aren’t ready to buy just yet, either because they don’t want your solution right now, or they don’t trust you enough; work on building your brand with them, by providing free extra value. Keep adding value until they are ready to buy.
Marketing requires you to first capture the attention of your prospects. If you’re unable to do so, you have no way of sharing your marketing message with them, and all your marketing efforts will go to waste.
Prospects are continually bombarded with information, as indeed we all are. To cope with the shear volume of incoming stimuli, choices are made, often on a subconscious level. We as humans tend to pay attention to things that are relevant to some kind of goal or pursuit we are trying to move towards. Everything else is ignored or filtered out from our conscious awareness, and may not even register with us.
To illustrate this point, check out this video.
Hopefully you now appreciate the fact that attention is limited, and goal focused. You ignored the gorilla because your attention was busy focusing on counting the passes of the ball. The goal required you to keep your eye on just the ball and ignore everything else that didn’t contribute to that.
Marketing to a captive audience
You might think it would be easier to market to a captive audience. For example let’s say you are advertising on the TV or on the radio or even in the pre-roll of a YouTube video. Your audience is already watching or listening, so they can’t escape your advert.
But ask yourself, when was the last time you really paid attention to the adverts in such situations. You either reach for your phone, to see what notifications you’ve missed, or you tune out, while thinking about something else.
Marketing on a busy platform
If your advertising on a busy platform, say social media, then engagement is much harder to achieve. You are then competing with everything else that can steal your prospect’s attention away. Let’s consider the example of running an advert on their Facebook feed.
Your marketing message will compete with status updates from your prospect’s friends and family. As well as engaging entertainment posts related to their interests. So you need to stop them scrolling past your advert, by appealing to their interests and/or goals.
Searching or not
Imagine you’re a florist, and Valentines day is just around the corner. You know that people are likely to be in the market for buying flowers, so presenting them with a unique offer, is probably going to get them to stop for a moment to check your advert out. If there is no special occasion imminent, then creating an excuse for them to surprise their partner may be required.
The fact that they are not actively searching for something to buy, makes the sale a little more difficult. They will probably just scroll straight past your advert, without giving it a second thought. So you may have to rely on eye-catching imagery to get them to stop and see what’s on show.
High quality images are more attention-getting than static text, and video is often more engaging than images. You must find a way of standing out from the other content, to catch their eye.
We humans take notice of changes and differences. It’s hard-wired into us, at an instinctive, self-preservation level. If our ancestor didn’t pay attention to changes in their surroundings, it could have resulted in them being eaten by a predator. Our subconscious picks up on such things before we’re even consciously aware of it. And although we’re unlikely to be eaten when scrolling through our Facebook feed, our instinct still reacts as if we might.
So make sure your marketing message doesn’t blend in with all the other content. Make it stand out by contrasting in some noticeable way. Usually this needs to be done visually, because sound is often muted on social media. However, there is no one-fits-all solution available, only by testing alternatives can you see what works best for your particular situation.
So in summary, marketing only works if you can first capture your prospect’s attention, otherwise all your other marketing efforts go to waste. Capturing your prospect’s attention is the combination of standing out from the crowd and providing something of value in the pursuit of one of their goals.
Once you’ve captured your prospect’s attention, you need to deliver a message that pulls them in to your offering, so they’ll want to find out more about you and your solution.
To successfully sell on social media, online or anywhere else, for that matter, two things are required..
First, we have to get noticed. Think about it this way, what grabs you’re attention when you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed?
For adverts, that are designed to sell you something, it would usually have to provide something you want or need, a solution to a problem you have, presented in an eye-catching way.
Motion graphics will help you catch attention, and stop people scrolling past.
Call to action
The second thing required would be a clear “call to action”.
The call to action depends on what you want viewers to do after seeing your advert. The clearers and frictionless the process of carrying out that call to action is, the better.
When talking about “friction” we’re not just talking solely about the physical things we want them to do, such as click here, enter your email address or add to cart, but also what we’re asking of them psychologically.
If they fear getting spammed by marketing messages, giving us their email address is not going to be as easy as it otherwise might be.
So whatever we are asking of them, we must make it both physically and psychologically as frictionless as possible. Make it as quick-and-easy as possible (one click is the ideal), with the minimum of risk attached to it (money back guarantee, free taster etc).
Everything else you use in your advert is only required to support your call to action. Things like testimonials, engaging images and text should aim to support your message and improve trust and liking.
