Post about "Branding"

6 Ways To Create A Sticky Personal Brand

The Bua Tong Waterfalls are a delightful day trip from Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. They are also known as the “Sticky Falls”, because of the lime content in the water, making the rocks viscous enough to easily walk up the three tiered, fast flowing cascade.This quirk of nature certainly confused our brains, which totally expected the rocks to be slippery (and in some patches where algae grew they were), but each time we tentatively placed a foot in the water to ‘walk up the waterfall’, we found a grippy surface we could be sure of.The entire way up we were thinking “Wow, we shouldn’t be able to do this!” The adventure will stick in our memories forever, a once in the lifetime experience now glued permanently into our brains.So how can your personal brand, like the Sticky Falls, stick in the mind of your perfect prospect?How can you ensure once someone has interacted with your brand, they want more?How can you generate stickiness to create raving fans clients, who return again and again to you and tell everyone how great you are?Here are 6 ways you can create a Sticky Personal Brand:1. Bringer-Backer MomentsA friend of mine once told me she aimed to create “bringer-backer” moments in her children’s lives so they will remember them vividly and are instantly taken back to the experience in their minds. These are the sort of memories our day trip to the sticky falls will be for us. Many years in the future we will say “remember that trip we took”… it will take us straight back to that activity, becoming a bringer-backer moment.Think of a place you’ve recently been for a meal that was fantastic, so good in fact that you even said to your dining guests “Wow, we have to come back here again”. What was it that created an indelible memory of it so raw you can still see, hear, smell and taste it?A brand bringer-backer for professional service provides is the quality of service you can give. Your service creates the experience to remember because of the way you made someone feel.What’s the “OMG we have to go back there” delivery you can provide with your brand that keeps clients coming back and even better, telling others about how great you are?The company with the highest customer service satisfaction in the world is Amazon rated higher than Marriott and Hilton hotels, who’s focus is hospitality and UPS & Fedex who are in the business of delivery.Amazon make it so easy to find what you want, compare prices, select and buy, then sit back and get delivery to your door. Their brand even contains Neurobranding messaging to tell your brain it’s going to be an enjoyable experience. The fun, smiley yellow logo, which is also an arrow, reassures you they will deliver anything from a – z to you.To create a sticky brand people easily remember and share, make it easy for them to refer or rate and recommend you. Allow rating on Facebook page, thank them for their referral, ask for recommendations and give them to others. Use testimonials on your website – the bringer-backer moments which other people share about your service are 100% more compelling than what you say about yourself.2. Know-how, Can-doThe most valuable currency on the planet right now is time. Everyone says they are running out of it, all of us want more and at the end of the day, when it’s gone for good, most have no idea where it all went.As a service provider, you are exchanging your time for money. Your best client not only needs the result you provide, they are willing to pay for it. Why? Because you will get them a result faster than they could achieve it on their own.The story goes that a woman once dented her husbands car, which was his pride and joy. She quickly drive to a panel beater and begged him to help her fix the dent so that her husband wouldn’t discover her misdemeanour. The panel beater rubbed his chin and thoroughly checked over the dent, running his hands over the metal and observing it from different angles.Eventually he told the now emotional woman that he could indeed, get rid of the problematic dent and that it would cost $225. “I’ll pay anything to get rid of this dent” she said, immediately agreeing to pay, instantly relieved that he could help her.The specialist automobile technician went into his shop and picked up a mallet, returned to the car, and knocked the panel gently a couple of times until the dent popped back out, with no noticeable trace.Exasperated, the women exclaimed “What!!!, $225 for that???”"Yes” replied the panel beater “$25 labour and $200 for the 35 years experience to know exactly what tool to use, how hard to use it and exactly where to apply it”.You are an expert professional service provider with know-how people need, because it saves them time and gets rid of their painful situation fast.Consider the immense pain your prospects are in right now while they have the problem you can fix.Think about all the ways they might approach dealing with it and what they may be going through.The words they