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No one can do business with you if they don’t know you exist. In order for you to start making some traction in your business or to level up, you must invest in your personal branding, and work hard to get the word out...
When Chic CEO was in its first year of business, I remember getting to a networking event after just leaving another and met a woman in the bar line - because #wine. We introduced ourselves and she said, “I see you everywhere.” It was the first time we had chatted, but she already knew Chic CEO. My business partner and I were on a mission, bound and determined to be seen.
Obscurity can be one of the biggest business killers to any venture. Here are some ways to step out and get known.
Niche Down, Down, Down And Find The “That’s me!” Response
Homing in on your target market is one of the very best things you can do for yourself and your business. When you can get super clear on who you work with, marketing becomes exponentially easier. I recently met a woman who is a hair stylist and she said she specializes in blonds with short hair. “That’s me!” I squeaked. Brilliant. I rarely hear of a stylist getting that specific when describing what they do. Cut, color, style, what else is there? Turns out, a lot. I didn’t realize that stylists niche down too, until that moment. She actually made me say, “that’s me!” and that’s marketing gold. The more specific you can get on who you serve, the easier it is to break out of obscurity and the internet noise.
Pick One Social Channel And Hit It Hard
Watering down your presence isn’t a smart strategy. Your audience might hang out in a few places, but chances are, the majority of them prefer one social platform over another. Focus your time in being ever present on that channel. Melyssa Griffin, a prominent blogger who teaches others to create profitable blogs, doubles down on Pinterest. Larry Kim, founder of Mobile Monkey, puts a lot of his effort into Medium. It’s not that they aren’t present on other social channels or platforms, but you can see they have found where their audience hangs out and they show up to that party. If you are working solo, your best bet is to stick to one social channel and hit it hard - so you can maximize effort with the little time you have.
Post Content Where Your People Are Hanging Out
To piggy back off of the previous point, you may notice that there are more people hanging out on platforms like Medium, than they are on your blog. When you are posting non-stop to your own blog with little traction, start posting where people might actually see it. There are many media outlets that allow you to write for them, or places you can post your content. Start pushing your message, ideas and value to platforms that already have an audience, rather than your blog where only a handful of people might see it.
Create Strategic Partnerships
Linking up with another business who has the same audience but an ancillary product or service can only help the both of you. Get creative on how you can promote each other to gain more awareness and value for the customers and clients you serve. Related: How To Create Strategic Partnerships. Find ways to create cross promotions, team up on events, help each other achieve the peak end experience or simply do some email swaps. Leverage each other to bring more value to your customers and benefit from the awareness it brings.
Become The Local News Expert
One of the fastest ways to get seen is through press. Press can be tricky, but the key is to provide value. Always provide value. When you are someone that the local press knows can give great tips on how to keep the kids busy for summer, or the proper way to stretch before a marathon - they will call you first. Be their trusted expert in your subject matter and they’ll think of you when something comes up.
Source: Forbes / Written By: Stephanie Burns
As author and entrepreneur Seth Godin puts it: “Personalization wasn’t supposed to be a cleverly veiled way to chase prospects around the web, showing them the same spammy ad for the same lame stuff as everyone else sees. No, it is a chance to differentiate at a human scale, to use behaviour as the most important clue about what people want and more important, what they need.”
Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution:
Trends in customer trust by Salesforce Research reinforces the notion that brands can win more business by creating personalized customer experiences — a message we’ve heard for some time now. Based on a survey polling over 6,700 individuals from more than a dozen countries including Canada, the 2018 report finds consumers are demanding greater personalization and will often disclose the kind of personal information needed to create more personalized experiences if they feel the business is being transparent about how the data is used.
“Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, an era defined by continuous technological innovations that are transforming customer expectations. As lines between digital and physical worlds blur, today’s customers demand deeply relevant, personalized experiences across devices, channels and interactions,” according to the report. “In fact, the average customer uses 10 different channels to communicate with companies. Despite this, today’s customers expect tailored engagement across all channels.”
Fifty-four percent of respondents say the marketing messages they receive aren’t as relevant as they would like them to be – suggesting that some companies drastically need to improve their personalization capabilities – while 84 percent say “being treated like a person, not a number” is very important to winning repeat business and maintaining brand loyalty. “Customers expect businesses to understand not only what they are purchasing, but why, as well as how they use products and services, and they expect it fast,” the report reads.
The majority of survey respondents say they are willing to share personal information if it is used to deliver more personalized engagements, and expect that personalization to be coupled with transparency. What’s more, 51 percent of respondents across all age groups say they are comfortable with companies “applying relevant information about me in exchange for personalized engagement,” as compared to 64 percent of millennials and Gen Zers.
What’s interesting is 86 percent of total respondents – and 91 percent of millennials and Gen Zers – say they are more likely to trust companies with their personal information when they explain how it is being used to deliver a better experience for them, suggesting that strict security and privacy protocols alone may not be enough to dispel fears of data misuse and breaches.
“As time goes on, businesses will contend with a more savvy customer base that expects greater personalization, along with respect for the data they swap for it,” the report concludes.
