Tag: storytelling

#AwesomeStorytelling – Encourage Others to Tell Your Story

Recommendations and word-of-mouth are still the most powerful way to gain new clients. Unfortunately, that recommendation won’t happen unless you encourage them to tell your story. After you complete a project for a client, ask for a recommendation, referral or testimony. This shares your story with your audience on what it’s like to work with you.


If the idea of asking for a recommendation, referral or testimony makes you uncomfortable, remember this: people won’t give their referrals or recommendations unless they love the work you do for them. Most people don’t even consider giving them because they don’t know what they are. Here are some great ways to break the ice and get the love from your happy clients…without coming off as sleazy or pushy.


  • Whenever a customer compliments you, give them a quick and sincere thank you. Let them know how pleased you are that they’re happy and then ask if they know anyone else who could benefit from your services. This is a referral.


  • Referrals can also come from other businesses. Set up a referral business with a complementary company. If you are in the web design business, for instance, you could set up a referral service with a hosting company you trust. That way you can both offer incentives and discounts to encourage additional business. If you’re not sure where to begin, think about the additional services your clients and customers need once they’re working with you.


  • Another way to gain referrals is by setting up a commission. If you’ve ever signed up for an affiliate program, you’ve done this already. Amazon does it and so do many successful entrepreneurs. A person who has signed up for your commission program shares your product or service. They have a special signup code or affiliate link to provide their viewers, customers, etc. Once a person takes your offer through their connection, the referral member gains a reward. It can be a percentage of sales, product discounts, or free products after so many referrals.


  • Make it easy for your clients and customers to leave recommendations and testimonies by creating an easy-to-navigate system. Setting up an online form through your website, for instance, really makes it simple, and gives them time to formulate their testimonies. You can provide a sample template to get them started.


  • Share all of your goods and services with them, so they know what else your business can do.


  • Treat your clients as partners and key players in the success of your business. They want to know they’re important to you. So let them know how much you appreciate them!


Here are some excellent moments to ask for referrals, testimonials, and recommendations:
  • After you get through a difficult situation with them.
  • Upon completion of your service.
  • When they mention their appreciation of your company and the way you do business.

You are in the business of helping people, and the people you help want to share that experience. Making it easier for them to do so helps you both in the long run. Someone out there needs your help, and an awesome story about your company may be exactly what gets them to you.

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.

#AwesomeStorytelling – Share Your Triumphs! What Pain Points Have You Solved?

The trick to telling your brand story lies in understanding that followers are more interested in themselves than they are in your company. You might have an engaging story full of action, compassion or impact but the key is telling it in a way that inspires, motivates or empowers the reader. 

It’s not a new concept in marketing – the idea is to highlight benefits, not features. How does what you provide benefitthe client or consumer? Getting inside the head of your audience means first understanding who your target audience actually is. Once you’ve figured that out, you need to find out how to reach them. One way to do that is to uncover their pain points.
People make purchases for a couple of reasons mainly for either pain or pleasure. Parting with our money means making tough choices. Is it worth the enjoyment I will get out of it? Or will it solve a problem that I need resolved? If you can convince the reader that you are a solution to a problem causing them pain, then the battle is already over. 
When crafting the stories you will share with the world, are you showcasing how your product or service will ease their pain and solve their problems? Don’t assume that putting together these case studies comes off as bragging or tooting your own horn – a well-crafted tale will be about the happy client and not the company. It is also all a business needs to close that next sale. Exercise your storytelling abilities by demonstrating your success and triumphs in your content and social media.
How many ways can you spin this yarn? Post the case studies onto your website for easy access. Be sure to incorporate your willing clients so that followers can get the perspective of your pleased customers. Make a video with your satisfied client, interviewing them or just asking them about their experience with your business. Collect testimonials and post them everywhere, create custom graphics to share these moments in your social. Turn the case studies into blog posts that you can post and share. Create a presentation filled with these stories that you can post on Slideshare or rotate on a screen at your place of business. The opportunities are endless for demonstrating that your company provides solutions!
It’s time to let people know that you exist to fill a need and that you are passionate about the services you provide. You can preach about your products and services, and how wonderful they are, all day long but that doesn’t mean your audience cares. Give them a reason to care by showing them how hiring you will make their lives better. That’s how you elevate your brand and continue to #BeAwesome at what you do!




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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.

#AuthenticallyAuthentic – How to Develop Authentic Messaging for Your Brand



As small business owners, we spend a lot of time and energy building our businesses and building our brands. When developing a persona for our business, we can get caught up in the process and overlook many of the reasons we started a company in the first place. Businesses forget to be authentic and true to their roots and mission. Customers buy from people they trust, not brick and mortar establishments. This is why authenticity is so essential as a branding strategy. Understanding this concept is not the same as putting it into action, so we’ve created a simply step-by-step process for building authentic messaging.
What Is Your Message?
This goes beyond a mission statement and a plague on the wall. In order to be trustworthy, you have to really understand your purpose and be able to share that with others. What is your reason for existence? If it’s only to make money – your clients will sense that and move on to another business with a greater purpose and reason for existence. This goes back to providing solutions to problems and resolving pain points instead of simply meeting a bottom line.
Understand Your Value
Where many solopreneurs go wrong is by not determining, and then focusing on, their own value. Stop pushing the product or service so hard that you forget to showcase what you really bring to the table. There is no way to convince a potential client of your worth if you do not own your own value. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either.
Understand Your Competition
Get a feel for your competition, their online presence and what they are offering to your audience. More than just price or packages, what really motivates clients to work with them? What makes them stand out, makes them different? Then make sure, coming from a place of authenticity and being true to your purpose, that you are speaking to the same audience in a way that resonates for both you and for them. Mirroring the work of another isn’t genuine in any way and people will be more likely to respond to a fresh approach and story that resounds. Than a carbon copy of someone else’s ideas.
Draft Your Story
Got a handle on your purpose? Think you truly understand the value of what you offer? Found a way to stand out from your competitors? Then it’s time to draft the story of your work. Storytelling is an immensely powerful marketing technique. Without drifting away from who you are and what you stand for, create stories around your work, your brand and your leadership and then promote them as often as possible. Weave your story into your online presence and be prepared to share it over and over again with those willing to listen. Your clients buy into your story, not just your product or service. That story has to resonate with readers. Make it a compelling one (and don’t forget your calls to action)!
Build a Community
Those who hear your story and are drawn to your authenticity and messaging will want to find ways to work with you, and to share your message with the people they know. Make it easy for them to do so. Find a way to build a community around your tribe, your power partners, your clients and your cheerleaders.  Regardless of format, make sure to share your successes, and struggles, your calls to action and your stories so that they too can share your message with others.
Be Consistent
“Your words should match your actions and you should always endeavour to do what you say.”
Declan Mulkeen
Human beings have a variety of facets. Nothing is ever truly black and white. However, be very aware of remaining consistent with your message and your story. While there are many different aspects to your personality, straying too far from the path you have created could confuse your audience and drive them to other brands that have a clear, concise message to share.

Learn to wear the persona of your company in an authentic way and you have mastered the art of effectively sharing 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 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!
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.

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