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You probably already know everything that you need to succeed.
And if you’re like most people, there’s a chance you’re not actually doing it each day.
I had an interesting realization the other day. When progress comes to us slower than we feel that it should, our natural inclination is to look for the reason why.
We want to know what we’re doing wrong, and why the results are not showing up.
By doing so, we jump on opportunity after opportunity, but never stick with any of them long enough to actually see them through.
The funny thing is, there are no secrets. Chances are, you’ve already been told everything you need to find some initial success with your brand. I call these actions ‘The Basics’, and I’m going to share them with you here.
Why Newbies Sometimes Beat Those With Experience
As a business coach and teacher of marketing courses, I like to pay close attention as to why students succeed, and why some never seem to (despite how much extra guidance I provide to them.)
There’s an interesting pattern that I’ve noticed.
People who are starting from scratch – who are early in their business career, find success – sometimes even more frequently, than experienced businesspeople.
In fact, the more failures an entrepreneur has had, the more likely they are to jump from opportunity to opportunity.
If you think about it, it makes sense. They want to avoid wasting time, only to be disappointed. They are so desperate to finally see some results, they jump on anything new that seems promising.
Newbies on the other hand, don’t know any other way. They take the material to heart, and execute on it consistently over time. They have not been exposed to other distractions, other opportunities that pull them away from the basics and the other unique strategies that I share with them.
I believe that the basic activities that I’m about to share with you are the core foundation of any successful personal brand (and many non-personal brands also.)
If you follow them, the results will come. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t focus on other projects, but you should always make sure that the basics are taken care of first.
Without any further ado, here they are.
Action #1: Consistent Posting On Your Main Content Hub
Typically, I am talking about a blog, YouTube channel, or podcast.
Wherever the majority of people are exposed to your in-depth, meaningful content.
I believe that it’s very important to have a platform to connect with your audience on a much deeper level, than something like a social media post is capable of.
Building connections as a personal brand owner is all about giving people a deeper look into your lives, thoughts, and values. Telling stories, and educating your audience through the valuable content you share over time.
It’s certainly possible to do this on social media (Instagram Stories are a particularly powerful medium) but longer content is so much more effective for building relationships.
Blogging is wonderful because you truly own the platform – it can never be taken away from you.
Getting in front of your target audience regularly through Google also helps to keep you top-of-mind, demonstrate your expertise, and provide consistent value over time.
Action #2: Responding To All Interactions Daily
One of the biggest mistakes personal brands make, is that they take their audience for granted.
We can become so focused on growing our following, our viewership or our subscribers, that we ignore those that we already have.
However, it is your existing following that will be the most valuable to your business. These are the people that already decided that they liked you enough to engage with you further.
Remember that personal branding is all about relationships, and these relationships must go both ways.
Regularly interacting with your community – in a timely and thoughtful manner, is what turns people from casual followers into raving fans.
Always respond to all emails and social comments on a daily basis – ideally, multiple times throughout the day.
Action #3: Active Networking
We all know that we’re supposed to be networking, but few people are actually proactive about it.
Active networking means that you are the one actually reaching out and forming connections with new people.
You aren’t sitting around waiting for people to talk to you. You’re deciding to find new people that you want to connect with, and taking steps to escalate that relationship.
This can be in the form of blog comments, reaching out through email, engaging in discussion, and so on.
The quickest way to grow as a personal brand (without paying astronomical amounts of money) is to leverage the work other people have done building their audiences.
This doesn’t mean you become selfish, and seek connections only to get something.
However, networking brings incredible opportunities that nothing else can, and is worth partaking in daily.
I believe that even if you reach out to just one contact a day – either someone new, or an existing contact, you can change your life in a matter of months.
Action #4: Daily Social Media
The problem with posting content to your main platform, is that it’s hard to create fantastic pieces on a daily basis.
And to be honest, not everybody wants to consume a huge piece of content every single day.
This is why social media is important.
For personal brands, social media accomplishes a few important things that blogs, YouTube channels or podcasts usually don’t:
- They keep you top-of-mind, and remind your audience that you exist.
