• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

#BrandConsistency – Branding is About Who Knows You, Not Who You Know

#BrandConsistency involves putting yourself out in the public eye with a clear and concise message. It’s about overcoming hesitancy in new sales and clients. Loyal customers buy based on their feelings. To build a solid foundation of success, it pays to be known. 

Your brand is the idea, the emotions, images, thoughts, etc. that comes to mind when people hear your name, pass by your store, see your ad, or view your website. It’s your complete online presence. People remember how you made them feel over everything else. The world is flooded with other people and brands who want to corner the market on success. So how do you stand out from the crowd?

Word of mouth, brand consistency, customer loyalty, and dedication to the customer experience will go far in making your brand known.


Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Do you offer a unique product, service, environment, etc.? If you’re not sure, find a way you can do it better than the other guys. 
  • Are you consistent in delivering your customer service promise? And do you do it every time?
  • How is your business memorable? Is it memorable for the right reasons?
  • What is the first impression that you offer potential clients and customers? Is it consistent across all platforms? Remember that visitors to your Facebook page may not visit your site and vice versa. Try not to refer them back and forth unless it’s absolutely necessary. The same goes for cross-platform promotion. A twitter follower has no interest in your Instagram ad, and your YouTube subscribers will rarely care about your Facebook Live Q&A.
  • How easy is it for new customers and clients to do business with you? Call your company or use the website. Perform an “experience audit” to determine whether or not you fall short.
  • What are you good at? Where do you consistently get great feedback in your business? Highlight that as a great selling point. Networking with other companies who have used your service is another key aspect.
  • Are you being genuine and sincere in your interaction with your clients and customers?
  • Have you reached out to influencers who also interact with your target market? If you get them excited about your brand, others will get excited as well.
  • Do you convey confidence in your interaction online and with customers? Your employees should be subject matter experts on your brand. Even apologies for making mistakes can be done with confidence. “I apologize for this mistake,” is much more confidence-inspiring than “I don’t know how it happened”. A quick and favorable interaction with a customer will build brand confidence.

It takes time and consistency to build a loyal customer or client base. These tips will put you on the right track for success and to #BeAwesome with your branding.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#BrandConsistency – People Do Business with Individuals, Not Brands

Your personal brand is different than your company’s brand, but it is just as important, if not more so. People do business with individuals, not brands. So how do you create a personable brand that potential clients and customers want to work with?
Your personal brand is the image you wish to project. Here are ten tips to get you started in #BrandConsistency:  
  1. Be clear about the image you wish to cloak yourself in. Keep it simple. Keep it authentic. How?
  2. Be true to yourself.Spending days, weeks, and even years projecting an image you don’t like can be exhausting to maintain. If you seem to be faking it, the word will spread and your authenticity will suffer. Inconsistencies will cause a rift in trust. You don’t want that.
  3. Become a public speaker. You must develop your communication skills. You can do this either live or through video sites like Vimeo or YouTube, but you want to project confidence and speak from a platform of power and control. Your videos don’t have to be long. Ten minutes or less is more than fine. Just find one topic and speak on it. Your speaking engagements, on the other hand, are as long as you’ve been slotted for. Prepare in advance. Double check your numbers. Provide value, and your brand will shine.
  4. Be consistent in branding across all platforms. This includes synchronizing your LinkedIn profile with your resume.
  5. Create leadership articles and participate in interviews. This goes to credibility. You want to be seen as a subject matter expert, and you gain that by providing proof of authority.
  6. Show numbers, dates, etc. to back up your broad statements. You want to be seen as a subject matter expert so that your clients and customers can be confident in your ability to lead them through the darkness.
  7. Build an online presence. This goes back to #4. Be consistent in who you are. An online forum or community is not the same as your private home. Remember that everything you put on there can be screenshot and used against you at a later date.
  8. Be brief in your mission statement. You can’t do everything. Specialization is key to business success.
  9. Never stop learning.You must remain relevant to your industry. Take courses in subjects outside your chosen field to widen your perspective. You don’t want to box yourself into your own world and lose touch with your customers and clients. Expand your knowledge as much as possible.
  10. Finally, one of the most important tips: talk about what you’ve done, not what you plan to do.You need to build your brand on results, not ideas. It’s okay to admit your weaknesses and shortcomings. It’s okay to be vulnerable. That makes you more human and relatable. It’s not okay to spend all your time ramping up for ideas that may never solidify. Clients and customers want results-driven numbers. Keep that in mind.

