How Do You Market Yourself When Your Business Is Just You?

Well, I’m writing this post today from some personal experience…

How Do You Market Yourself When Your Business Is Just You? It sounds easy. Who better to market yourself other than you? Sometimes though, it can actually be pretty difficult.

Being thoughtful and careful is the key. You don’t want to come off as arrogant rather than confident. You don’t want people to see you as bossy rather than informative. When you’re talking about yourself and what service you can provide others, think about your target market. It doesn’t matter if you’re B2B or B2C, your target market is still extremely important in figuring out how you want to present yourself and your business.

Take me for example. My business is B2B. It’s just me. I don’t have employees or interns. I’m not representing a group of people. Just me and what services I can provide for other businesses. Because of this, I use my personal social media accounts as my business accounts also. If I talked your ear off about social media on my website and each one of my social media sites all day long, that’d get pretty pushy, and you’d quickly get annoyed with me. I try to treat my accounts like 85% / 15%. My business is B2B, but I’m ultimately trying to appeal to people, specifically the people who have their own businesses.

85% of my content consists of things other people rarely tire of- my husband being silly, my diy projects or my animals. My friends/followers know that those are the most important things to me in life based on it making up 85% of what I post. Most can relate to at least one if not all of those subjects. Now the other 15% of my content pertains to my business. Newest trends. Social media strategies. Featuring Savannah. There are many different ratios/percentages suggested out there, but 85:15 is what works for me.

  • Think of your niche and target market.
  • Feature what’s important to you & what makes you you.
  • Feature your business but do it in a tasteful, helpful way.
  • 85% relatable content
  • 15% business content

At the end of the day, you are the biggest and sometimes only advocate for yourself and your business. Make a good impression.

And now because I mentioned how much I feature my animals, here are a few:

2017 Social Media Trends

I recently read this article -> The Top Social Media Trends for 2017 – The Influencers’ View – and was amazed at the future trends some of the top social media pros see coming this year.

Pretty much what I’ve gotten from this is we as social media marketers are losing more control this year. Algorithms and filters have already greatly influenced how we present content. This article hones on the continuation of this and then some.

  • “The information distribution highway will have toll stations that must be paid for by the those who create content.”
  • “ The days of organic social media success are over. It’s not a question of paying for playing but of how much you pay to play.”

Organic reach has slowly been dying the past couple of years. I tell my clients that it is up to them whether or not they want to spend precious advertising money on social media, so most choose not to. It may surprise you, but I totally understand this. Social Media platforms are constantly updating and changing. People are hesitant to take the risk of promoting their content when nothing is concrete or permanent. It looks as though now that 2017 will actually bring an end to organic reach altogether. Not great news, but good to know.

 

 

Motivation

Sometimes, we all can get a little stagnant in our business. Things get shaking and moving, and you may get to a resting point and kind of just stay there. Whenever I feel like I’ve been in these little resting ruts a little too long, I try to read a few quotes that get me motivated to keep learning, keep pushing and growing my business and to just give me a little boost.

 

Here are a few I really like. 78182fb3f390fd8c70c953c7e039aaff

c9278ad2eb7991b326dd8e4f16147ae4 d3f0ba410f9f1f98e7151c09fc4d1893 5648d105948231aff4fae83f3061d4f2 982b7f0e51f2c01514f05a2dc0e8ab12 980fe6a01309a0c5002229a3907985a5 93e9fd36a4b36a0c2313959c72e19352 7d43928d5fe9da5a199e17c3e2ed5b43 0dbe2b551ba23199fbce7a31a7a782b4 6ea1330b6f35e4802666fff84ec909f1 ba1dc8d1235f073a71d116324d4c97e9bbfe4e1a6ccf853babd58e044de9b27272b185f2e9bb23f036987e54275366a9

Top 10 List: How to Communicate Like a Human Being (Instead of a Marketer) by Eric Roach Co-Founder and CEO, EveryoneSocial

Love this article by Eric Roach Co-Founder and CEO, EveryoneSocial. 

It’s so hard for businesses to be human when they start activity on their social media platforms. Take a look at Mark’s Top 10 List:

Top 10 List: How to Communicate Like a Human Being (Instead of a Marketer)

“We’re living in the midst of a content explosion in social media. Can we survive? Yes, but it will require new skills. As cofounder and CEO of social media platform EveryoneSocial, I see organizations and employee advocates sharing a great deal of content. Some of it is even good. But for maximum success, here are my top 10 tips on how to cut through the marketing clutter in the content you share and learn, instead, to communicate and share like a human being.

1. Write the way you actually talk. First off, in a tip from Melanie Davis of Convince and Convert, practice writing the content you want to share in the way you would actually speak.