might use to describe it to their family and friends, the feelings they have about where they are stuck and where they want to be.Use these words in your marketing, in your brand and tagline. Use images that resonate with them and ensure they know you are the go-to specialist they can trust to remove the pain and get them moving forwards again.Talk about the problem, mention your solution, but make sure you focus on the outcome, painting a picture in their minds of what it will be like once the pain is over. This drives a dopamine desire for your services and speeds up conversion from prospect to client, and it increases client loyalty, or stickiness.3. ExclusivityScarcity marketing is one of the best ways to get your ‘fence sitting’ prospects to take action and is used by online marketers all the time. Can you create scarcity with your brand to make it more sticky?Online accommodation site built scarcity marketing into their website, stating “Only X rooms left” or “Recently booked” to encourage you to make an immediate decision. Amazon’s biggest sales day is Prime Day where limited offers are made available only to members and everyone rushes online to get their deal.eBay auctions create intense scarcity, if you’ve bought from these sites, you will know the adrenaline rush as the auction comes to a close and people start to outbid each other.Ever been annoyed that your size or favourite colour is not available on some clothing websites? Many online sellers purposely have out of stock notices to generate scarcity and create social proof that others have bought from them.Create scarcity with your brand by being unique. Don’t copy others, don’t fit in, do something different.Make sure you take time to plan your brand launch. Have a system, limit your intake, create a sales funnel to make yourself scarce, desirable, wanted. Don’t be desperate to help everyone, clearly define what you don’t do and who you won’t help.Find your inch-wide, mile-deep niche and generate a point of difference. Present your brand for what makes it so special, rather than comparing it to your competitors.When you launch your brand use a countdown clock to generate a sense of urgency and look at Kickstarter or Thunderclap to generate some noise about it.Make sure you plan it well and make the most of your offer period to build your list because not everyone will buy, but most will opt in to make sure they don’t miss out.Consider a pre-launch offer to your existing clients to ensure they are rewarded for their loyalty and encourage them to share the deal.4. The Gillette ModelThe razor company cleverly developed a reusable razor with disposable blades back in 1901. Consumers purchased the sturdy, permanent razor handle once and then continued to consume cheap, replaceable blades each time they got too blunt to use. This created a repurchasing business model that has since been copied with great success, including computer software, laser printers & ink cartridges and even the smartphone which you fill up with apps and data.Could your brand create a similar repurchasing model, making it sticky for your clients to keep buying from you. Creating series or subscription offering, developing a platform and supplying updates and add on’s, developing a program with upsets or bonus levels.Speaking is a way of developing a continuation model. Never give away your valuable 1:1 time for free, but one to many is the way to go, speaking at events, seminars, webinars etc is a great way to introduce people to your business and grow brand awareness, then offering more at the end of your presentation, to develop a following and feeding your sales funnel.Consider how much you already know now and how you can generate simple downloadable tools, checklists and cheatsheets so your database of prospects sticks with you for more. Think about the 3 top tips you could share today that your ideal client wants to know about, turn them into a webinar or 30 minute presentation and get out there to share it.5. Lifetime ValueAs brand manager for finance, insurance and superannuation company, AXA and looking after many banking brands that were managed by the World Leading Agencies I worked in, I learned of the importance of the lifetime value of clients.The banking model is to get your brand in the hands of your prospect as early as possible and make sure they keep it, from birth to death. Banking brands pre-empt your needs, making it difficult to move from one brand to another.For banks and financial institutions this is done with the opening of a school savings account, with badges, stickers and money boxes that keep the brand in the mind of the child and their parents. Next is the presentation of a credit card, student loan, checking account, mortgage, superannuation, estate planning as they grow older.They pinpoint specific life-stages to target; getting married, buying a home, having children, retirement, grandchildren, funerals.Think about the lifetime of your client.What are they going to go through and what will they need as they do