In all the talk about marketing and advertising, we often forget one key branding tenet. We’re talking to our audience, not just about our business.
Imagine seeing a social post from a local startup. It lists all their amazing accomplishments, then asks you to support them.
You’ll likely ask yourself, “why? What’s in it for me?”
That’s human nature. And many business owners stick to this “me first” attitude. They talk about themselves rather than you.
As an entrepreneur, you’re more than the idea person. You’re also the human touch. To stand out in the crowd, you need to show up for your ideal customers.
Here’s how to shift your marketing and advertising to become more conversational — so your brand can be compelling.
One of the biggest mistakes among entrepreneurs is to overload their digital channels. You need a website and email list, right? Plus all the social networks, a YouTube channel, a Discord server…
Nope, not true. Think about it. Can you authentically and meaningfully show up to all those channels consistently? That’s a lot of effort for potentially little payoff.
It’s much better to be consistent on a few channels than spread thin. When people who appreciate your brand know where to find you, they’ll come see you.
And here’s the best part. You don’t need to spend all your time posting on social media or shooting videos. You can devote your energy to the conversations that matter most.
In my 5Ps to entrepreneurial freedom, it all starts from “Promise.” You promise to make your target customers’ lives better. That means you must show up where they spend time — so you can fulfill that promise.
That’s tough to do if you’re scattered across the Internet!
Declutter and conquer. It’s okay if you can only join one or two social networks, especially if you’re also running email campaigns or paid ads. You’ll get better results by focusing on the few.
Also, it’s perfectly acceptable to post just once or twice a week. People would rather see consistency over clutter and quality over quantity!
Many business owners stress out over their social media followers — or lack thereof. They see a low follower count as a sign of failure. Unfortunately, plenty of unscrupulous apps play into this fear, offering fake followers in exchange for payment.
Don’t do it! Buying followers is never a good idea. It can get you banned. And even if you’re not, I guarantee those users don’t care about your business.
Moreover, vanity metrics don’t matter in the long run. Think of it this way…
Who’s more likely to purchase from you: someone who followed your account on a whim, or someone who perceives you as valuable and wants to learn more? Bonus points if you show up consistently to continue providing value!
An authentic relationship with one follower is better than artificial relationships with 100 followers. When people feel engaged, they’re more likely to convert. Better yet, they’re more likely to refer others.
To make all that happen, you must engage. Ask and answer questions. Share your knowledge and invite others to share. Respond to people’s comments and dive into their interests.
Perhaps you feel you don’t have time for all that. However, if you declutter your digital presence, you’ll only show up to the most meaningful conversations. That means engagement is not only easier but also more fun!
As long as you affirm your brand promise, it’s easier than you think to make those connections. The key is authenticity.
Great advice for everyone, but especially entrepreneurs. Some of us hide behind our brands. We’re nervous about stealing the spotlight, or we assume that people just want to see our offering.
That’s rarely the case. To paraphrase Fanny Brice, people need people. They want to meet the human behind the business.
Take a look at major brands such as The Huffington Post, Tesla, Ubersuggest, or Mint Mobile, to name a few. Arianna Huffington, Elon Musk, Neil Patel, and Ryan Reynolds (respectively) have leveraged their personalities to grow these brands. People enjoy forging a connection with them.
Of course, your business may not have celebrity power behind it. But that’s all right! If you look at all those brands’ digital presences, you see that they consistently start and maintain conversations. Even if it’s not actually Arianna or Ryan tweeting, you feel their influence.
That’s the sort of “showing up” you want to achieve for your business. How does your content reflect your brand Promise? What value do you provide when you speak with potential customers?
Most importantly, do your conversations resonate with your audience?
Showing up doesn’t mean showing off. Rather than talking about your amazing offers or business pedigree, be present for your audience. Be eager to share your expertise. And of course, be yourself!
Even if you don’t directly handle social posting, you can ensure a consistent digital presence by:
It’s like any social event. If you arrive and immediately begin showing off your Rolex or Louboutins, you won’t have many good conversations. Come in and start chatting with people, and you can forge new relationships.
Too many entrepreneurs assume they must show off to gain attention. Instead, find a circle of people having a fascinating conversation, then join in! That’s where social media truly shines, especially for business owners.
Wrapping Up – Show Up for Your Ideal Audience
In this digital era, we’re all inundated with content, and much of it is promotional. You can instantly stand out by embracing authenticity.
When you show up consistently, you cultivate meaningful connections. That’s the key to a powerful brand with more loyal customers!
In sum, don’t worry about joining every social network under the sun or posting 20 times a week. Focus on being there when it counts — and affirming your brand Promise whenever possible. With a consistent and compelling digital presence, you can increase your chance of success.
After all, as Barbra Streisand sang, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”
This article was written based on a conversation that I had on the Simplifying Entrepreneurship Podcast with Shaily Hakimian where we dug into all things social media.