Always look at yourself when you think about your target audience. Think about the people and companies you buy from. You buy from people and companies you like and trust. They need to present credibility and authority. You buy from people and companies who have created a strong image in your mind. One example that usually comes to my mind when I think about that is my experience with Apple.
I really resisted first to get the Apple Care Protection Plan but once I had some questions and problems with my computer I never looked back. When I upgraded to Apple’s operating system Mountain Lion my scanner wasn’t working anymore. I have a printer with an included scanner so I found it pretty interesting that my printer was printing but the scanner was not operating with my computer. I called Apple and they really did all they could but the problem was not Apple but Canon who I had the printer from. They hadn’t updated their program and so it was not compatible with my new OS. If I had known that I wouldn’t have upgraded!
I was pretty frustrated first when I hang up the phone. But after 10 minutes my phone rang again and Apple was on the phone! The guy I had talked to on Apple Care simply called me back to tell me that he might have a solution I didn’t think of before. Wow! I was really blown away and not just but also because of this experience I don’t worry a lot anymore when I have a problem, I simply call them. I know they won’t leave me alone but really try to find a solution. I’m actually happy to spend some more money on my computer, tablet and phone in the good believe that I will be helped as soon as a problem comes up.
As you can see I was even so impressed that I am sharing it with you here on my blog. You can say about Apple or Amazon whatever you want but they really try hard to value each customer. And who would I like to buy from any better? Right, I usually try to get the product I need from these companies – just because I know that I’ll get help in case I need it. From that we can easily figure our own marketing strategy. Just ask yourself what makes you buy from your favorite company?
Here are five strategies to establish a strong online brand:
1. Publish on different sites
Put yourself out there. Each piece of content you create wether for your own site or for someone else’s will attract new potential customers. Make sure you push yourself out of your comfort zone and try to reach people you normally wouldn’t even think you can reach. Publishing is a fantastic way to establish a strong online brand. Each piece of content you create represents your character and what you and your brand stand for. Your personality carries through in your content.
- Other websites
- Article directories
- Syndicate your content
But also don’t forget offline publications such as:
2. Do some networking
The Internet is trying to get less anonymous. While you could hide yourself and be someone different than you are online ten years ago you can’t do that today. With Google author in place and the fact that you need to network to establish yourself as a real person, you don’t want to hide yourself anyway. Today you want to connect with as many people as possible to strengthen your brand.
3. Stay consistent
It won’t help if you post once and never again on your website. Often times people start out with tons of good intentions and work 10+ hours a day on their website if they can but then feel totally burned out and don’t get anything done at all. I guess that is the worst case actually. If you try to be more consistent, e.g. publish one post all two days, post comments every day, take part in forum discussion every day, etc. you’ll be successful sooner or later. The main point is that you need to really do something each and every day not just once and never again.
Beside that, if you treat your website like a business others will do as well. But you cannot say you have a business when you work on it for an hour every week (if at all). A strong online brand is build when you take care of your business and work on it as much as you can. Sure, sometimes we have life coming in between. But then ask yourself: When I had to go to a normal 9-5 job would I be allowed to stay away from it for that reason? If you say no, then you need to skip it until after your work day.
Additionally you can also establish a strong online brand and attract more customers if you put yourself out on social media. Do not just write articles but also do some video and podcasting to reach people who prefer a different kind of content.
Make sure you know what you stand for then others will do as well.
4. Sharing with others
Something that really helps you to establish a strong online business is to share a photo or video of yourself instead of a logo or graphic image. Sure, at least for security reasons you shouldn’t share tons of personal pictures on Facebook but a picture related to the stuff you are writing about might do wonders. People want to connect with people. Share stories (you can always leave out the really personal parts), share experiences related to your topics. Don’t worry about sharing failures. After all, that is what makes people sympathetic – you see they are not much different from you. The more people get to know you and who you are, the stronger your brand will grow.
5. Give Freebies
Finally, consider giving things away. Everyone likes to get something valuable for free. And you can brand your giveaways and encourage people to share your freebies with others. For example, you could write an e-book and brand it to you and your business. You can even include affiliate links so in the end it will contribute to your income. Give it away for free and encourage others to share it and the information inside. Each person that reads your amazing information will gain a positive image of you and your brand and won’t mind to share it with their friends, family and followers. If your ebook is really valuable you can also write other bloggers. They might want to share it with their audience. Often as bloggers we can’t think of anything valuable to write about. If someone offers me something really nice I’ll be happy to share it with my readers here.
There are many strategies to strengthen your online brand to attract customers. Remember that we buy from people we trust and we like. Don’t hesitate to put out yourself. People will appreciate your personality. So be you, anyone else is already taken (I like that quote although I cannot remember who said that ;-)).