Source: PrintAction / Written By: Alyssa Dalton
At Dominion Blue, our story started in 1912 with an ad featured in the city directory. It was one of eight companies involved in blueprints. We were located in the Bank of Hamilton Building at 432 Hamilton Street. Our focus was simple, offer what architects, engineers, contractors, the government and businesses wanted; preeminent quality large format Maps, Blueprints, Brown Line, and Blue Line Prints.
It was not a splashy opening, but it was honest. Our "can-do," "just-works" and our clients soon realized that we were ultimately providing print solutions that helped them to succeed. By hearing our story and knowing why we do what we do, they quickly discovered that we understood their needs.
A lot has changed since then. Of course, our state-of-the-art digital printing equipment and the breadth of our product and services offer is immense in comparison. But one thing has not changed; we've been building trust with our clients ever since that day and won't stop until we either meet or exceed each one’s expectations.
Knowing how to tell your business story needs to be a crucial part of your operations. A brand story has a strategic purpose aimed towards drawing people in. To perfect your story, try the following tips, and when you're ready give us a call because print can help bring it alive in many ways.
To perfect your story, try the following tips:
#1: Set The Parameters
Your business story should be engaging. But if it doesn’t have a clear focus, you’ll quickly lose the attention of consumers. Establish context right off the bat.
To start your brand story, answer the following questions:
Parameters will help you develop an engaging story that makes sense to your audience. Set the scene so that consumers know exactly what you’re talking about. Most importantly, establish why you’re telling them this story. This will guide the audience through the narrative and hook them all the way to the end.
#2: Be Authentic
Authentic storytelling is key to gaining consumer trust. Don’t try to fool your audience with an over-the-top tale. Customers know when you try to pull a fast one on them, and they don’t appreciate it.
Your business’s story doesn’t need to be elaborate. In fact, if your business doesn’t have an earth-shattering history, your story shouldn’t try to create one. A genuine narrative is more likely to connect with consumers than one without a shred of truth.
Transparency celebrates your uniqueness and acknowledges the human aspect of your brand. Recognize that things are not always easy by showing your own challenges and failures. This creates an emotional connection, as well as reveals admiral characteristics, like innovation and resilience.
You might want to take an “open book” approach to communicating with customers. Explain how things are made/done at your business. For example, you might use all local ingredients at your restaurant. Use these details to create an interesting story.
#3: Have A Clear Outcome
A great business story leaves your audience with something. What lesson was learned in the story, and what should consumers learn from hearing it?
Business stories should have a clear outcome. Provide a hopeful, thought-provoking message with actionable points that compel your audience to connect with your brand.
Here’s another story for you: In the late eighties, my partner and I wanted to write software, but we were not sure about the niche we should pursue. After doing tons of research in the phonebook and at the library (there was no internet back then), we learned that employment agencies had a desperate need for a recruiting network solution. Over thirty years after launching our startup, Top Echelon’s recruiting network has hundreds of recruiting firms and millions of candidates, which helps hiring professionals make more placements.
The story gives an idea of who we are and where we come from. The outcome sparks confidence in our offerings and values. You can use your business’s real-life outcomes to convey a message to your customers.
#4: Be Consistent
A disorganized brand story leaves customers confused and uninterested. Make sure your brand is consistent across all communication channels. Use the same colors, logo, and slogan for digital and print marketing materials. The repetition of images and verbiage associated with your business creates brand awareness.
You need to be consistent when speaking about your brand. Business storytelling takes practice. Know the story inside and out before presenting it to customers. This will help you tell the story naturally.
#5: Get Customers Involved
Use business storytelling to strike an emotional connection with customers. Talk about how an event related to your business affected you and what you learned. This creates an immediate response that makes your story memorable and shareable.
People like to be a part of stories. Your customers can be characters in your brand. Come up with ways to get your audience involved.
For example, Patriot Software reached out to some of our customers to hear their startup stories. Black Sheep Boutique and Lamplighter Brewing Co. were among several companies featured in business storytelling examples on our blog. Showcasing these businesses directly linked our customers to a part of our story.
Telling the story of your brand is an ongoing process. Each day, your business grows, shifts, and adds new chapters to its story. Make business storytelling an essential part of your operations to attract and retain customers.
Source: Forbes / Written By: Mike Kappel
Marketing often gets thrown on the back burner because it feels like time away from your business.
You’re happiest when you’re talking to your audience directly.
You’re telling them all about a product, service, or cause that you care about — and there’s a level of connection there that marketing can’t touch.
Or so you think.
It’s true — there’s plenty of yawn-inducing marketing material out there that makes you wonder if the writer herself was asleep at the keyboard.
But your business can do better than that. You can share something with your audience that awakens their attention, evokes emotion, and fosters ironclad loyalty..
Can storytelling really do all that?
Stories are the seeds of connection. They have staying power — think back to all the stories you can still remember from your early childhood.
And they’re more important than ever as a way to stand out from your competition.
Here are a few things storytelling can do for your business:
How can you start incorporating storytelling in your business?
Once you start to see the benefits of storytelling for your business, you’ll start wondering how you can start using it right away.
Luckily, you have plenty of outlets at your disposal. Your website, your signage, brochures, and printed communications, email and direct mail, your blog, social channels, presentation centres, and so much more.
When you're ready to start planning it all out give us a call and through our Print with Insight Program you'll be turning heads your way in no time.
Source: Constant Contact / Written By: Miranda Paquet