Branding is a very conceptual term. It can be hard to get your head around if you’re new to it. It holds almost mystical power.
My definition of branding is
“To emotionally connect, to prospects and customers, through meaningful storytelling.”
Branding helps shape customer’s BELIEFS.
It helps shape how customers think about you, and the meaning your brand holds for them. It can determine what they think you stand for and what they think your values are.
Branding will assist customers to feel they know like and trust you, and subsequently encourage them to want to support and buy from you.
Think about why you buy the brands you buy.
What car do you drive?
What footwear do you wear?
What make of TV do you watch?
What coffee do you drink?
What washing powder do you wash your clothes with?
Where do you shop for groceries?
Which pub, cinema, restaurant do you frequent?
What search engine do you use?
Where do you spend most of your social media time?
What make of lipstick, if any, do you buy?
The brand you used is heavily influenced by the story that brand uses to emotionally connect with you, and the story you subsequently carry around with you.
If a brand doesn’t have a story to share, then it becomes a commodity. Whether you buy it, or from it, depends on price, convenience, impulse, or just pure luck and circumstance. Prospects and customers probably won’t give your brand a second thought. They probably won’t remember you very well when you’re not around.
Customers may enjoy many aspects of your value proposition. Your great service, pleasant-natured sales assistant, great value for money. They may appreciate the fact you provide a great solution for their problem. They may remember your warm smile, witty banter, your comfortable chairs, your attention to detail, or whatever you do to make them feel good and valued.
What branding does is pull everything together into a coherent story. This makes remembering and identifying your brand easier, particularly when they are ready to buy again. This might be the difference between them coming back to you rather than going somewhere else.
Branding requires you to provide value through your sales proposition. You’re required to have a product or service that addresses your customer’s needs. Without this, no amount of branding is going to help you, over the long term.
You must show up regularly through advertising or content creation.
Try to add value between sales by building the perception of expertise. You can do this by providing tutorials or tricks and tips which relate to your offering. Try to build a relationship with prospects and customers alike, so they get to know like and trust you.
Congruency is vital. Everything you do should support the story you want to communicate to your market.
Consider how you look, via your website, social media channels, advertisements, signage, brochures, mail shots, vehicles, and in-store.
What you do is also vitally important. The extra value you add through your solution. Your customer service, even how you market your brand matters. Make sure all your activities and communications are driven by beliefs and values that are also important to your customer base.
Everything you do needs to fit together, to make sense, and support the story you’re telling.
Your brand should be distinctive, so you’re noticeable, and clearly identifiable from the competition.
Make a good first “impression”. You only get one chance, so make it count.
Maintain an excellent reputation. Trust takes time to build up and seconds to destroy.
Be a good tribe leader by taking a stand. Make sure you stand for something, don’t cop out by sitting on the fence. Focus on your customers and only them. It’s okay to say “we’re not for you” to everyone else.
Ultimately, help your customers tell their story by allowing them to piggy-back on your brand story. Help them identify with your brand, and bring it into their sense of self.
Branding is about creating a little bit of magic through story. It’s about inspiring them to imagine the possibilities of fulfilling their potential through your brand.
Branding is about owning a word in the mind of the customer.
Having a simple to understand and remember position, separate and distinct from all other competition.
It’s not about saying something short, dumbing down or using sound bites. It’s about prioritising the core message which should be both simple and profound. Proverbs are the ideal in doing this, like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you; a one sentence statement so profound that you could spend a lifetime learning to follow it.
You can build on top of schemas to leverage existing knowledge, like describing Speed as Die Hard on a bus, or being the test crash dummy of online marketing, as with Pat Flynn.
A good core message helps customers understand and remember your brand, while also helping employees decision making. As with Southwest Airlines’s core message being THE low fair airline, customers know what southwest are all about, while employees know what intent should drive their decision-making when it comes to a choice of say, putting extra filling in the sandwiches or not.
Commander intent is used in much the same way by the Army, a simple, plainly-worded statement that summarises every military order, to ensure everyone understands the underlying tactic to be accomplished.
Journalists would describe it as making sure you’re not burying the lead, but instead putting it front and centre of communication, as if you might be cut off at any time.
Doing this prevents decision paralysis caused by overload, and uncertainty. It’s harder to remember 3 things than it is one. One clear message is easier to communicate, to get across and strengthen.
