The Importance of Uncovering Your Brand Personality

branding

Have you identified your brand?

What is your brand personality like? Is it whimsical? Assertive? Luxurious?

We are continuing on with our branding series (click here to read our article on the importance of a personal brand) with the second concept of branding: Your Brand Personality.

Each person that you meet has their own unique and defining characteristics. And so should your brand. When uncovering your brand personality, your brand should be treated like a person with its own distinctive qualities. Let’s use the real estate industry as an example.

There are thousands of real estate professionals across the country. They are vying for the time and attention of similar, if not the same leads, prospects, and clients. So, how do you stand out in this sea of ever increasing noise? The answer lies within your brand’s personality.

Getting to the bottom of what your brand personality will look like is a discovery process. This process uncovers how your brand walks, talks, dresses and behaves. When these things are identified, the question of what should my logo look like? What colors should I use in my branding? And, what will my website look like will be a lot easier to answer.

Many people put the cart before the horse when it comes to marketing and branding. Although it’s exciting to have brand attributes like a logo, new websites, and colorful flyers, it’s impossible to design these things effectively before you have uncovered the personality that lies within your brand. Also, hopping on social media and posting to sites like Facebook and Instagram will be totally ineffective if you have not committed to a clear voice for your brand.

Not only do people buy into brands that do a good job of earning their trust, but they also want to do business with brands that reflect who they are in the world. When your brand promise and brand personality resonates with your target market, it’s then easier to engage with your target market through effective digital and traditional marketing strategies. Eventually, this engagement will lead to brand loyalty and more sales.

A brand’s personality is born from keywords that describe your brand’s character as if your brand was a person. Your brand is less about you and more about the people that you are looking to serve. Ask yourself how your brand wants to be perceived by your target audience. Who is your brand as a person? Is (s)he helpful, youthful, assertive, luxurious?

Below is a graphic that can help you get started on this simple, fun and extremely powerful early branding exercise, which is best done together with your team:

branding

 

Personal Branding is Key Before You Begin Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing provides real estate professionals with many benefits when it comes to marketing and growing a sustainable business.

These benefits stem from our ability (unlike ever before) to get our message in front of an endless number of people who represent our target markets and ideal clients. Social media also provides us with an incredible opportunity to reach new leads for our business on a global scale.

As a Georgia Real Estate Commission instructor, I have taught hundreds of realtors and agents how to grow their businesses with effective social media marketing strategies. The one question that I often get from these students is how do I get started?

My answer: Start by developing your personal branding.

What is your personal brand? Because so many people get the concept of a business and a personal brand confused, we should start by exploring the definition of a business. Then we can uncover the idea of an effective personal brand.

A business is the exchange of goods and services. On the other hand, your personal brand is the exchange of values and experiences.

Here is an example of what I mean: Say I decide to go down to one of those big box stores after seeing their television commercial. The flashy colors, happy actors, and eye-catching logo most likely had an impact on my decision to shop at that particular store. I made this choice based on various aspects of how this business has marketed itself.

But, what if I get there and I experience a dirty and unorganized store, with awful customer service and a rude staff? I have then experienced that company’s actual brand.

I might even tell all of my friends and family not to make the same mistake I did by shopping at that store. With this scenario, it’s easy to see why Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon defines your brand as what others say about you when you are not around.

Personal branding is a promise that we make to our customers, leads, and prospects and whether or not we make good on this promise. Effective personal branding leads to brand recognition and customer loyalty.

It’s impossible to make much of an impact on social media if you have not identified your personal brand.

I am so passionate about personal branding that I decided to create this 5 part personal branding series.

In part one, we will dive into the initial phase of personal branding, your brand positioning.

BRAND POSITION
Brand positioning defines that you are all about as a professional and a business. It answers the following question: What do you do and who do you do this for?

Let’s face it, social media is noisy. There are countless people on any given social media platform with varying messages. Clear brand positioning helps to separate you from the noise and does a good job of showing what’s unique about your brand.

Personal branding shows the value that you bring to the table. It also helps you to stand out as a unique and one of a kind thought leader. Effective brand positioning displays what’s different between you and your competitors.

Once you have defined your personal brand position, you have to write it down. You should have at least a paragraph or two hundred word
Personal Branding Summary.” This will help DEFINE and FOCUS your personal brand.

It was not until I started my personal branding journey that I started to attract the right clients. Once I identified my values, doors started to open up for me in a big way.