so.How can you provide a service at different steps in their life, how often can you pre-empt their needs and make sure your brand is front of mind, so when they are ready, they instantly choose you?Loyalty programs, anniversary messages, membership renewals, thank-you cards, friend-get-friend campaigns, are all opportunities to get your personal brand infant of your clients.For service based businesses this is where the value of the “10 ride ticket” or coffee card comes in. I recently joined the Coffee club, paying a yearly subscription fee in order to get discounts and deals which suited me because many of my meetings were held in coffee shops and in-between meetings I would head there for the free internet and a cuppa.In an incredibly competitive world where there are so many choices for a coffee, this membership guaranteed I would look for the nearest Coffee Club or suggests it as a designation for meetings.How can you become the ‘destination of choice” for your services. What value add or benefits can you offer for repeat customers. It can be as small as complimentary tea & coffee, internet, customer parking, or offering your meeting room for them to use free of charge. Create as many sticky opportunities as you can for prospects to interact with your brand.6. Early valueMost professional Service Providers I meet worry about giving away their valuable IP, concerned that someone will steal it, or even worse, use it! However, they have no problem giving away complimentary introductory sessions or free consultations in order to ‘win’ a client.They are prepared to donate their time, but can’t yield a how-to or shortcut, somehow believing that ‘trying out’ their services is a better way to build trust.In reality, giving away your time lessens your value.Imagine this: If you had a specific medical condition, lets say a problem with you knee joint, how would you feel if the physiotherapist suggested you try out his services for free and he tried a few things on you, then if you liked the idea of what he was doing, he’d start charging you for future appointments?How much would you trust his expertise if he wasn’t prepared to be professional about it and charge you for it? My guess is you would forget your knee problem and be running for the hills.How much do you value your time?Are you giving it away and then get surprised when it doesn’t instantly convert into loyal, high paying clients?How many processes, action steps, workflows and productivity plans do you currently use that would be easy for you to turn into valuable ‘gifts’ for your prospects?You have probably heard about value ladders, where you give something of small value, then continue to give, increasing the value until an offer is made, providing easy steps for your prospect to become devoted to, like leaving a crumb trail to follow.Mother Teresa said “Give, but give until it hurts”, so make sure you are providing real, tangible value and keep on giving throughout the entire lifespan of your brand.Not only are consumers wising up to obvious database building tactics, they do not appreciate being oversold and under-delivered. Don’t hold back on the quality of your products.The best thing to happen when you give value early, is your prospect gets quick results and immediately wants more from you, making your brand sticky to the point of deliciousness.Bonus lesson – yes here’s an extra tip just for you… The reason you create a stand out personal brand is to stick in the mind of your perfect prospect and engrain your image into the loyalty centre of your clients decision making brain.Neurobranding is the science I use to help professional service providers like you, to understand how your ideal client sees your brand and the emotional reaction they have to it that defines how they understand and remember you.Making sure your brand hits and sticks in the subconscious of the right prospects brain and communicates why they should choose you is paramount if you want to become the go-to specialist.Colours and imagery can be used to send instant messages to the Amygdala, slipping though the fear barriers and into the decision centre of the brain, ensuring your brand is recalled first, before any other competitors or alternatives.The brain sees brands with emotion, recalling the memory of how you brand made them feel. Take the time to understand what your ideal clients is looking for, how they want to feel and ensure your brand speaks their brains language so you stick in there memory.Consider the feeling you want people to have when they experience your brand?What emotion do you want your brand to generate?When someone interacts with your brand, what words do you want them to use to describe it?Making your brand stick in the mind of your prospects increases the chances you are in the ‘wish list’ of providers when it comes time for them to make a purchase decision, so make sure you have a sticky personal brand.You can watch a video here:

Is Your Small Business Using Internet Marketing Strategies to Attract Customers Like a Magnet?

