2014 is Flying By: Are You Building Your Celebrity Status… or Are You Losing Time?
In 2012 I published an article suggesting several New Year’s resolutions to help you build your brand and increase your CelebrityExpert® status in the New Year. I talked to many of you at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 and 2014 about your goals for the year to come. I know that many of you made serious commitments to make this year when you get serious about your personal brand—and your online branding efforts specifically.
Well, believe it or not, we’re already about a third of the way through the year. Time flies when you’re having fun, and also when you’re running a business. (Hopefully you’re doing both!)
So this is an opportune time for a "check up" of sorts—a chance to evaluate your progress so far in 2014 and identify areas that may need increased focus Below, we’re going to ask a series of questions intended to measure your progress—as well as offer some specific tips to help you stay on track (or get back on track!).
1) Does your website position you as a CelebrityExpert®? There is more to online marketing than your website—but your website is where it all begins. It is the "hub" of your marketing efforts. For that reason, it must do an effective job of branding you as an expert within your market. How can you do that? For starters, featuring professional quality pictures and videos of yourself. Also including content that reinforces your expertise, such as Special Reports and White Papers, sends a message of expertise and exclusivity. Professional design and functionality is a must.
2) Are you showing up on the first page of Google when potential customers look for help? As you are no doubt aware, in today’s world many consumers start their search for a product or service on Google. So the million dollar question (sometimes literally) is… when a potential customer searches for what you do, will you show up? (For instance, if you’re a tax attorney based in Jacksonville, and someone searches for "Jacksonville tax attorney", do you show up?) If not, you’re losing business to your competitors. The good news is that you can move up in the search engine rankings by producing great content (like blogs and articles) and by being active on social media, among other things.
3) Are you leveraging social media to drive traffic to your website and build brand awareness? Many of you likely have a Facebook page for your business by now, and I know some of you have a presence on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. But are you using your social media presence to promote your website and build your brand? Are you actively posting content at least once or twice per week? If not, you are losing out on an easy opportunity to build your brand. Blog entries and articles that you have written make for great content to share—but so do inspirational quotes, tips, news articles that impact your audience, and so on.
4) Have you begun writing blogs and articles to showcase your knowledge and expertise? I have mentioned blogs and articles a few times already. As you can see, not only are they a good opportunity to show your own expertise while educating your audience, but they are also very helpful in terms of providing content for social media and for improving your ranking on Google and other search engines. So if you’re not already doing so… start writing! If you’re not sure how to begin, ask yourself "what are some of the most common questions that my customers and prospects have?" and then write content that addresses these questions.
5) Are you capturing email addresses – and marketing to your list? Many consumers that find your website aren’t ready to make a commitment at that time. Instead, they are looking for information and gauging their options. The problem is that if you don’t find a way to capture their information, you may never hear from them again. That’s why capturing contact information is so important—and you can do that by offering Special Reports, e-newsletters, etc. Once you have captured this information, it’s important to regularly market to them in order to stay "top of mind." Informational newsletters and e-zines are a great way to do this.
6) Are you having fun with your branding efforts on social media and elsewhere? There are a whole lot of businesses marketing themselves online. So how can you stand out from the crowd? One key way is to be yourself and to have fun. Tell jokes. Talk about your favorite sports team. (Go Gators!) Loosen up and be yourself. Social media shouldn’t be all business, all the time. Let your audience get to know you. People buy people, and if you want to be perceived as a genuine, authentic person, it’s important to be yourself. It’s also a lot easier to stay active when you’re having fun with it.
7) Do you have a system in place to create consistency… without burning yourself out? So far this probably sounds like a lot of work. There are a lot of moving parts to be aware of. What’s more, it’s important that you stay consistent so that your brand awareness and positioning is continually built and reinforced. But here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to take up hours and hours each week, and you don’t even have to do it all by yourself. Your team can help—many of you probably have a staff member or two that are savvy when it comes to social media, and they would probably enjoy spearheading your social media efforts. Perhaps there is another member of your team that can write blog entries and articles if that’s not your thing. The key is that you first create a list of what must happen, then delegate each part of the equation to specific employees, and then follow up to make sure it is all happening. Once you get your system running smoothly, you will be amazed at how little effort it takes on your part—and how good the results are. I’ve seen it over and over again!
So how are you doing in these areas? If you’re not making the progress you would like… don’t worry! There is still plenty of time to make 2014 an incredible year as you create your online CelebrityExpert® brand. As always, let me know if there is anything I can do to help out!