How to Brand and Market Yourself

While many business owners are already familiar with the process of creating a brand strategy, few people understand that the same rules can apply while marketing and branding themselves. Whether you’re job seeking or hoping to increase your exposure in a particular field, learning how to brand and market yourself is essential if you want to make an unforgettable first impression.

What is a Personal Brand Strategy and Do I Really Need One?

A brand strategy is all about perception, in other words, how people see you. From the very first introduction your personal brand strategy defines who you are, what makes you unique, and what you offer the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re the face of a brand or the man behind a dark curtain, the goal of creating a personal brand strategy is to help differentiate yourself from others, and to develop a consistent professional image that becomes your “trademark.” The more you’re aware of your strengths, your assets, and also what makes you invaluable, you’ll have the confidence to sell yourself to potential employers and prospects. Of course you need one!

5 Tips to Brand Yourself

Before you begin the process of branding yourself you’ll need to take some time and jot down what makes you interesting and an asset in your field. You likely have many unique traits that you bring to the world, and now’s the time to focus on those while sharing your experiences. Experiences are valuable and will help build your credibility and expertise. The following tips will help you develop a concise personal brand strategy so that you can effectively represent and market yourself.

1. Be Consistent

Consistency is key when you’re developing a brand strategy whether it’s personal or business. Writers are known for having a voice that’s unique to themselves. Musicians have a certain style. Actors and actresses have a look that while adaptable, sets them apart from everyone else in the entertainment industry. The consistency of your image is essential in building your name.

2. Increase Visibilty

The first and most obvious place to increase your visibility is on social media. Branding is becoming increasingly more important, as corporations rely on professional networks to scout potential employees and to discover brand influencers. If you’re not visible on enough social networks, you’re selling yourself short from being discovered. Tighten up your LinkedIn profile, stay active on platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and share public posts that are interesting and important to you so that followers have an understanding of who you are. It’s really all about creating a consistent and marketable image that across the board, remains the same.

3. Engage Others

Besides writing or sharing content, you need to share dialogue with others so that they share a sense of familiarity with you. This means you need to ask questions and interact with other people so they don’t just see you as a face, but rather a person in which they can relate. Your reputation will drive your brand image, so stay professional and ensure that fans and followers have a positive experience when communicating with you.

4. Share Your Passions

Passion is contagious. Are you uplifting and inspiring others in your daily life? Your personal brand strategy tells the world what you stand for and what you’re all about. Identifying your goals and working towards them passionately ensures others will see you, the way you see yourself.

5. Build Your Own Website

While it shouldn’t always be all about you, building your own personal website provides you the opportunity to share your thoughts, musings, and professional portfolio, all in one place. Make sure you have an updated resume and summary of your skills on your site, as well as samples or links to your other work. Share your personal website on social networks and encourage shares. In addition, make sure you follow and link to other websites that carry your same message to reinforce your professional image.

Success Lies in Your Hands

Once you’ve identified your audience and have sharpened your personal brand image, you’ll be more successful in both your personal and professional ventures. A brand strategy is not just about a business, it’s about the person or the people behind it. These tips for building a powerful brand strategy will help you deliver your message to the right people, at the right time. And as they say, timing is everything!

Mobile Marketing

How PokeMon Go Can Boost Your Business

Do you run or help promote a local business?

Interested in taking advantage of the latest gaming craze?

Pokémon Go is close to topping the number of daily users on Twitter and average time spent on the Facebook app. That’s why it’s time for your business to capitalize on it.

In this article, you’ll discover how you can boost your business’s social media engagement with Pokémon Go.

#1: Invite People to Play at Your Business

Your first step to boosting social media engagement via Pokémon Go is to get players to your business.

Use your social channels to invite people to come play at your location, like Monroe Bank & Trust. Better yet, turn it into a contest! Just be sure to follow the rules on each social network, like Facebook.

#2 Offer Free Wi-Fi and Charging Stations

If you want Pokémon Go players to play at your business, there are two vital things they’ll need: Wi-Fi and charging stations. Use your social channels and window signage to let people know that you offer both so they’ll feel welcome to play.

#3: Ask Players to Tag Their Photos

To make sure your business gets some social exposure, ask players to share their favorite Pokémon photos taken at your business and tag your business when they do.