Smart business people are leveraging the power of Internet marketing strategies to attract more qualified customers to their small business. Small Businesses that you would not expect to find on the Internet are now using online marketing to draw in customers like a magnet. Traditional small business marketing methods are expensive and the results are not measurable. Positioning yourself as the expert in your field and providing valuable information to your potential customers will magically attract qualified prospects to you. This article will provide valuable small business marketing ideas to help you develop marketing strategies for your small business.My time is limited, and I have found that using the search engines is a great way to find products and services that meet my needs. The information available on the Internet lets me compare products and services and get reviews from other customers who have purchased the products I am looking for. Last week I purchased a generator for my home through the Internet, and I needed to find a local electrician to install it.   I hate calling people from the yellow pages, so I decided to search the Internet for someone who could help me. I found three different electricians. Electrician A had very good information on their website about some simple electrical jobs and things to watch out for when picking an electrician.   Electricians B and C simply had a “yellow page” website with a phone number and address. Because Electrician A had shared valuable information with me first, I already trusted him more, but I wanted to get three bids to make sure I paid a reasonable amount of money for my job.I sent all three electricians an email asking for a bid on my job. Then I spoke with each of them on the phone to answer their questions and give them directions to my property.Electrician B bid on the job sight unseen. Electrician A and C both made time to come out to my property and look over the job before bidding.Electrician A made a couple of good suggestions that actually saved me money and helped me avoid a costly mistake. Electrician C bid almost twice what the other two electricians did. After getting all of the bids, I chose Electrician A because he took the time to come out and look over my job, and actually helped me save money, even though he did not have the cheapest overall bid. Electrician B, who bid on my job sight unseen, had the lowest bid, but would have actually cost me more money because of the issues that Electrician A had pointed out when he took the time to come out to my property to see the job before bidding on it. Electrician C looked over the same job site as electrician A, but did not give me a lot of confidence when he did not point out the same issues that Electrician A had.  The combination of a website with valuable information to help build my confidence coupled with free advice to help me save money actually won this electrician my business. This is an example of how effective marketing a small business using the Internet coupled with a consultative sales approach can help attract and win customers for your business. Because of their power to attract customers, I have implemented these Internet marketing strategies in my own small business. I have a website that has valuable information available to the prospective customers who search for my services. Because of this useful information, the customers who find me already trust what I have to say. They know something about me before we even speak with each other. This helps filter out the tire kickers and helps me leverage my time to work with only those customers who truly have an interest in my services as a small business Internet marketing coach.By reading this article you’ll learn why it is important to market your small business on the Internet. You will learn small business marketing ideas that will attract more customers to you who are already interested in what you have to offer. You will learn how to gain the trust of these customers allowing you to win more business and make more money.Why it is so important to market your small business on the InternetMore than ever, people start their search for information about products and services on the Internet. In fact, as a business medium, the Internet is growing while many other sectors of the economy are declining. Your customers are looking for you on the Internet…trust me I know this. The question is “are they going to find you when they search?” and if they do, “will they learn enough about you to trust you and contact you to do business?”  Many people no longer think of the yellow pages when they are searching for information about a product or service. The major search engines are the most accessed websites on the Internet. Google has over 91 million searches per day, and Yahoo has over 60 million searches per day, together they represent 151 million searches per day. Now the population of the United States is just over 304 million and the population of the whole world is just over 6 billion (Wikipedia – Jul 2008). One out of every two people in the United States could be searching for something or one out of every 40 people in the world could be doing the same. This is a staggering number of searches every day, which reinforces the fact that people are relying on the Internet to search for and find quality information. You can see why, more than ever before, it is important to have an Internet marketing strategy for your small business.How to attract more customers to you who are already interested in what you offerOk…so now we can agree that your business should be on the Internet, but how can you be sure that your business will be found out of all of the others out there? How can you effectively market your small business on the Internet? Probably not the way you would think. Hype-based or hard selling techniques no longer work. The way to attract customers to you is to offer valuable free information to the people who find you.   