#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.
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.
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.
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! ~ 

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, FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her 
Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.

Love Your Brand: Why Should YOU Be a Part of Your Branding?

The marketing world has caught on to the importance of branding. Branding has become such an integral part of a company’s marketing strategy. This method’s value has increased to the point that branding is no longer just a corporate policy. Small businesses, speakers, authors, job seekers and entrepreneurs are now encouraged to integrate branding into their marketing as well. However, this type of branding looks a bit different than the traditional style.
Personal Branding
Personal branding is the online persona or image that an individual projects. This includes all the digital touchpoints from the website to the blog to all the social media platforms. It includes online collaborations, live streaming, videos, or any other content created and distributed. A personal brand is a real thing and exists, regardless of the person’s acknowledgement or knowledge.
YOU as the Face of Your Brand
Perhaps you already have a business entity and brand. Maybe you’ve even invested in a quality logo, brand colors and online touchpoints. However, as you interact with people online or network with people in person – it is YOUR face that people associate with what you do. It’s your voice and your mannerisms and the energy you bring to the conversation. As content gears more towards visual – including live streaming and videos – it will be you that the audience gets to know and trust. With so much noise competing for the same small places, a genuine, authentic connection with your audience is essential. Some of the top personal brands online naturally evolve into influencers and generate the type of viral attention that most companies strive for.
As you transition to a more personal brand, it will be time to take an audit of all your online assets and tune them into the image you want to portray. This means spending some time with your good friend, Google, to make sure that your name online is directly associated and connected to your personal branding.
It will also mean investing in some decent professional headshots. Team up with an experienced photographer so that they understand your brand image when taking photographs. These brand photos are an integral part of all your online touchpoints and should weave together in a method that is consistent and on brand.
Personal Brand Enhancements
Once you have the foundation for your personal brand, look into ways to enhance what you have already created. This could be association or collaborations with other strong personal brands that make sense for your work. It could also mean developing a strong backstory or narrative and weaving it into the touchpoints. When producing any type of content, be certain to have the branding in mind during development so that whatever is created remains true to what you have built.  
Developing a personal brand is also a great opportunity to reinvent you, your company or your branding strategy. Be cautious. A personal brand is not a mask or a fake persona. Your target audience will see right thought anything insincere. Be your authentic self and the right followers will automatically be drawn to you.
Understand the value of personal branding but not sure how to begin? Give us a call and we can help you brainstorm and build those touchpoints. The more you #LoveYourBrand, the more you can #BeAwesome while pursuing your purpose.

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

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,FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube,Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

Click here for her 
Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars.

The Power of StoryTelling In Your Brand

“Walking the Talk” means we play in the social spaces we have developed and engage every opportunity possible. In connecting with clients, partners, vendors and prospective clients, we have found many inconsistencies in brands from cover images, to profile images to a branded message that tells a story.

Storytelling in social media is the art of sharing your brand message along with rich keywords, focused demographics, product/services detail and solving pains … without being overly bland.  Most organizations who create a profile in a social platform haven’t mastered this technique as the platforms don’t really talk about their search functions in that way.

Did you know that EVERY single social media platform is essentially its own search engine? By developing the right type of bio fit for the platform, you are optimizing the space it provides with searchable content that is beneficial to your brand.

It is nearly impossible to copy an About section of your website into your social brand and make it search worthy in a platform without knowing what words you can share to make your profile searchable to your ideal target market, but also stand out with clear call to action; unless you have been properly trained on the art of Bio writing in social media.

Consider LinkedIn for example … the platform doesn’t provide the space that they do in each section without wanting each word getting utilized to its optimal performance … ie, a resume written bio won’t show case the same options as a richly worded strategic bio that tells a story.  Whether an individual or business, every section has a purpose, is designed to serve you and speak a message that isn’t tailored to your ordinary resume.

To relate, I tell a story often about an outreach project, where I was looking for Face Painters in a specific area of town.  I searched Google and found limited results, but when I searched LinkedIn, I found more … because the right words were in their profile. I was able to reach out to and select from a small group of Face Painters for my project through this tool.  The results were higher because of what they shared and the outcome resulted in 3 local service providers who wanted to participate in our event.  Yes, three – high grade professional in their craft who were bidding for our project in LinkedIn.

You CAN have a robust following and message with the right Social Media Bio developed for you and your brand.

Let us know if your business could use a little more inbound marketing with less cost of Google Ads and less LinkedIn “resume-like” appearances.

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a “Be Awesome” 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. Click here for her Social Media Workshops, Classes and Seminars

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