I wanted to ask if you have used the LinkedIn ‘create a post’ facility yet and if not why not?
I have published a few posts so far and will continue to do so, why, because it’s a fantastic way to reach the people I want to work with, build authority and position my business for success.
Now I know what you’re going to say, “what about Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus?” well they are good too but not quite as good and here’s why:
Twitter – it’s great for headlines and for catching up but is it really the place to start a conversation to make sales? Although I will say I haven’t tried the paid advertising route yet. I find the 140 characters so limiting. I won’t stop using it, it’s just that my style of engagement requires something a little longer and more substantial. I do know businesses who use twitter exclusively and do ok so don’t write it off just yet. Let me know if you disagree and why.
Facebook – since Mr Zuckerberg decided to ‘float’ the company anyone with a business page has to advertise to make any real impact and I really think the days of ‘free advertising’ are coming to an end on the internet. I have tried both paid and unpaid on Facebook and the reach without paying is poor to say the least. Yes you can target a specific audience, which is great, but I am still not convinced that businesses go on there to find a consultant, but again I may be wrong. I could write a whole article on Facebook and maybe I will.
Google Plus – I love G+, the conversations are better, well not better just deeper, and of course its Google but as everything has changed recently with the ‘dropping’ of authorship I am not sure if it’s worth putting the time in any more to gain clients. Again I will do further research and let you know but if you think differently let me know.
LinkedIn – well for me this is the new ‘leader’ in social connectedness. Now I have often told my clients and attendees at workshops and keynote’s that Facebook and LinkedIn are ‘walled gardens’ they both only serve the people who are in there. But let’s think for a moment the people who are in LinkedIn are businesses and lots of them. You don’t have to search very far for businesses like you do on the other platforms, if you’re a business it’s all there ready to be worked on. Yes you can use the other platforms to find people and engage with them but it’s the finding that takes all the time and effort and even then you’re never really sure if you’ve got it right.
LinkedIn does offer ‘paid for’ advertising, I will be trying it before very long, but as a consultant I can honestly say that in over four years since I changed from website building, all my clients have come from LinkedIn, with the exception of three or four. So why should I use anything else?
One thing I would love to see them change is the ability to edit the mainstream updates. The amount of mistakes I make and then can’t correct them. I guess I’m not the only one who would like to see that function too. I would also like to see a LinkedIn version of Google hangouts so we can talk to each other inside the platform that would be cool.
When building authority online or trying to position your business LinkedIn is a great place to start, especially now that you can use it as a blog, because it is already full of the people and businesses you are trying to reach so it makes it that little bit easier, you don’t have to do too much searching but you still have to keep in mind the goals for your business.
There are a few things I would change on LinkedIn, as I would on the other platforms, but for now the ability to post articles has raised the LinkedIn game a few notches, so use it and benefit from it.
If you would like to know more about LinkedIn and how to get started I wrote this post a while ago, it’s still relevant, but why not add a comment or ask a question below because it’s that type of engagement I love.
A while back we heard all the stories of why we should dump or websites and get on board with Facebook and Google Plus business pages. This was the way forward and websites were a thing of the past, a dinosaur in this world of contentedness and speed.
Well it hasn’t quite worked out like that has it? A big resounding NO I hear you shout!
You see with Facebook now throttling business pages unless you pay for promoting the post it’s really difficult to get anywhere. There are ways around it if you’re willing to put in the time but let’s face it who has the time or the inclination these days to go fiddling around in Facebook?
No, the good old website still has and will have for years to come lots of juice left in the tank. It will be there when the others have faded and the next ‘new thing’ has come and gone. Your website is a constant in a world of change and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
It’s yours to do with as you like, unless you rub up against your hosts T&C’s but let’s be fair how often is that going to happen for the average business and marketing site, not very often is my guess.
Having your own site really does give you ownership and using software like WordPress really does make it easy. Having your own domain name makes it doubly secure and you can have as many as you like there are no restrictions
I would urge you to use social channels as a way to get people back to your website but that’s it. Use them as a channel to get your messages out, respond to your tribe and answer any customer service type questions, they have no equal when it comes to this sort of use but as a direct replacement, no not for me there is just too much risk. Let’s face it if everything goes belly up on a social channel all your work has been for nothing you can’t back them up you just have to start over again.
When deciding, ask yourself could you live without your website or could you live without a social channel?
I am currently reading a book called Breakthrough: Learn the secrets of the world’s leading mentor and become the best you can be! By David C.M. Carter, this is the UK Kindle edition http://goo.gl/7MuPBQ it’s all about your personal breakthroughs and a whole lot more. I would highly recommend it.
I first saw David on a Google hangout with Martin Shervington ( Google Plus Link ) and was really captivated by what he had to say, it really resonated with me.
In the book there’s a chapter called “Know yourself” and it’s a fascinating chapter about getting to know YOU!
