SMM + Marketing Mentor, & Lover Of All Things Tropical
Building a brand has become a pretty big buzzword in the online space but the truth is not a lot of people actually know the difference between building a brand vs just building a business. To help you avoid this same mistake, today’s episode is all about helping you build a strong + intentional brand from the get-go, one that allows you to stand out from the masses, & truly make an impact.
Prior to launching my own online business, I used to work for an Instagram Marketing company. My role was to give Instagram consultations to hundreds of business owners each and every month, enroll them on a growth software (which I don’t recommend), & ultimately help them leverage the power of social media marketing. I would talk to individuals ranging from photographers, fitness coaches, wedding planners, influencers, chiropractors, real estate owners, etc, and what I realized when I hopped on these calls, was that they would all ask the same questions.
Why am I not growing fast enough? Why is my audience not connecting with me? Why aren’t people booking my products or services? I realized through this position that so many of these individuals were so focused on building their businesses that they actually neglected to build their brands.
A business is just a product, service, or opportunity and is really just this thing that has no real connection to its consumers. Versus a brand on the other hand is how people perceive you, it is your image, your personality, & it is what’s attached to those offers. Your brand is ultimately the reason why someone is going to buy from YOU versus somebody else out there.
When it comes to branding yourself, it’s not just talking about your services or what you have to offer because let’s be honest there are millions of other social media managers out there who are essentially doing and offering very similar things to you. What it actually is, is showing who the person is behind your services, who they would be working with, what that experience would look like for them, & what separates you from all the millions of other social media managers out there.
There’s that saying that people buy from people, not businesses. So when it comes to branding yourself, you are your biggest asset and that’s something you need to leverage. Just because someone has 5+ more years of experience in social media than you do really doesn’t mean anything. If you come out of the gates building this amazing brand for yourself, your customer experience is spot on, you over-deliver, you make sure your clients are cared for, and they start referring you….well guess what? That social media manager who has more experience who let’s say for the sake of this example treats their clients as business transactions, isn’t really building a brand for herself or at least not a strong one.
So that’s exactly how you could go ahead and differentiate yourself by going above and beyond for your clients, providing an amazing experience, & truly caring for your clients.
Building a brand is truly what will allow you to pivot and scale your business as well as take your audience along with you. The truth is, you are probably NOT going to be doing or offering the same exact thing you are now one, five, or ten years from now. Your offers are going to change and evolve as you do, so by actually building a brand from the get-go, one that people recognize, & one that people know, like and trust, it’s not going to matter where you decide to take your business because your audience + community will come along with you.
So going back to that saying that people buy from people, if you start to build these strong relationships with your audience from the beginning, you share with them your personality, your values, etc they really aren’t going to care too much about the services that you offer – they are going to want to buy and work with you because of that established connection and because of YOU period.
#1 Establish what you want to become known for: The worst thing that you can do is build a business or brand around something that you aren’t actually passionate about or interested in. Take the time to think about want you actually want to become known for, what you see yourself doing one, five, or ten years down the line, and how building this business will help you get to that bigger picture/vision.
#2 Identify your core brand pillars: Your brand pillars are topics or themes that you can constantly rotate between within your content that will help you establish your brand & become known for something. Ask yourself: What categories or articles would you want people to flip through and read inside your magazine? For instance, I talk all about social media marketing which includes all things Instagram and soon-to-be Pinterest marketing, I also talk about personal branding, & lastly living the laptop lifestyle. So those are my core 3-4 brand pillars that I personally have, so really start to map out what yours are and what you want to become known for. Because the more that you talk about and incorporate these topics within your content the more consistent your messaging will be, the more you become the go-to gal for those topics, & the more people will actually start to refer you to others aka growing your brand awareness.
#3 Pick 1-2 Main Platforms: When it comes to building your brand on social media, instead of trying to be on ALL the platforms, pick one or two. By doing so, you can establish your brand on these platforms, become known, & then expand from there.
#4 Give FREE value: Yes, Free. The more free value you give away to your audience, the more they will begin to know, like, & trust you. One of the key differences between those service providers you see online who just have a business versus the ones that actually have a brand is that those with a brand earn their ability to sell. Gary V has this famous method called the Jab Jab Jab Right Hook method where he states that the more you serve your audience, give them free value, and build relationships, the easier it’s actually going to be able to sell to them because you have actually earned the right to do so. So business owners who just have a business and pitch their products or services left and right are just that- businesses. There’s no brand, no rapport, no established relationship or trust, and therefore when they are pitching their products and services all the time it’s not landing as they haven’t built that trust prior.
Press play for the full discussion on why you need to be building a brand and not just a business on The Tropical Social Podcast and don’t forget to leave a review on Apple! And if you are wanting to learn more about how I can help you build a brand on social media, you can check out my services HERE.
Free Guide: Kickstart Your Social Media Management Business
Connect with Shannon on INSTAGRAM
Save $50 on your Social Media Management Contracts using code SHANNON22
Get 50% off your Flodesk Subscription
The podcast for early-stage social media managers who are looking to stand out online & live the laptop lifestyle. Whether you want to work online + live abroad, road-trip across the country, or simply be your own boss from the comfort of your home, The Tropical Social Podcast is here to help you do just that!
Receive insider news on what it's really like to build a social media management business, live the digital nomad lifestyle, & build a stand out brand online. You can expect these weekly goodies in your inbox every Thursday!