For example, consider this piece of information: “Beyond the basic benefit, both individual and spouse buy-up options are available Please note an election of voluntary life coverage for a spouse can equal up to half your individual life buy-up, although depending on the desired level of coverages, EOI may be required.”

Huh??? Clear as mud.

Try this instead, Melanie says: “The company is going to buy some life insurance for you. If you want, you can buy extra. Whatever extra life insurance you buy for yourself, you can also buy up to half that amount for your spouse. Now, depending on how much additional insurance you’d like, one or both of you may need to answer some questions about your health to see if you qualify for it.” Ah.

2. Let people respond naturally. Here’s another tip from Melanie. Instead of the typical web contact form, think about providing something like this:

“We check our email with alarming and unhealthy frequency. Just fill out this form and we’ll get back to you on the double.”

Hey! My name’s _______________ . I’d like to talk to Jellyvision about _____________, so please call me on _______________________ or email me at _________________________.

Oh yeah, and my favorite food is ______________________(in case you ever need to bribe me). Thanks!

Melanie’s firm received 83% higher response than from their old traditional form. Surprise!

3. Avoid the Curse of Knowledge.   This is a real thing. We know what we know and we tend to assume everybody else will as well. In an actual experiment, individuals who tapped out the rhythm to a familiar tune assumed 50% of people would “get it.” Only 2.5% did. The moral of the story: Lose the jargon, if you want your readers to truly understand what you mean.

4. Don’t pitch. Here’s a tip from speaking expert Ryan Lee, for WhatTheSpeak.com.  Ryan understands that if you’re like most people, you hate being pitched to and you can smell a marketing pitch from at least 100 yards away.

But Ryan Lee “gets it.” He tells his audience up front about how his speak will go. He tells the audience they’ll have the opportunity to buy from him, if they choose, when he’s done.

His audience loves his candor. Then he gives them quality content and good education, but he’s still able to convert sales. The ticket is his honesty. He treats his audience the way he’d want to be treated as well.

5. Use good headlines. When you speak to a friend do you lead into your topic with a boring headline? Of course not! You want to stir the pot and get your audience appropriately excited about what you’re going to say. Be true to the promise of the content you’re offering, of course. But in a headline, don’t be afraid to tell it big!

7. Create a Two-Way Conversation. Remember when you share content that it’s a dialogue you’re looking for, not a one-way megaphone blast. Respond to comments (politely, if at all possible). If you can’t honestly thank your reader for anything else, thank them for taking the time to read and respond. Your willingness to engage will go far.

8. Educate, don’t hype. Have you heard the one about the carpet cleaner who created a million dollar career? Actually, this story’s a true one: Marketer Joe Polish realized in his 20s that sending direct mail and email on topics like “How to extend the life of your carpet” and “How to choose a reliable cleaner” were much more successful than blaring specials and ads. Pretty soon his business outpaced all others and he became a million dollar enterprise…..by selling his marketing “secrets” to other businesses like his own. Educative marketing. It’s a thing. You should try it.

9. Be authentic. Your audience can smell a phony from miles away. Don’t create sneaky back links or promos that leave your audience feeling “tricked”. Do what you say you’ll do. Conduct every aspect of your marketing as if the world is watching from behind the scenes (because increasingly, they are). Be yourself (albeit your very best version of self) and you’ll be far better poised to succeed.

10. Tell good stories (about the things people are actually wanting to hear).  Would you tell your friends a boring story? No, you wouldn’t. Well, at least not for long. Include details. Visual images. Power words. Like blog writer Henneke Duustermaat says “

Seduce your readers into begging for more.” Don’t put them to sleep.

Have you got the picture? Yes, good content marketing is both an art and a science, but if you can learn to think like a human instead of like a human marketing machine you’ll be well ahead of the game.”

3 Ways Inbound Marketing Can Help Grow Your Business by Amanda Pensack

This is a great post I saw on Social Media Today that enhances understanding on Inbound Marketing. 

Post by: Amanda Pensack Marketing Director, ECM Solutions

Posted on October 27th 2014

3 Ways Inbound Marketing Can Help Grow Your Business

“Think back to the last time you were driving on a highway and saw a massive billboard with a slogan, company logo or even a call to action displayed in oversized letters. Did you pick up your phone immediately and call the company? Check ‘em out on Facebook? Visit their website? Or did you continue on with your drive, only to block the billboard’s message out of your mind altogether because you were more focused on finding the right radio station to listen to?

This is a prime example of a failed attempt at an outbound marketing tactic. Think about those “in your face” ads you see everyday: those banner ads on the sides of buses while you’re sitting in traffic, the seemingly shout-y car salesman on your television, the giant logo taking up half of the Sunday paper. Does this style of marketing entice you to research more about the product being advertised?