- You’re able to consistently show them the value you and your products provide. This allows you to promote without coming across as salesy, allowing followers to buy at the moment they feel ready to.
- You get to share tidbits of information with them, that help build the relationship further. Because it only takes a few seconds to see a post, it may actually be consumed in full.
- It builds community. Your audience will grow exponentially over time.
Frequency matters. Social media provides a platform where you can get in front of the same people constantly, for free.
Action #5: Email
Despite the power of social media, it still does not come close to the power of email for actually selling products.
No platform is more intimate than email. It is the ultimate relationship-building and sales tool.
For most personal brands, email will make them more money than anything else.
More than their blog. More than social media.
In fact, it’s not even close.
There’s a reason I push my email marketing training so heavily. When you master email marketing, you can practically generate money for yourself any time that you want.
Therefore, most of my personal branding efforts are centered around the following two things:
- Getting people from other platforms to sign up to my mailing list.
- Using the other platforms (like my blog or social media) to build relationships, demonstrate credibility, and provide value to my email subscribers.
Although you can create lengthy automations to send out emails to each subscriber as they sign up, eventually your automation will finish.
At that point, you’ll need to write out broadcast emails that go out to your list.
Depending on your industry, this can be as infrequent as once every two weeks to several times a day.
Personally, I have found ~3x a week to be my sweet spot.
When marketers say the money is in the list, they aren’t kidding.
Action #6: Community Interaction
Never forget that behind each visitor, is an actual human being with thoughts and feelings.
If you have any free time and you’re not absolutely swamped with work, than you should be interacting with people one-on-one.
I get it. One-on-one interaction is not scaleable. This also means that few people actually care to do it.
However, these meaningful interactions can build the foundation of your community.
They say if you can create 1,000 true fans – people who will support you in everything you do, buy every product, and spread the word about you, then you’re set.
If you’re starting from zero, then 1,000 sounds like a lot. In reality, that’s only 3 people a day for a year.
So what does this look like? Here are a few examples:
- Jumping in on social media conversations. Asking questions, and taking a real interest in what they’re saying. Not just leaving a comment, but starting to actually talk with people.
- Answering questions. Quora and Reddit are both great platforms for this. It’s also a great way to demonstrate your expertise and provide value, which can directly lead to sales (even if you never promote a product.)
- Joining forums and social media posts. Posting in them consistently, so people actually begin to recognize you as a community member and learn a bit about you. It is important that you appear frequently enough to actually make an impression on someone’s mind.
This strategy is one of the most effective things you can do to grow your audience, but nobody talks about it because it isn’t exciting at all.
Action #7: Connecting It All Together
For any of these to be effective, you need to have a funnel that you’re moving people through.
There should always be a clear next step.
And while you’ll never get everybody to become a customer, they can still help your brand throughout each stage of the process.
Each channel that you interact with people on, should have a clearly-defined goal.
With a blog, it may be encouraging someone to sign up for an email list. Then on that email list, encouraging people to follow you on social media, subscribe to your podcast and so on.
For community interaction, it may be to have someone become a follower, or visit your website for the first time.
While networking, it could be to start a joint venture, earn a guest post, or share ideas with someone.
The point is, nothing should be isolated. They should all work together in a system, so each builds upon each other.
This ensures that you not only reach as many people as possible, but you’re able to strengthen the relationship with each person that you meet.
When you’re able to achieve this, selling becomes easy.
Online success does not come from some ‘hidden secret.’
Everything I’ve shared here are things that you’ve likely heard before. They aren’t unique or exciting. However, these are the core foundation of successful personal brands.
The key here is consistency. If your goal is for people to eventually become customers, it requires you to execute this strategy over a consistent period of time. Doing this for a week isn’t good enough.
Follow through with this before trying other things out, and you’ll have the foundation you need to grow and thrive.
I hope that you’ve found this article helpful. I’d love to hear what your biggest struggles are, and how I can help.
To your success,
– James McAllister