Use this core message as the centerpiece of your marketing, but branding is also about driving it into the customer experience at every touch point. This means making it part of your value promise and then delivering it, consistently over and over. If you don’t deliver on your promise, your message will be undermined and diluted.
Your Core message doesn’t have to have all the information built it. Treat it like breadcrumbs. The low cost airline, doesn’t advocate saving money on airline maintenance and is not as accurate as “improving shareholder value” but is more usable and memorable, and guides employee decisions by knowing the commanders intent when making individual decisions.
You’ve probably heard the term “content is king” countless times, and it’s ever more important in today’s internet-centric business environment.
The aim of content creation should be to allow your business to stand out from competitors, and help prospective customers get to know, like and trust you, so that they will, in time, consider doing business with you.
In other words content should be used to build your brand!
If you try to transact your prospects every time they interact with your brand, you will find you have to compete with all your competitors doing the same thing, and that can get expensive in terms of advertising costs.
Using advertising to first grab attention, then trying to convert prospects via a landing page or over the telephone is a big ask, and prospective customers are very guarded against slick sales messages. They will only consider you if you make the right first impression and are able to build trust quickly.
Consider an alternative solution, which is a longer term strategy but can prepare the ground by building trust and goodwill with people that are not quite ready to buy just yet, but who might be in the next 30, 60 or 90 days. This is called content creation.
When it comes to creating content you should be looking to give visitors something for nothing, to provide value to them without asking for something in return. You should try to help your prospective customers get to know more about your brand, to get to like how you do business and allow them to build up trust in you.
So, create content that prospects want from the page they arrive at. Make sure your adverts or links from adverts or social media posts are clear, and informative and accurately reflect what you’ve promised them. Don’t promise something that you fail to follow through on, just to get them onto your website. That is the surest way to ruin your reputation and destroy trust.
Once they are on your page you need to understand who the prospective customer is, what is their desire? What solution are they seeking? What possible questions are they asking and wanting answered?
To provide value for them, you need to answer these questions effectively, thoroughly and as uniquely as possible. Don’t just regurgitate the same old information, that everyone else is doing. Instead do it in your own voice.
Some content ideas…
1. To build awareness on social media use ENGAGEMENT POSTS – any format, to get comments or a reaction (clicks) – this pushes up in news feed and can include questions, funny memes, photos with a question
2. To grow authority – Encourage testimonials, case studies, speaking engagements, you in action doing what you’re trying to sell – honoured rather than boastful
3. To get clients – leads (email list sign up or phone) and clients attraction. Questions, graphics, videos, gifs
To provide value;
Be relevant – You must have content that interests your prospective customer, otherwise why would they be interested in what you have to say.
Be contextual – formatted for each channel specifically. Try to reformat your content to suit where you want to be found. Vertical video works better on Facebook than it does on Youtube.
Be transparent – builds trust,
Be authentic – be true to yourself,
Inspire interaction – build community,
Be current – so that you resonate with your audience today,
Aim for connection – It’s better to be narrow and deep than wide and shallow- 100 loyal fans better than 10,000 none engaged followers.
Content should be made up of:
There are only 3 types of content when you boil it down.
Escapism and entertainment
Escapism – being removed from our mundane real life situation for a short time, to forget.
interesting (aligned with audiences interests),
create a knowledge gap and fills it,
highlights a threat,
challenge plot, creative plot, connection plot.
Information and utility
Providing information that will help prospects in some way to improve their understanding, increase their knowledge or make life easier or better in some way.
Core information your customers need to know about your products and company before they’ll include you in their consideration set.
How – to’s,
Customer ratings and review.
Ancillary content – This is the supporting and additional content. Think of ancillary content like the bonus tracks on a DVD.
Take prospects behind-the-scenes,
Let prospects get personal with your employees,
Encourage customers to share photographs using your product.
Re-imagined content – Plan different versions of your content to ensure it’s contextually relevant to each specific platform. Again, this is best planned in advance to maximize resources and include it in your content creation contracts.
Provide Commentary – This is the related content and comments that your employees, customers and fans create in coordination or as a result of your core content.
Commentary works best when your audience creates it out their desire to share with their circle of friends and social connections such as Facebook and Instagram posts.
Internal content curation – This is where you maximize the value of your own previously published content by using it in the creation of new content and the re-promotion of old content, giving it new life. It has one or more of the following attributes.
Make content contextually relevance,
Extend content into a new format.
Some additional ideas..
