#AuthenticallyAwesome – Authentic Education in Your Branding

Marketing has changed drastically in the past decade. The days of telemarketing, direct mail, and traditional advertising are long gone. People are choosing how they consume media – including how they are being sold products and services. We fast forward through commercials, toss our junk mail, have spam folders, and avoid answering calls or doorbells from people we don’t know. Permission-based marketing is really the only way to connect with a target audience anymore. That is why content marketing and influencer marketing have had so much traction. Today consumers have complete control over who gets to market to them. This is why consistent, quality content is the way to attract potential leads and clients. We have to give our audience something they wantto read, engage or interact with.
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.
Seth Godin
Today’s strategies for reach revolve around creating informational and educational content that the right audience will want to consume.  Our rates of media consumption are off the charts right now, especially on our mobile devices. Never in the history of humankind have we been so connected or driven to consume data, media and content. The online noise is LOUD. How does a small business owner make an impact and be found?
The answer is: they provide content that people find valuable.
Enter stage left – influencer marketing. Influencer marketing has a two-fold effect. Many marketers focus on the benefit of the reach that can be found in connecting with the audiences of popular influencers. However, the other huge perk of interacting with, and then becoming, an influencer is that you are building credibility and establishing yourself as an expert in your field.
How do you establish yourself as a trusted expert and advisor? You offer education to your audience. This educational offering can take many forms…blogs, white papers, videos, webinars, or podcasts. Select the medium you feel most comfortable with and that you feel confident your audience will consume. You are a business owner for a reason – you have a skillset that others find valuable.  You provide value. Don’t convince yourself that you have to nothing to say or share. There are people eager to pay attention to what you have to say.
How do you make your educational offerings authentic? Don’t spend time attempting to copy or emulate someone else’s content. This is an easy way to get started but you have to give your followers something unique to you. They are following you because they appreciate what you have to say and how you express it. If you haven’t developed a “voice” for you and your brand – it’s time to do so. Authenticity is creating a voice and tone for your content that not only represents your branding but is also an accurate and honest depiction of who you are. That sort of content is what resonates with people.  It’s the way to create brand advocates – passionate followers who share your message wide and far….for free…just because your content impacts them in a positive way.
Incorporating education into your branding takes time and effort and doesn’t always have a measurable ROI. Finding a way to share this type of content in an authentic way is going to take some brainstorming and effort. However, the end result of this is a wider reach and a more dedicated following. What business doesn’t want that with their online presence?

Now go out there and create something AWESOME! I can’t wait to see you spread your message with the world.

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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 LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

#AwesomeBranding – Your Personal Brand is Just as Important as Your Corporate Brand

The Social Media Advisor specializes in training and supporting small businesses in their branding, storytelling and social media strategy. A decade ago the concept of corporate branding was still getting traction. However, today, branding is a must for companies of every size. The advances and innovation that new technologies have brought us are extinguishing traditional advertising methods. This is why branding and permission-based marketing methods are the most effective right now. People are tired of being pushy sales methods. That means that every company needs a solid, clear branding strategy so that their target audience truly understands what they are buying.
“Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations.” Scott Goodson, ForbesContributor
The workforce no longer needs to be convinced that branding is essential. The concept is mainstream enough today that large corporations and entrepreneurs – all of them invest in a branding strategy. A corporate brand focuses on the feeling or impression that their audienceexperiences when they think of your business. A lot of thought is put into a corporate brand and ensuring all the touchpoints that a person interacts with are infused with strategic branding.
What is a personal brand and why is it important?
Your personal brand is a separate entity from your corporate one. However, the idea is the same. When branding your own persona, the concept is to develop or hone the areas of your personality best suited to what you want your audience to think when they walk away from interacting with you. 
Today, people do business with other people… not corporations. They want to build a relationship with their customers, contractors and vendors. Building like, know and trust is more than just a social media construct. This is a cornerstone of relationship marketing. This is why personal branding is necessary. What is your audience seeking? Who will they trust and want to do business with? This is not an invitation to build a fake persona because that is not authentic or genuine and it will turn others off right away. However, it is an opportunity to examine your own personality and interweave it with your corporate brandingto come up with a personal brand that benefits you and, in turn, your business.
Here are five suggestions for developing a strong personal brand:
Keep Your Inner Circle Small
1.     Be mindful of what you say. We all have bad days. On days when you are feeling off your game, limit your negative communication to those in your inner circle that you trust. Do not just vent to any random person. You never really know who is connected to whom…and who would love to repeat what you say. Plus, a negative judgment could be attached to you and your business that will last long beyond your temporary moment of weakness.