Take some time to develop your personal brand and opportunities will come your way. 
Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#SocialIsntScary – Spooky Branding

While branding is essential, often it can also be overwhelming. Partially this is because many people don’t really understand what branding is. A brand is basically an idea, image or feeling that the general public gets when they think about you or your company. In fact, it’s the public who truly controls what your brand is by the way they perceive you and what you do. This makes it complicated for small businesses and people to wrap their heads around branding.
While we can’t control how others perceive us, we can certainly influence it. That is how we brand successfully. This means your images, your posts, your style, your voice are all fundamental aspects of your brand. In branding, it’s called touchpoints. Every aspect of your business that interacts with another person is a touchpoint. This could be your office space, your website, your invoices, your trade show booths. One way to tackle your touchpoints is to approach your business the way a potential customer, client, vendor or influencer would. What would you want their experience to be like? What would you want them to see? To hear? To read?
So, when developing your social media, thinking about your brand should be intentional. You have a brand whether you’ve invested time in developing it or not. The smart method would be to decide what you want your brand to say about you and then incorporate it into everything you do – including your social media strategy. Here are some ways to keep branding in mind while managing your social media.
Discriminators
First, what are your discriminators? A discriminator is basically what makes you stand out from your competition. What do you offer that you want to highlight or feature? What makes your company stand out? Why should people follow you? It’s ideal to have one to three specific discriminators to work with. Think about your level of expertise or your skill set. Consider the aspects of your business that you are super passionate about. What type of information draws you in while you are online? These will give you a good indication of what your strengths are.
You may have a lot of different interests. It’s important to narrow it down to just a few that tie into what you do. Focus is important in branding. An individual needs to be able to receive a clear idea of what you are about and not get lost in too much clutter.
Now find ways to incorporate these discriminators into your branding. Find a handful of popular keywords that closely relates to what you are doing and incorporate them into your content regularly. Do some research on hashtags for the same purpose. Sometimes being specific can be more successful than going with trends. Niche businesses have a market too and those specific keywords may not draw the most attention but are more likely to pull in just the right audience.
Consistency
Make sure that you develop some images that coincide with your brand’s look and feel. Then use them over and over again across various social platforms. Someone should be able to look at your website, your LinkedIn page, and your Twitter account and instantly recognize you and your company.
These graphics will help people find and connect with you. It will solidify the branding images in their minds that they retrieve whenever they think about you. Make your photos, colors, fonts and descriptions match across all sites. While it can be tempting to change things up and be creative occasionally, this can be confusing for your target audience. After all, they are the ones who determine what your brand is. Make certain what they are seeing is what you want them to be experiencing when they interact with you.
Post on a regular basis. The online world is fast paced. If you don’t regularly attempt to keep their attention, they will move on to the next big thing. If it looks like you have abandoned one of your channels, even for a short period of time, your viewers will stop checking in. It’s important to have downtime, and vacations, and people do get sick – use scheduling tools to make certain there are no gaps in your posting.
Interaction
Social media is all about engagement. Therefore, it’s important to at least keep your brand in mind when interacting with others online.  Follow up on your comments, likes and mentions in a manner that is consistent with your personal style and voice. Join online groups that fit well with your brand and what you do. Surround yourself with influencers and experts in your field. Each time you respond to something that is a touchpoint for that person.

#SocialIsntScary and neither is branding. It just involves making deliberate choices that mesh well with your brand and keeping it in mind as you go. This will help you #BeAwesome and stand out!
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.

#LoveYourBrand – Why You Should Be Your Brand Online, In Person and In Print

You’ve created your own business and you’ve spent time brainstorming branding and marketing. The impression you’ve sent out into the world is important. It generates income, builds your client list and protects your reputation. However, the bottom line is that you are your company. You built it. You make sure the work gets completed. You go out and represent your company with vendors, power partners, clients and potential customers. This is why you are the central and most essential element of all of your branding efforts.
Once all the layers and curtains have been pulled back, the heart of your business is you. Whether it is intentional or not, you are the MVP of your company. Being true to who you are, and what you believe in, should be the core of your brand. By keeping you as the foundation of all of your business efforts, the business stays authentic and true as well.
This is especially true if you have taken the time to really figure out what you stand for. What is your mission, your vision? What are your goals? What is the image you want to project to the public? What is your purpose? What are your passions? How do they relate to your work? Jot the answers to these questions down. It will create a map of your personal and business brand.
There is a lot of chatter about the Like, Know, Trustbusiness relationship. It is a common sales concept. The reason is that people make purchases based on emotion and then they bring logic to the equation. Building up trust between you and your audience means they will be more receptive to hear your message and invest in your product or service. How will they get to like, know and trust you if they aren’t even sure about who you are? This is certainly an issue with smaller businesses and service providers. Your logo cannot build a relationship with a customer.
Business owners can always create branding that representstheir company. However, if you leave out the heart of your business – YOU – then it will always feel like there is something missing. Take pride in what you have built. Invest in some professional photography and incorporate that into your marketing efforts. Let your audience really get to know you. Inject your persona into all of your marketing including your social media, website, networking events, and printed materials. Leave your social fingerprint and brand on everything you create.
In a world of online chaos, the only way to truly stand out and get attention is to bring your passion to the conversation. A brand without a personality is static and does little to inspire people to sign up for what you are offering. The keys to successfully branding yourself are 1) understand what it is you represent and 2) incorporate those qualities into everything you do.
Need some support or an extra push to get started? The Social Media Advisor team can help you discover and promote YOU and your brand. Let us show you how you can #BeAwesome online!
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind! ~ 


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Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

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