Are you one of these companies that does nothing but brag and talk about yourself? Then stop for a moment and listen:
When marketing yourself, it’s really tempting to only talk about your own achievements and show how great your company is (because it is, right?!).
But here’s the thing: most of your current clients already know how great you are (which is why they are your clients, because duh!); and your potential clients may not be in need of your services — yet! — , but will filter you out before they need them if you bore them to death with constant “me, me, me!” calls for attention.
Imagine you’re in a bar with your group of friends, having a relaxing drink after a long day’s hustle. You know that “friend” who ends up dominating every conversation with tales about himself? Yes, the rude and boring one that will turn every conversation into about how great he is? Yup, that’s the one. Everybody has one of those, and in the end nobody really wants to spend time with them.
If you are unable to listen to your friends and talk about different topics, you become a very dull individual and pretty soon your friends will just stop calling you for a pint. You don’t want to be that guy.
The same is true in business: if you are only talking about yourself, your listeners will tune you out.
So here is how you, as a brand, can go about and show how interesting you really are as a person:
Write a list of five subjects you consider to be your “expertise”, that your company is comfortable discussing in depth and training others in, and that are consistent with the interactions or work you create every day.
For example: in our profession as photographers, ours could be photo gear, lighting, composition, copyright issues, post-production.
These could be our foundation topics. If we only talked about these all the time, we would end up only making it about ourselves.
Next, write another list of five subjects that, although you’re not an expert in, have a really strong connection to your own business areas.
Again, for example purposes, our five might be marketing, food, tourism, fashion, social media.
These are our secondary topics, that we are still comfortable discussing with authority — but wouldn't be something that is immediately connected to our brand in our client’s minds.
Finally, make another list of five subjects that are not related to your business, but with your personal interests. You may or may not be an expert in these, but have a very close personal link to. They make your heart tick.
For our combined interests, ours would be music, motorbikes, sports, travel and crafts.
These are our combined personal topics that we can personally connect with and talk about with just as much passion and interest as our first list — even if it may not be with as much authority.
Now for the strategy — because lists are usually useless without one:
Spend some of your time on social media talking about your last five topics — yes, the personal topics — as a primary marketing strategy. After all, people buy from people, and if you are interesting and passionate about your hobbies, you will naturally engage and attract people with similar interests. When you create a connection with other people, they might actually want to buy your products from you, since you've proven to be another real person. You can’t create a connection when all you’re trying to do is sell, sell, sell.
As for your secondary topics: write about them in a separate blog — share your unique insight and information about these areas. Real people have opinions — it’s time to share yours and make it known.
As you can see from our Medium blog posts, we write about areas that are not immediately connected to our workflow day-in day-out, but have a direct impact on it. We may not be marketing leaders, but we understand from a unique perspective (ours!) some things which aren't taught in business school.
And lastly, your foundation topics: these are the topics that people come to you for, so they need to be found prominently on your website’s blog, either in short of long form. Show people why they should buy from you — but avoid at all costs pushing your product or service in their faces.
Bonus material: At any given time, there’s always someone looking for answers on Twitter. Find them and answer their questions related to your area of expertise. This is an excellent way of connecting to other people and, in the long run, establishing authority and driving traffic to your website — and no, this is not giving the game away: it’s creating connections.
Following these steps ensures that your followers are getting a diverse conversation from you as a brand. They will become more engaged and feel included in what you are offering.
Even if they don't require your services just yet, you can bet that when they, or their friends, do, they’ll remember you as their “witty and diverse friend” that they already have a connection with. “Hey, I know this really cool guy!…”
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