Depending on which social network they share to, they can either tag your business in the post or tag it as the location they were playing at. Either will give your business some social media engagement among the player’s audience, and further if they share the post publicly.

Be sure to look for public mentions so you can thank players for coming and further engage with your customers and fans!

#4: Encourage Players to Check in While Playing

Another way to boost your social engagement (and local Facebook page credibility) is to encourage players to check in while playing. Hopefully the check-ins will either lead to more players coming to your business or new reviews on your Facebook page.

#5: Get Players to Take Pictures of Pokémon With Your Products

Another option is to incentivize customers to play Pokémon and share their pics on social media. Ask players to aim Pokémon on products they want to buy, and each photo they share with a product tagged with your business name will get them a special discount!

Be sure to start by showing your customers how to do it on your Facebook page, Instagram, and other social profiles.

#6: Encourage Players to Share With Snapchat Memories

Snapchat isn’t completely out of the loop when it comes to Pokémon Go, thanks to the new Memories feature. Although you can’t get customers to add your custom geofilter to their snaps from Memories, you can encourage players to share snaps of catching Pokémon inside your business (using Memories and their camera roll).

#7: Film Pokémon Players

This could go a number of ways. Your employees could film players (with their permission, of course) while they’re “on the hunt” for some Pokémon. Or they could film players after they’ve successfully caught a special Pokémon and have them show off their Pokédex. Depending on the space, you could even have a drone fly over a large group of players congregating at a Gym.

Consider filming videos for live platforms like Facebook or Snapchat, or upload videos later to Facebook, Instagram, and so on.

In a “these results are not typical” kind of way, an animal shelter in Indiana came up with the idea to pair Pokémon Go players with shelter dogs so that players could play and walk the dogs at the same time. The idea was so creative that Facebook sent a team to film it and the video was featured on news outlets nationwide.

Author credit: Kristi Hines

Social Media

5 New Marketing Trends You Tried to Ignore

Yep! You can teach an old dog new tricks. Check out the following 5 new marketing trends you haven’t considered doing…yet.

Videos

Specialists predict that by 2017, 70% of online traffic will be videos. Gone are the days of the television. If you want to reach your target audience you need to go where they go- their phones! As mobile technology continues to rise, video technology will become even more powerful. For best results, consider creating a series of videos that engage the viewer and invite them back with anticipation for the next big reveal.

Facebook Live Streaming

Take one. There is no two or three. Live streaming is one of the hottest marketing trends to date, and shows no sign of slowing down. Whether it’s on Twitch or on Facebook, live streams allow your audience to interact with you one-on-one, in real time. The most important thing to remember about this digital marketing trend is that your stream should be exciting to encourage viewers. Save the boring, non-essential details of the day, and focus on worthy company launches, products, services, and news.

User-Generated Content

Do your customers promote you? User-generated content is a hot new trend in marketing that enables you to put your customers in the driver seat.

Whether it’s blogs or recommendations, user-generated content is a trusted and reliable way to influence future buyers. Rather than write generic, run-of-the-mill copy, consider building brand awareness by reaching out to your audience and encouraging them to review your business and share their experience. You can do this by way of encouraging online reviews on Yelp, or asking for shares and testimonials on your social networks. Better yet, ask for guest blog post submissions and stories about your product and brand, and hold a contest for the entries.

Social Influencers

While your company might not be able to afford a celebrity spokesperson, you can still find a social influencer that will help you connect with your audience. Influencers gain followers through blogs, live feeds, and their visibility on social networks. If you can capture the attention of an influencer in your industry, you might be able to get them to talk publically about your brand and endorse it. Since influencers already have their own following, a mere mention of your product or company can launch you in the spotlight. How can you do this? Simple. Reach out! Discover the leading trendsetters in your industry and connect with them personally. A tweet, a share, or a personal message can set the domino-effect in motion, so think outside the box and go where your audience is.

Storytelling

More than advertising, storytelling takes customers on a personal journey. Convey your unique brand message to your audience and entertain them by learning the art of storytelling in your marketing. Your readers don’t want to be bored with numbers and facts. Relating to them on an emotional level is a fresh and honest approach that will help build brand trust, and keep customers coming back for more.

While traditional marketing methods have long been successful in creating brand exposure, Internet technology has increased advertising options significantly. When you’re deciding which mediums to invest in, consider these 5 new marketing trends first. Digital media can help you create a loyal brand following, at the lowest cost.