Personal branding is very much about self-discovery. It is a dynamic process and will ebb and flow as you continue to grow personally and professionally. You owe it to yourself to as the thought leader that you are.

If you are interested in getting started. Shoot me an email right now info@competitivebrand.com to find out more about my Personal Branding Discovery Session.

This session is all about you. I will take you through my five-point personal branding system. You will come out on the other side with clear messaging, a brand that resonates and engages with your target market and a lead generation strategy that will drive inbound leads and referrals to you. What are you waiting for?

Small Changes in Your Business Leads to Big Results

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

If I can be totally honest with you, I have felt a little bit of insanity when it comes to my business and its trajectory lately.

Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people achieve their business and income goals by launching, implementing and managing digital marketing strategies for them.

But, I have had this pesky feeling (for some time now) that I was made to do more! I know that I am doing a disservice to the professionals and small business owners that need my services if I don’t act on now!

What’s that one thing that you do for others that get you feeling energized? Is there a particular piece of advice that you are always giving or a skillset that you find yourself gladly doing for FREE for people? Whatever your answer is, this is your calling.

My calling is helping people identify their personal brands and then use social media platforms to get this brand seen and heard. But, I get the BIGGEST thrill from showing others how to do this themselves. I have been a keynote speaker and workshop facilitator on topics such as personal branding, social media marketing, and digital strategy for three years now. This is where I not only feel most energized but where my heart is.

Lately, have had a vision of reaching people on an even bigger scale. That’s why I have decided to create and launch my LinkedIn online training course.

This course will show professionals how to propel their profits by growing their leads, prospects, and networks with LinkedIn, the number one social media platform for businesses and professionals.

The information in the course is pieced together by people just like you. Small business owners and entrepreneurs whom I have met at networking events, workshops or even the line at the grocery store.

People who are already limited with their time, might not have a huge budget for a marketing team but are looking for ways to make authentic connections online and get those coveted referrals at the same time.

I am so excited about this and I look forward to sharing even more with you over the coming days and weeks leading up to the launch!

I would like to end this email with a challenge for you. If you are doing the same thing in your business over and over and you are still in the same boat that you were one year ago, it’s time to do something different. Even a tiny change today will lead to reaching your BIGGEST goals!

I want to help you reach your goals by getting an effective and successful social media marketing strategy in place for your brand. I offer a hassle free marketing strategy session.

If that is something that you are interested in, hop on over and book a call with me.

Simple Ways to Engage With Your Social Media Followers

Are your efforts on social media engaging people?

Is your audience on social media platforms excited about your brand?

Is your social media content being engaged with and consistently shared?

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You might have thousands and thousands of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest followers, but if those people don’t do anything with your brand or your page, does it matter? Unfortunately, not really.

One of the main purposes of using social media to market your business is to get people to do something, be it share enthusiasm about your brand or make a purchase from your site. In fact, if you have a smaller number of followers that are more engaged, you’re better off than companies that have ten times as many disengaged members.

But how do you get all those people, who may have different goals and different needs, to boost their interaction? There are lots of different tactics to rely on—Q&A sessions, chats, forums to name just a few. For more ideas and hacks to get those social media people active, use this graphic.

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How to Better Engage Your Followers on Social Media

Via Salesforce

5 Huge Benefits of Live Streaming Video

Live Streaming Video

 

Live Streaming video is a powerful way to share your brand story, build relationships with target market audiences and grow a loyal fan base. With live streaming all of these objectives are met in real time. This allows businesses to deliver a relevant message to the right person at the right time.

Live streaming video platforms like Periscope, Facebook Live and Sanpchat Live Stories, are more than just the latest internet fad. According to a report by Cisco, video will account for 80 percent of global internet traffic by 2019. This statistic proves evident that delivering live content via video is here to stay.

Is your organization capitalizing on this innovative way to market your goods and services?

Here are 5 ways that Live streaming video will benefit your business:

1. Mobility

Live streaming apps like Periscope and Facebook Live are popular because they are available on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. The apps allow users to broadcast “on the go.” It’s also easy to stream video and audio to any viewers who join the broadcast.

2. Cost effectiveness

Let’s face it, traditional marketing can get pricey. Savvy organizations are investing their time in marketing with live streaming apps because of the associated cost savings. With live streaming video, companies can cut down on marketing costs. Even small businesses with tight budgets are now able to advertise their products and services to large audiences without incurring huge marketing expenses.