But for me ‘Brand You’ is a fantastic term that conjures up all sorts of possibilities because most of us have no idea what it means or how this works.
I want you to think about the big names in social media for a moment:
Richard Branson – Virgin
Tony Robbins – Tony Robbins
Guy Kawasaki – AllTop, amongst others
Robert Scoble – Rackspace
There are more, you can add your own, but you get where I’m going.
This got me thinking about how successful their personal brands are, even though they have massively successful companies. Through social media we get to know them by their first names, some are even on first name terms with them. My point is through social media we now think of them, as people before we think of their companies, however large the companies may be. This is how up close and personal life has become through social media. We feel like we know them because they give us a snapshot into their daily lives.
So lets bring this right back to how this affects to us, the ones who breathe the normal air, how can we ever hope to achieve the same sort of recognition and become Brand You? Well I can tell you it’s not impossible.
Building a Brand You is vitally important to any business owner and you know why? Because you have it whether you like it or not. People’s perceptions of you help to build that brand. Some will like you, some will hate you and some will love you, both personally and in business you might as well accept it. Some would have us believe that there is nothing we can do about this so we might as well make the best of it. But you can do something about it, you must influence it in any way you can so your Brand You becomes stronger day by day.
Network, both on and offline, this is important because to become the best ‘brand you’ you can you need help and don’t be afraid to ask for it
Give as much help and advice as you can on your specialist subject. Give without gain!
Social marketing is a tricky business because whether you have a Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter business and personal accounts they are all linked back to you. This is one of the reasons you can’t be everywhere at once, you need to concentrate on three platforms at most so you can become the best ‘Brand You’ that you can be. Don’t overstretch yourself because no one wants a watered down version of you! It’s better to be a giant on three platforms than a ‘wash up’ on six.
So building Brand You isn’t as difficult as you first thought it was. It’s not an overnight thing, you can’t do it in a couple of weeks but you can do it.
The most important part I have left to the end and that’s being true to yourself! Yes you can change how people perceive you but you have to want to do that to begin with. If there is something stopping you getting the clients you want then find out what it is and change it, it will be something really simple. If there is something stopping you from charging more for your services or products do a full end to end appraisal of what you do and make sure you are adding as much value to your clients lives as you possibly can. Get help with this one if necessary.
You need to build your brand in a positive way because you want people see you in a light that is positive to you and your business or you won’t have a business.
There are lots of ways to build a strong ‘Brand You’ but remember you have to start sometime and that sometime is today. I would urge you to read this post again and then formulate your plan to build the best ‘Brand You’ that you can.
This is something that everyone needs to consider when they set out in their career, notice how I didn’t say ‘chosen’ career. This was on purpose because not everyone knows what that is at the very start.
But one thing I do know is you have to find it pretty quickly if you want to be successful especially online.
So what if you have no idea what this might be, how do you find it and where do you look for guidance and inspiration?
Here’s a thought just pick up your favourite magazine, go on do it now. I have two, What HiFi, (hifi and home cinema), and Rhythm, (drumming and drummers). What I find they have in common is they focus on pretty much one subject, maybe they stray a little into other areas but on the whole its a ‘one topic’ magazine. So how can this help you? Well first off see how they write about each chosen subject or product and really focus on the benefits for you the reader. Don’t you think this is a great way of doing things, focusing on the reader and their wants and needs helps them keep you buying their magazine and no one else’s month after month. If you’re like me you can’t wait for it to arrive.
This is how you should approach your specialist subject with a laser focus on what are the pain points for your audience or tribe.
What if you still don’t know what subject to chose and how to make it ‘work’ for you? Start with what you’re really passionate about and I mean really passionate because if this is going to be a career then it better be something you enjoy doing or it won’t last.
One of the biggest problems that people come across when deciding on their specialist subject is “there are lots of other people doing what I want to do, is there enough room in the market?”
Look at it this way if there are lots of people doing what you want to do does that not mean there is a market for it?
Take social marketing, its awash with ‘experts and gurus’ now does this mean they are all good or great at what they do or offer…hell no!! There are some poor and there are some fantastic people out there. It’s just like doctors and car mechanics in fact any job has good and bad offering their services. All you have to do is decide right from the start which one you want to be? I know which one I am.
Now that might sound a little big headed or that I think I am better than anyone else. I will leave you to be the judge of that one. You see its not up to us to say if we are the best or not, its up to others, but if you’re clients or peers say it then you are really at the top of your game or doing something right.
So once you know what you want to do then you have to start creating content that people will love and want to share. Let’s take each in isolation.