Do you need campaign ideas or digital marketing inspiration? Contact gotcha! Mobile Solutions today to learn more about our award-winning suite of digital advertising services.

Digital MarketingMobile Marketing

How to Launch a Successful Business By Writing One Sentence

Good copy helps websites attract people and gain new business. No matter how much time or money you invest in your website content or blogs, nothing will ever be more important than the description of your company, in one sentence.

Digital Marketer’s Ryan Deiss shares the most crucial sentence you should craft to launch a successful business.

I have GREAT news…

The buyer of your new product or service is EXTREMELY predictable. They only care about one thing:

What’s in it for me?

I’m about to show you two simple exercises that answer this question for your prospective customer in a single, crystal clear sentence. This sentence is the foundation of your marketing and the reason your business, product or brand deserves to exist. You can use it in your…

Company tagline
Elevator pitch
Ads
Headlines (on sales pages, blog posts, presentations, etc)
Product descriptions
… and virtually any other marketing communications you’ll create to launch your new business, product or brand.

Determine the “Before and After”

You’ve likely heard some variation of this before:

“People don’t buy features, they buy benefits.”

The story goes that people don’t go to the hardware store to buy a drill. They go to the hardware store to buy a hole.

In fact, they don’t even want the hole — they want, for example, the feeling of satisfaction and happiness of seeing a family portrait hanging on the wall. They need the drill and the hole to get that outcome.

What is the outcome your prospects are searching for?

Picture your prospective buyer in their ‘Before’ state. They have yet to experience your product or service. They are unsatisfied. Discontent. Perhaps even angry, frightened or frustrated. What is causing this unhappiness?

Now, picture them with your product or service — what has changed in their ‘After’ state? What outcome or benefit have they received as a result of doing business with you?

Ask yourself these questions about your customer’s ‘After’ state:

What do they have? – “I used to have a leaky roof (‘Before’ state) but now I have a dependable, leak proof roof.” (‘After’ state)
How do they feel? – “I used to be worried about the future of my family if I were to die (‘Before’ state), but now that I have life insurance, I have peace of mind.” (‘After’ state)
How is their average day different? – “I used to drive to work every morning in my boring old car (‘Before’ state), now I’m excited to drive to work in my fancy new car.” (‘After’ state)
How has their status changed? – “I used to be a good father to my children (‘Before’ state), but now I am “Super Dad” because I bought the whole family tickets to Disney.” (‘After’ state)
It’s important that you determine your customer’s ideal ‘After’ state because…

Good marketing (and copywriting) simply articulates the move from the ‘Before state’ to the ‘After’ state.
Good marketing articulates the move from the Before state to the After state.

Once you know your customer’s ideal ‘After’ state, you simply need to be able to describe it in your marketing. To do that, you’ll need…

Exercise 2 – Create a Statement of Value (SOV)

If you want to describe the value your business or product or brand brings to the market — and you should because it’s all your prospects care about — you need to complete this sentence:

_____________ enables _____________ to experience _____________.
Here’s how to fill in the blanks on this Statement of Value (SOV)…

The first blank should contain the name of your product or service. Alternatively, go broader by inserting your brand or product name.

The second blank should describe your customer.

The third blank should describe the customer’s desired ‘After’ state.

Let’s look at some example Statements of Value…

Weight Watchers enables overweight people to experience a simple, proven system for losing weight and feeling confident about themselves.

Lego enables children of all ages to experience the joy and challenge of building something that is uniquely theirs.

These first two examples are Statements of Value for brands or companies and fairly generic customers. Let’s look at an example of a single product targeting a more specific customer…

Company: State Farm
Product: Homeowners Insurance
Customer: Home owners in areas prone to natural disaster
Statement of Value: State Farm homeowners insurance enables home owners in areas prone to natural disaster to experience peace of mind that their home and finances are secure.
savings

Once State Farm is clear on the value they bring to this specific customer for this product, they simply need to articulate it in their marketing. Notice how this Facebook ad from State Farm remains congruent with the Statement of Value. Notice how it speaks to the customer’s ideal ‘After’ state. Notice how it speaks directly to the “What’s in it for me?” the prospect cares about.

Before you create a new business, product or brand — you need clarity on the value you bring to market.

Take some time to fill in the blanks on your Statement of Value.

Author Ryan Deiss
Digital Marketer

Content Marketing
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