3. High standards of streaming

In the past, many organizations shunned the use of live streaming platforms due to their low video quality. However, in recent years, mobile telecommunication companies have improved and in many cases perfected live streaming technology. This has enabled content creators to capture high quality videos. Social media platforms like Twitter have also increased security, speed and their capabilities to ensure that mobile video live streaming sessions are of the highest standards. This change has forced many companies to rethink their marketing strategies and incorporate the use of live streaming video as a valuable advertising platform. Today, some of the most recognized brands in the world are using live streaming to reach audiences all over the world.

4. Most customers are embracing video engagement

The presence of the internet has created an environment in which customers are more informed than ever before. They also have more options to choose from. Consumers value great customer experiences and prefer to engage directly with the company that they purchase products and services from. Most consumers are embracing video engagement as a way of voicing their concerns and sharing ideas with companies. A business that wants to keep up must adapt to this changing climate. Companies are finding it more necessary than ever before to invest in mobile video live streaming platforms to connect with their customers and get important feedback.

5. Democratization of content creation

Video production is moving out of broadcasting studios and into the real world. Now, even employees can have their input in regards to creativity and live streaming video production. This allows organizations to develop fresh content with the input of many stakeholders and the democratization of this process creates a sense of ownership.

Shantha Wetterhan is a certified social media marketing manager and digital content strategist. She is also an avid blogger and lover of all things social. She uses her passion for effective communication to engage and inspire audiences.

INFOGRAPHIC: 11 Smaller Social Media Apps Poised to Break Out in 2016

While social media platforms race against each other to stay on top, new and upcoming apps seem to pop up every day to cater to the various socializing needs of connected consumers.

Interest in social media and instant messaging apps continues to increase, which means consumers are constantly looking for niched platforms for more interactive and real-time conversations. In fact, today Canadians spend more time than ever on social media platforms, with 56.7 per cent of adults actively using them.

Since they’re not all  a hit for audiences of all ages, some platforms resonate with certain demographics more than others. While some apps are for more personal networking and socializing, others are used extensively for professional and business purposes. Based on the growth in the usage of these platforms, it’s important to dig a little deeper and see which social media platforms are poised to break out this year.

11 Smaller Social Media Apps Poised to Break Out in 2016

Via Salesforce

Shantha Wetterhan is a certified social media marketing manager and digital content strategist. She is also an avid blogger and lover of all things social. She uses her passion for effective communication to engage and inspire audiences.

How to Write Your LinkedIn Headline

Link

With over 433 million members worldwide, LinkedIn is an excellent social media platform to be used to grow your personal brand, collaborate with others in your industry and reach and engage with  leads, prospects and customers.

Before you begin leveraging the many benefits that LinkedIn has to offer, it’s important to establish your personal brand. You must have a solid personal brand before you are successful in optimizing your presence on LinkedIn. One of the most important aspects of your personal brand is your LinkedIn headline. An effective LinkedIn headline will allow you to become more discoverable in LinkledIn search results and can help you stay top of mind when others are looking for professionals just like you.

LinkedIn gives you 120 spaces to use for your headline. Don’t forget to use that space to market yourself. Your LinkedIn headline should be about what you do as opposed to what you are. It should be memorable and enticing enough that people will want to click on your profile to find out more about you. Your headline is critical to your personal brand, because it tells people how you see yourself.

The default for a LinkedIn headline is your current job title. It is best to change it and re-write a headline that describes you the way that you want people to know you. Use the Best Terms for You to Be Found in Search. Using the right words  will increase the probability that your Profile will appear in a search for someone with your skills. This will also ensure an excellent LinkedIn headline that will attract and engage.

 

Shantha Wetterhan is a certified social media marketing manager and digital content strategist. She is also an avid blogger and lover of all things social. She uses her passion for effective communication to engage and inspire audiences.

4 Ways Periscope Can Grow Your Brand

Periscope For Business

Are you looking for more ways to better engage with your target market?

Are you using Periscope to grow your brand recognition, leads and sales?

Currently, there are 10 million Periscope users in the world. What’s even more astounding is that 1.85 million of these users logon to this popular live streaming app each and every single  day. Major brands are paying close attention to these staggering numbers. Large businesses are dominating the app by using it to market their products and services. But, your small to mid-size business, doesn’t have to get left behind in the dust. Periscope can work for you too! There are many ways to effectively use the live-streaming app to grow your brand.

