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.
“Your words should match your actions and you should always endeavour to do what you say.”
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.
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