Probably not. Outbound marketing targets the masses and not the ideal target audiences like inbound marketing. With the exception of achieving brand or logo recognition (which, don’t get me wrong, is still important when branding yourself), outbound marketing typically eats up your marketing dollars faster than you can say, “Where are my results?”

What many businesses today don’t know, however, is that a successful marketing plan doesn’t need to target the masses in order to see a return. It shouldn’t target the masses, but rather focus on creating quality content that pulls people toward your product or service; where they naturally want to be. This form of marketing is known as inbound marketing. Below are 3 tactics on how inbound marketing can help grow your business and drive results immediately:

1.     Harness the power of building a community

You’re a business. You sell a product or service. And, most importantly, you have customers. Customers are a brand’s best advocates because they already trust your brand. They chose YOUR business to buy from, not your competitor’s. They already believe in your brand; otherwise they wouldn’t be your customers. Rather than spending valuable marketing dollars on attracting the wrong type of customer, harness the power of your ideal consumer and build a community focused around their wants and needs. By establishing a buyer persona and nailing down your customer’s wants, needs, and yes, even fears, you will be able to come up with a solution to market to your customers. It is a brand’s job to fulfill their customer’s needs and wants with their products or services. Figuring out our consumer’s fears will help answer how to give them better “peace of mind”. By putting ourselves in the shoes of our consumers, we will be able to better understand our consumers, resulting in the creation of a specific consumer centered community. This is the first ingredient of inbound marketing’s secret sauce. Harness the power of building a community that loves your brand.

2.     Lure in your prospects through tailored content creation

In order to harness the power of building a customer-centric community, successful inbound marketers must lure in more prospects through waves of content. What do I mean by this exactly? Creating valuable content that drives traffic will keep your prospect coming back for more. By offering consumers “nuggets” of advice, knowledge, or answers to their questions—all relating to your industry—people will naturally gravitate towards your brand. Why? Because as a marketer, you are filling a void with tailored content that applies directly to your consumer. Successful marketers are ones who are able to vary up their marketing tactics to increase interest in a brand. Those companies that take advantage of creating a mini-series, for example, by means of blogging, vlogging, ebooks, infographics, etc. will get people talking. Once prospects are interested in learning more about your business, hook them in with communication and engagement. (See my previous Social Media Today post on “3 Ways to Craft an Effective Marketing Plan for Your Business” here for more on brand engagement). All of these steps lead to the ultimate goal every marketer strives to achieve for their brand: establishing trust. Once a prospect fully understands and trusts your brand, it’s only natural for them to turn into a paying client.

3. Actually be SOCIAL on social media!

Thanks to early social media pioneers like Mark Zuckerberg, we have a near infinite number of social networks available at our fingertips. However, it’s how marketers actually utilize these networks that plays a major role in how inbound marketing can help grow a business. The concept of social media is simple: connect with people online to grow your network. Unfortunately, this concept has somehow gotten lost over time. Brands who become so focused on their selves and getting their message across, tend to ultimately forget about what social media can do for their business simply by engaging with their audience. In my professional opinion, one company who does a great job of staying social on social media is US Airways. If you check out US Airways on Twitter (@USAirways), their feed is constantly addressing the questions, comments and concerns of their customers. They are, in essence, being social on social media. If someone’s flight is delayed and an angry consumer tweets to their account, typically within minutes US Airways is responding to their tweet with more information that usually includes the employee’s initials who will be helping with the situation and even a phone number to call.  Now let’s play devil’s advocate. On the other hand, what if US Airways decided to ignore their customers and simply posted generic and self-promoting tweets? What if US Airways used social media as a one-way tunnel of communication and ignored their followers when they had questions, comments or concerns about their travel plans? Would you still want to follow them on social media? In conclusion, brands need to learn to stay social on social media if they want to see an increase in brand interest and build relationships.

In conclusion, inbound marketing is about providing added value and earning customer loyalty rather than pounding a message into consumers’ heads and hoping it will stick. By learning to harness the power of building a consumer-centric community, luring in prospects through tailored content creation, and remembering to stay social on social media, brands will ultimately see big results through inbound marketing. Not to mention, your wallet will thank you when you are saving marketing dollars on inbound tactics that have a proven success rate versus “wider-net but less targeted” outbound marketing methods. So what do you think—is your company “in” with inbound?”

 

Disclaimer: I did not write this post. I shared it from Amanda Pensack Marketing Director, ECM Solutionssocial media today.  http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/3-ways-inbound-marketing-can-help-grow-your-business