Target a new audience for old content,
Provide access to a location, a person, an institution,
Curation of other peoples content,
Chart your own progress in some relevant endeavor,
Your journey to build your business – moving your business online,
Your progress in a new job,
Learning a new skill,
Put sales techniques into practice,
Sell something different every day testing your sales skills.
Current niche trends,
Software trends if relevant,
Explore the topic more freely and in-depth,
Cover local issues,
Real estate – local amenities, history of area – reasons why it’s good living here,
Local relevant events.
Connect people and community, to share ideas and stories.
Coming up with content ideas
Here are the 33 prompts that you can use to write just about ANYTHING… feel free to copy and paste them into notepad so you can use them every day when you sit down to write content.
Ask a question,
Reference current events,
Create your own terms,
Reveal news (new/introducing),
Tell the reader to do something,
Make a comparison,
Promise useful information,
Tell a (quick) story,
Make a recommendation,
Use a testimonial,
Promise to reveal a secret,
Target section of your audience,
Scarcity of savings/value,
Deliver good news,
Challenge the reader,
Highlight your guarantee,
State the price (as benefit),
Set up (seemingly),
Address reader objection/concern,
“As crazy as it sounds”,
Take them to the promised land,
Reason why headline,
Stress cost saving and value,
List / answer questions,
State / deliver on reader’s goals,
Highlight cost of mistakes.
Use this website for content ideas http://answerthepublic.com/ enter a keyword and it will suggest content ideas
Types of content
Lists of lists,
Did you know,
Covering fast changing situations,
From around the web,
Summing up events,
Q&A for interviews,
High level breakdown,
“Day in the life of” post,
Videos – screencasts, talking heads, illustrations, graphics, film roll,
User Generated Content,
Meme – Meme Generator and Quick Meme,
Social equity – introductions, access to contacts (interview, insight) – Leverage status (fame), membership (masons), contacts, relationships.
Guides – A guide is a detailed and fairly long piece of content. Think of it as an epic blog post. It goes beyond the length, style, and approach of an ordinary blog post.
Book reviews – A book review is a simple discussion of a book plus your take on it. You recommend good ones, critique not-so-good ones, and share the value that you glean from them. Book reviews are great because they help to position you as a thought leader.
Opinion post (rant) – This style of post is substantially different from your typical blog post, mostly due to its tone. You may be used to publishing a careful and researched discussion of a topic. The rant or opinion, by contrast, may be stronger and more expressive. The more vociferous your position, the more it’s going to get read and shared.
Product reviews – Like the book review, a product review can help establish authority and leadership in your industry. Every industry has its unique array of products, software, and services. When you engage key developers, manufacturers, or service providers, you gain recognition and respect. All you need to do is share your experience with the product and provide your recommendation.
How to.. The how-to is one of the most popular types of content, especially in my niche. On my blog, I write a lot of how-to guides. How-to articles have awesome long tail search potential due to these popular long tail query introductions: “How to…” and “How do I…?”
Lists – Lists have endless appeal. We’re wired to love them. Chance are you’re going to see or read an article today that involves some sort of a list — “5 Security Breaches You Need to Know about,” “17 Ways to Rank Higher in Google in One Month.” Hey, you’re already reading an article with the title “15 Types.”
Link pages – link page is simply a post that provides links to great resources around the web. The great thing about link posts is that they spread link love to other sites, provide your own site with authoritative SEO signals, and assert your thought leadership within your field.
Ebook – An ebook is long content packaged in a different format, usually as a PDF. Ebooks are often a downloadable product, available for free in exchange for joining a mailing list. Producing an ebook helps to strengthen your authority within a field, and it makes for a powerful method of sharing your knowledge with others.
Case study – A case study explains what your product or service is and how it helped a client. The case study basically says, “here’s what we do, how we do it, and the results we get.”
Podcast – Podcasts had their phase of popularity, and they’re still a great form of content. Plus, they’re not hard to create. Many people listen to podcasts during their commute or exercise. You have a chance to spread your message farther and better using this format than a lot of other formats.
Interview – Every field has its leaders. When you’re able to interview a leader, you can garner a lot of respect from others in the field, not to mention huge amounts of traffic. Interviews are unique. No one else has this information — only you.
Research and original data – Most of us work in data-intensive fields, where numbers and metrics hold a lot of value. Sharing your findings with others is a powerful way to drive traffic, build trust, and establish your authority. When you do the research, which is hard work, people respect that. What’s more, people share it.