Personal Branding Follows You
Your personal brand will move, and grow, with you. If you have a career change, parts of that personal brand will go with you. People will associate your personal branding with who you are…not just who you work with.
Don’t want to confuse people? You have to keep your branding top of mind and consistent. If you are worried this will be difficult to accomplish, be certain that the foundations of your personal branding incorporate your true personality so that just being you – at your best – is enough.
Blending Your Branding
Be sure that your corporate and personal brands blend well together. If they are contrary in any way, this will work against you.
Accept the Way Branding Works
As with any branding, what others think about you (your personal brand) is ultimately not up to you. You cannot control another individual’s impressionsand thoughts. All you can do is build a branding strategy, follow it consistently, and hope for the best.


If you’ve already spent time building your corporate and personal branding, then it is time to roll out that strategy into your social media marketing and other marketing content. Need assistance creating a great story around your brand? This is where we excel. We can build out your online assets to reflect your branding in the best possible light and get you on the right track to creating quality content that is consistent with your messaging.
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.

#AwesomeBranding – Personal Branding & Why Like, Know, Trust is Essential

Personal Branding is the core of your business. It’s what separates you from the crowd, and makes potential customers and clients pay attention. One of the key aspects of personal branding is building the “Like, Know, and Trust” factors. Here are seven ways you can develop these areas:

Create Valuable and Relevant Content:
This creates the expertise portion of branding. It’s a key part of the trust factor. Don’t think content is limited to blog posts or social media posts. Be creative in how you distribute your content. There are videos, downloadable guides, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, printables, and more.
It’s very important that you know your ideal customer or client. You can’t appeal to everyone, so don’t try. Instead, focus on your ideal client and give them the content they need. Ask them questions via a survey or other form of interaction. Find out what challenges they are facing and provide content that can help them overcome those hardships. Send personal messages to those who complete your surveys or answer your questions. It will put you to the top of their mind (know) and build a relationship (like).
Guest Posts:
Building your brand involves connecting across your network. Make a list of 30 blog sites and publications you want to be tied to your brand. In that list, write down how you can contribute to THEIR audience. You must provide content relevant to them, their audience, and you, in order to build trust. Once you make that list, check each publication’s website for submission requirements (ProTip: follow the requirements, or your request may be sent automatically to the trash bin). Create a personalized email to each publication pitching the article you’d like to write, video you’d like to contribute, etc. and how it aligns with their goals (or on a particular topic they discuss often).
Keep in mind that you will be rejected. That simply means their audience didn’t meet the needs of your brand.
Put a Face to the Brand:
People need to know who you are. People are more likely to trust an image of a person than a logo. Personalize their experience, and let them get to know you.
Be Authentic:
This is very important. You’re not the next Seth Godin. You’re the next YOU. Your experiences and observations are unique. The strengths and talents you possess can only be used by you. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? If you love hiking through Colorado, horseback riding, or playing tabletop games, make it part of your brand. It is easier, and far less exhausting, to be yourself than to shutter the light of your personality.
Share ONLY Your Best Stuff:
Freebies, webinars, etc. are the first impression. You need to wow them with your work. If you provide high value, people will be thankful. Every free incentive needs to provide an answer to a main problem (they can take a more in depth approach through your sales funnel, of course). Most of all they need to feel as though they haven’t wasted their time getting to know you and your ability to help them.
Be Consistent:
Consistency is the key to all three areas. Whether it’s a video subscription, blog, podcast, live stream, or more, be consistent in content, time, and delivery. If you create a schedule, stick to it.
Be Grateful:
While branding is the core of who you are, marketing isn’t about you. It’s about your customers and clients. Your audience deserves to feel important. Be genuine and honest. Without them, you wouldn’t have a business.

Take time to build your personal brand. Don’t try to be someone you’re not or you’ll get burned out and lose interest in interacting with your audience. Which aspect do you struggle with? Let us know in comments.

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 LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.