Here are 4 ways that you can harness the power of Periscope

1. Create a buzz around your new product releases

As a  live streaming app, Periscope can be used to reach a wide audience in real-time. This means that your business can use it to create excitement about a new product that is due for release. Periscope can also be used for live testing of products and services while at the same time giving potential customers a first hand experience of what’s to come. Building the hype around your new to be released products will drive sales. The beauty of this is that you don’t need a huge marketing budget or the exorbitant resources of the traditional marketing campaigns of the past.

2. Foster excellent customer service with Live Question and Answer sessions

It’s the age of information and poor customer service is something that brands cannot afford to ignore. Bad customer experiences can be shared widely through social media networks and the backlash alone is enough to sink a brand. Companies that want to thrive must actively engage with their customers and there is no better way to do it other than through live question and answer sessions. This helps firms to connect with their clients and address concerns. By doing so, organizations can tailor their services and products in accordance with their customers’ preferences.

3. Grow your Twitter following

With over 320 million users, Twitter revolutionized the social media space.  Individuals and brands alike constantly work to build their Twitter accounts and increase the number of followers that they have. This is a great benefit to them for two reasons; they can better engage with their customers and it also allows them to market their products and services at very small costs. Periscope live streaming app is a very effective method for you to use when trying to grow your Twitter account. If done properly, this strategy can eventually transform your internet traffic into real sales numbers. Small businesses with a small marketing budget will find this very beneficial..

4. A window into the happenings behind the scenes

Again, a small or medium-sized company may not have the resources to engage mainstream media services in offering their customers a behind the scenes tour of business activities. Periscope’s motto is do things people love. Live streaming is an ideal way to give clients with a window into their world. Smart organizations who do marketing well know that customers want to know more about the company whose products or services they buy. From a marketing point of view, this is definitely a gem. Periscope will help you pull back the curtains of your brand to generate brand recognition and loyalty.

Periscope is so valuable because it has arrived at a time when live streaming is growing and information  is disseminated at a faster pace than ever before. Although it’s being used by the bigger brands, Periscope can also be used by small and medium-sized businesses to engage with target markets and increase sales. A business that wants to prosper will take advantage of this current marketing trend. Periscope is a smart and creative way to connect more with your customers.

Shantha Wetterhan is a certified social media marketing manager and digital content strategist. She is also an avid blogger and lover of all things social. She uses her passion for effective communication to engage and inspire audiences.

How to Rock Your Houzz Profile

BIG (1)

This exciting age of technology in which we live has led to many conveniences. One popular convenience is online shopping which allows consumers to shop for and receive goods and services right from the comfort of their own homes. Social media websites like Pinterest and Facebook have integrated purchasing functions that change the way that consumers shop and how companies engage with their customers. Businesses that take advantage of social media and are consistent in using it effectively, will reap key benefits including greater brand awareness, enhanced credibility and customer loyalty.

Pinterest and Facebook are great platforms to leverage, but their large reach and vast categories make it hard to target a specific audience. Houzz, a one stop home remodeling and design application, makes targeting a specific audience easier for those in the home improvement business. The app, founded in 2009, started off as a simple photo browsing and sharing site for those who wanted to showcase their beautiful homes. Since its launch, Houzz has transformed into one of the leading interior design and home improvement social media sites in the market.

As a design professional, utilizing the following tips will help in your endeavors to establish your brand and increase your sales:

  1. Always post high quality images – Without great pictures your content will often get over-looked. Great photos draw in your audience.
  2. Tag all of your products – Much like hashtags, Houzz offers green product tags that maximize your product’s exposure.
  3. Group your images into projects – The project feature creates an album of your photos that you can organize into specific categories.
  4. Showcase your products in ideabooks – This feature allows you to pull any photos uploaded on Houzz and make creative groupings of products.
  5. Utilize discussion boards – Houzz discussion areas are highly engaging. Make sure that you are responsive when asked questions about your product.
  6. Build up your following  – Networking and obtaining a large community of followers will increase your brand reach.
  7. Request customer reviews – Positive reviews impact your brands credibility.

Remember, like any other social media platform, growing your audience and customer reach takes time and effort, but hopefully with these tips you can start to see the fruit of your labor in no time. Now its time to get started!