Digesting info and regurgitating/repackaging and presenting it to your audience in a new package,
Content curation and Content aggregation, where you filter good quality content for your readers, this adds value for them and saves them having to troll through low quality content,
If you don’t have anything to say, DOCUMENT! – easier than having to create new content,
If you’re not an expert in your niche you can become a well informed commentator (share stories from niche – curate content made by others and add your own commentary).
Look after your readers
Always reply to comments or messages,
Use names and tag people,
Share things – if you come across something you like share it,
Be an investigator – Google Alerts – gives you news about a chosen keyword(s),
Check out the results, go to a page and leave a comment as a nice gesture,
Make navigation around the site easy,
Decrease page load times,
Get rid of annoyances on site such as pop-ups and distracting ads,
Surprise audience – give something for free,
Include transcript with podcasts or video,
Use high quality audio and video,
Skip the sales pitch – the best sales pitch is no sales pitch at all,
Reply with a video,
Invite participation – reader challenge, ask for opinion, calls to action – get people involved,
Get personal – infuse your personality and life to get deeper connection,
Provide unique content such as provide case studios, experiments, income reports etc
Proof read content before you post it,
Remember who you are and who your serving,
Always over deliver,
Write post which is potential vehicle for income. Good quality, unique, have affiliate links in sidebar so on every post and in text,
Create a visual representation of the information you are talking about to help you and your audience remember it,
Transformation – what’s the transformation you want your audience to go through. Another way of putting it is what’s the purpose of your article. What’s the goal,
Start with in this episode we are going to talk about x. by the end of this you will be able to Y using your Z,
Tell them what you’re going to tell them, Tell them, Tell them what you told them,
Reverse engineer the transformation. Work backwards. What supporting content do you need to include to achieve the transformation,
Write down all possible objections and include a reply to each of these in the supporting content,
Tell stories (more memorable) or Include case studies or Research and data. Always include the professors full name and qualifications include accurate data to the penny,
Subdivide the article so that it is easier to understand and follow. Subdivisions could be steps, tips,
Make the beginning and end memorable,
Ending should have a call to action, get audience involved, show how what you have talked about actually works, surprise audience in some way (must be relevant),
Beginning should have a video or high impact beginning,
Aim for Consistency,
Talk like a human being,
You shouldn’t be vanilla – take a point of view,
Don’t talk at your audience, talk with them. connection, interaction.
So as you can see there is a lot to consider with regards to your content. The best advice I can give is get stuff out there and see what works best for your audience.
Successful branding is about controlling the perception of your business/ brand in the mind of prospects and customers alike. It’s made up of …
The impression people have of your business is going to heavily influence whether they are going to consider buying from you or not.
Being perceived as credible, likable and trustworthy, is particularly important with regards to people who have had little or no previous experience of your business/ brand.
Perception is a dance between impression and reputation. As people get to know more about your brand/ business, reputation becomes more influential, but even then, people’s impressions can still be altered through ongoing interactions. In the same way you can go off people, you can certainly go off brands and businesses depending on new information. There is no such things unconditional love, with regards to branding. However people tend to be more forgiving of bad experiences, or bad publicity if they have previously built up positive history with you.
Your reputation is about what people say about you when you’re not there.
Always be looking to strengthen your reputation through all customer touch points for new and returning prospects, and customers. Reputation is spread through word of mouth and technology that performs in the same way as word of mouth. If you have a bad reputation, you need to take a serious look at what is going wrong, having a strong brand with a bad reputation is the worst place possible to be.
Remember this point; If you’re not strengthening your brand, you’re weakening it, there is no middle ground here, so ensure you’re strengthening it at every opportunity.
Throughout the customer journey, there are a number of touch points they are exposed to your business/ brand in some way. You should look very carefully at each of these points and consider how they impact your reputation, and influence impressions of your business/ brand.
Some possible touch points might include..
Social media channels
What are you posting about?
What value are you adding to prospects and customers?
Are you constantly trying to sell or are you adding value in other ways? Consider Gary Vaynerchuk’s jab, jab, jab, right hook principle, otherwise known as build brand, build brand, build brand, push offer.
Are you’re communications giving the impression you want them to give, through the imagery, copy and other media?
Are they driving your brand promise home?
Search engine listings & website
If your customers are searching on search engines for the solutions that you provide, you must make sure you can be found there, either through SEO, or PPC.
What pages are you being found through?