They will find you because you will use the same words that people are searching for when describing your products or services. This is called search engine optimization (SEO) and all it means is that when you write the content for your website or blog, you use the words that people are typing into the search engines so that they can find you when they search. If you are using a replicated website, it is very likely that it has not been optimized to be found by the search engines. Search engines hate replicated websites.Your small business marketing strategy should include writing articles about topics that are interesting to your customers. To do this, you have to figure out who your target customer is, and what they are interested in. This is probably the hardest part of your small business marketing strategy. This is the essence of attraction marketing and is how you will build an audience for your information, which in turn will draw customers to you like magic. Then it is just a matter of placing your content all over the Internet so that it is found when your customers search. If you are a local business, there are ways to localize your content, so that customers in your geographic area can find you first before you competitors when they search.How the value you provide helps you gain the trust of your customersOnce your customer types in the search words at the search engine and your content comes up, you have started building trust and credibility in their minds. The more valuable the content you offer for free, the more trust you will build. The more frequently your content comes up, the more credibility you will gain. Securing the trust of your customers is the hardest step in making the sale. Using these small business Internet marketing strategies does this hard step for you, so that when your customers come to you, they are ready to learn what you have to offer. If the valuable free content that you offer is perceived to be more valuable than that of your competitors, you will differentiate yourself in the eyes of your prospective customer. If your content comes up first on the search engines, you are guaranteed that your customer will see what you have to offer. If what you offer is of value, you have just won a customer.You too can leverage these ideas for marketing your small business on the Internet There are many tools that you can leverage today for your small business marketing strategies. Some of these include websites, blogs, articles, images, Google maps, videos, etc.  In addition to these, there are many social media options to help build your reputation with your customers. These include such things as Face book, MySpace, Squidoo, and Twitter.For example, my small business has a website which I use as the hub of my business activities. I have written articles, such as the one you are reading, which are found by the search engines when my target customers type in certain search words. My articles then link back to my website for my customers to find more information about my services. In addition to my articles, I have Squidoo lenses, and a Face book page which also link back to my website. My offline marketing also has the link to my website. Again, the target of all of my marketing is to drive prospective customers to my website where they can prequalify themselves by learning more about my business and requesting more information if they are interested. Notice, I am not chasing customers, nor am I wasting my money on the yellow pages. Instead, I am attracting customers to me through the valuable information that I provide. You can easily implement these same marketing strategies for your small business also.If winning more business and making more money is important to you…If all of this information is a bit overwhelming to you, or you just don’t know how to get started, I suggest that you find someone who can guide you through developing and implementing the Internet marketing strategies for your small business. Find someone who can show you the ropes and teach you what you need to know to be self-sufficient.Don’t just sign up with anyone who claims to build or host websites, though. Not everyone knows the secret of attraction marketing like I have described for you here. Find someone who understands these concepts and has demonstrated their ability to apply them the way that I have demonstrated it to you when you found this article. When you do find someone, the more they know the more costly their time will be.  Look for someone who knows just a little more than you but who isn’t so good at it they charge you a fortune. They can show you how to set up your small business marketing strategies on the Internet, or if you don’t have the time to do it, they can do it for you. Now you know how to easily win more business and make more money. Leveraging an Internet marketing strategy will help you with the hardest part of establishing any business relationship. It will help you gain the trust of your potential customers before you have even spoken with them yet. You will be able to attract more customers to you, and the ones you attract are already interested in what you have to offer. After that, all you have to do is offer great service and close the sale. These great small business marketing ideas can give you a leg up on your competitors, and help you grow your small business.   Now you know why it is so important for you develop an Internet marketing strategy for your small business. As a customer, I have found that small businesses who provide valuable information to me when I am searching for products or services are much more likely to get my initial inquiry about their products or services.  Businesses who are not on the Internet or who have a replicated brochure website are usually not in the running at all. In fact, I usually forget to even look in the yellow pages. My first stop to search is now the search engines like Google or yahoo. I have implemented these small business marketing strategies in my own consulting business. Now I have customers calling me, instead of me trying to chase them or spending thousands of dollars on ads that don’t bring in anyone. Give me a call or shoot me an email and I’d be happy to spend 20 minutes on a free consultation with you to get you started on the right track.