I wrote a post on this one and you can find it here but essentially its very much like this post, you create content that you’re tribe will find useful and will want to keep coming back to read more, just like your favourite magazine, so then eventually they will trust you enough to want to work with you or purchase your products. This is what’s termed as a ‘sales funnel’ now there is great debate if this type of ‘selling’ and is still relevant but I will leave that for another time. What you do have to have is a clear path on how you want people to work with you and purchase you’re products or services. Just look at some examples of your favourite people or brands online and see how they do it. Some will differ slightly but on the whole it’s a tried and tested method. and the method goes like this:
Create a service or program that you’re tribe or target audience will want to take from you, this can be anything from a free eBook right up to consultancy services. Have a look and see how many services and products someone like Tony Robbins supplies to his tribe.
Create content that your target audience want to read and resonate with that will link to your services or products.
Once the content is ready then you have to decide how you will distribute it? Will this be via a blog, website, newsletter or social channels or all of them? I would advocate all of them for maximum reach
Now you have to decide how you will share you’re content that promotes you’re products or services. There are various ways but I will give you some of my favourites.
Blogging I love writing posts and I always write as though I am speaking to just one person. Never say ‘we’ or ‘guys’ always say ‘you’ I imagine I am sitting right opposite you as I am writing a post of any piece of content video works especially well.
Email newsletter. This is something else that causes contention because not everyone sees have an email list as important or necessary in today’s social media world. All I will say on the subject is I own my list, I don’t own Google or Facebook and never will. They can do what they like with their platforms whether I disagree or not.
Social Channels such as Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to name just a few. These are great ways to reach a lot of people quickly and for striking up conversations about your services or products with your tribe.
So you’ve created your content and you’re now sharing it with the world, or at least the people who want to read it or watch it, and that’s the next important lesson. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go viral in seconds of you publishing it. Your objective here is to have the people who are interested in it and for whom it resonates to really ‘get it’. Not everyone will so what you are really doing is targeting the people you think will learn to trust you will do what you say you will and buy from you on a regular basis. It’s like a never ending circle. You are providing the content, services and products and your audience providing you with a living. That’s why some content marketers are really successful and some aren’t, it’s all down to what you provide and are you trusted.
So we have taken a look at becoming a specialist in your chosen field, I can say chosen now as you will have a good idea of what it is, and creating and publishing content on a regular basis.
I have left the ‘on a regular basis’ statement until last because if you are sporadic and only create and publish content when you feel like it then you will lose, of that there is no doubt. You need a steady flow of fantastic content that is backed up by services and products you tribe can purchase from you so they remember who you are. We are all guilty of this at times but once you have a plan and routine to create and publish content you will be surprised just how easy it can become.
Now you are ready to become the specialist you always wanted to be. Now I am not saying it will happen overnight, this only happens with hard work, patience and determination to succeed and I don’t know how much of these three things you have in your make up? But one thing I do know if you have then you can achieve anything you put your mind to.
Let me know how you decide to go forward with this and can I just wish you all the luck in the world, although I have the feeling luck won’t play a part in your success.
If you have enjoyed this post and would like to know more on how you can become a ‘specialist’ in your chosen niche then why not join us in our ENGAGE program? You will even receive a special discount by following this link.
I was thinking the other day that some people have no idea why their marketing isn’t working, especially online marketing. They either follow the latest trends or they follow someone who, they hope, will point them in the right direction on where they are going and with who for company.
But that’s not really thinking for yourself or getting the results that matter to your business is it? No!
So let’s break it down into its component parts because this is a lot simpler than you might think.
There are three elements to this and they are: Why, How and When. Yep that’s it, that’s all there is. Let me explain in a little more detail.
WHY: Who are you sending your message out to? Why will it help them? What’s the benefit for them?
HOW: How are you going to send your message out? Through your blog, like this? Through your social channels like eMail Newsletter, like this? Google Plus, Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? Maybe you will send it out to all of them?
WHEN: When will you send it out, once a week, once a month or maybe once a quarter, I wouldn’t recommend this as it’s too long a gap and people will forget who you are. Send it when you have something to write about that will help your tribe. You will know the frequency.
Once you can answer these three simple questions then you are on your way to making this an enjoyable journey. For some it isn’t enjoyable at all, they get in a mess with their social marketing and end up not using it or using so infrequently it’s never going to work.
I will let you in on how I use Why, How and When:
WHY: This is really easy, I know who my target audience are, it’s you, yes that’s right you! You need help with social marketing and aren’t afraid to ask, that’s the first hurdle over with. Think about your target audience and how you can help them with their problems and concerns? Once you have done that you’re on your way.
HOW: I send out my messages of help and advice via my email newsletter, you got this today. I will also post it on my blog and send it out to my social channels, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Most of you know I only use these on a regular basis. But please try whatever works for you and your tribe.
WHEN: I send out email newsletter once a week, don’t hold me to that though, but on the whole I do. This lets my tribe know that they can count on me to help at least once a week. Now I test different days and times for when I send out my stuff and if it’s not working for you, do the same its surprising what the results can throw up.
So to end think about the Why, HOW and WHEN for your business and if you not getting the
results you want or expect focus on this a little more, it will help.