Are people finding your page, but not clicking on your link? If not clicking on your link, why not? Are you not giving them a reason to click?
Are you communicating the right messages on those pages, once they click through?
Are these pages helping to build your brand, through the copy, images and other media?
Are you demonstrating enough social proof through reviews and testimonials, case studies and the likes.
Premises and signage
Is your premises and signage giving the right impression of your business/ brand?
Is it all ON BRAND?
Your people and value delivery
Your people include your Customer service reps, Receptionists, Employees, Leaders, and sales people. Your brand promise is not just something you just say, it’s something you live from and in. All beliefs and values, and the subsequent behaviours that come from them, should be aligned to drive you brand promise forward. Branding starts within your business and is then communicated out through what and how you do the things you do to bring value to the market.
At the end of it all, you are trying to control the OPINIONS of your prospects and customers, and indeed, everyone else that comes across your business/ brand.
They have to KNOW, LIKE and TRUST your business/ brand.
To KNOW you
They can only know you, if they see you, so been visible. Share your story with them, let them see you in action with behind the scenes content or a 247 like backstory. Be as personable as possible, don’t hide behind a corporation persona, because people prefer to buy from people.
To LIKE you
Think about the people you like and why; generally people are attracted to people who are like them. People who they feel they are on the same side as, and have things in common with. We learn this through interaction, and sharing, so your business/ brand needs to do the same kinds of things, by sharing and caring.
To TRUST you
To build trust, you must be AUTHENTIC, TRANSPARENT, CONSISTENT and GENUINELY want to look out for best interests of your customers.
Without these, people will see through you and your intentions.
It’s vital you control the narrative and story around your business and brand. Make sure the reception of your message is as intended, during the transmission of it. Otherwise you might mistakenly misread what people think about your business /brand, so keep communication channels open both ways, to ensure you’ve got a good handle on the opinion of the people that matter; your prospects and customers.
Make sure your message is simple to understand and easy to remember, emotionally meaningful from the point of view of prospects and customers, and further strengthens your brand promise.
When it comes to earning a living, there are so many different options, but if you want to be really wealthy, as in having lots of spare dosh, what’s the best way to go about it? For a more in depth guide, check out our wealth guide, here.
We’re keeping the discussion limited to income options in this post, but our wealth guide talks about dealing with expenditure as well.
#1 LINEAR income
This is the option of providing value once, and getting paid once for it. It’s the route the majority of people go down, trading time for money, as in working for a salary, or a fee, if you’re a freelancer. This is considered the least expandable, because there is a limit to the number of hours you can work and the income you can make. Sure you can, if you’re say, a sports star earn incredible income from your work, but it’s still limited to some extent. Many sports stars earn extra income from merchandising or other deals that take advantage of their celebrity.
#2 PASSIVE income
Create or buy assets or provide value once, and get income from it over and over again. This could be achieved from buying stocks and shares, and getting dividend payments year after year, or royalties for say music or art that you own, or licencing of intellectual property that’s yours. If you’re thinking of charging for say a video course, you film it once, and get paid over and over again for it, if it’s considered valuable enough.
Some other examples of recurring income
Property income (rent) or profit made from buying and selling
Marketing activities that attract paying customers
Royalties from intellectual property (art, photos, ideas, writing, music)
Licencing fees (ideas, inventions, IP)
Stocks and shares income
online courses (videos, e-books and email automated)vert
Peer to peer lending
Rent out a room in your house (Airbnb style, or to a student, or lodger)
Lead generation website – supplying leads to local businesses
Online store selling products that can be drop shipped
Youtube videos that are popular and have advert placements on them
Pay Per Click adverts on website
Property renting out advertising space (car, building, fence)
#3 RECURRING income
Recurring income comes about by providing ongoing value or owning assets that you get regular payments for. This would include things like memberships or subscriptions for magazines or websites that you own, or from rent, if you’re a landlord.
#4 LEVERAGED income
Last but not least is leveraged income, which involves making income from other peoples resources, such as their money, time, effort, assets, skills, or popularity. You can do this if you own a business and employ people for instance, you get them to use their skills to make you money. You can also leverage other people’s resources via partnerships or joint ventures.
Other examples of leveraged income include
Owning a franchised business
Network marketing (avoid these)
Being a talent agent
Owning a freelancer service website where you earn a commission
So there you have it, I’ve tried to keep this post as short and concise as possible, hope you got some value out of it.