Is your brand just still there collecting dust? Not performing the way you dreamed?
Perhaps you started out great – with a big bang – and then overtime the benefits of being a big brand started to dwindle perhaps little by little without you even noticing.
But now, where are all the new clients, where are all the new opportunities and speaking events? They used to come to you, right? But now, things have changed.
Don’t worry, it’s not all your fault. Competition is at hyper-levels. The playing field has been leveled over time. But you’ll know the truth when I ask you this question: Is your brand collecting dust? Just be honest. Nobody else has to know. But you do. You have to know your branding is falling behind so you can take the steps to invigorate your brand. Luckily you are not just starting out. You may have stopped doing the things that made you a big brand, but you are an established brand.
Now, it’s time to get back in the saddle.
A brand collects dust when it is NOT ALIVE IN THE WORLD creating energy and interest around itself. You’ll know this because you just aren’t reaching your marketing goals like you used to – for instance, booking new speaking engagements every month or signing new clients left and right. You are not seeing website traffic increase or your social media communities grow. If you aren’t meeting your growth and development hopes and dreams (keep in mind that hopes and dreams don’t make a brand, but they act as fuel for the energy it takes to create a strong brand), either your goals are not reasonable or your brand is just sitting there, collecting dust and ultimately failing you!
What is the problem with your brand?
To find this out, you should evaluate if your services are still important, relevant to your clients and if you are still the ‘best kid on the block’ that provides services to your target audience. Could other speakers or experts in the industry have moved into your space? These are all things that could be knocking your brand from the top shelf.
Where’s the dust? Let’s find out!
First thing is FIRST! Your website – your face to the online world – should reflect the current looks and trends. It’s worth it to update your website so that you make a good first impression to your visitors. An old site can be interpreted as a “has been” while a robust site with all the new bells and whistles that are design oriented give the impression of a thriving brand. Once you know you won’t be mistaken for a has been by still having an old, worn looking site, take a look at whether or not there is a clear path to becoming a client or to booking you for an event.
Knowing your customer is still the foundation to creating a successful brand.
What does your client or customer want to purchase or achieve? It may not be what you think it is any more. That could be ONE of the reasons why your brand is sitting on the shelf.
But how do you know? It’s time to immerse yourself in your client’s world. What do they experience everyday? What are they trying to accomplish? Your older products may not be interesting to a newer audience. There are many factors to consider when creating products and services. Importantly, in your review, if a product or offering is a tried and true classic for you and your client, you’ll surely want to keep it. Of course, you can add benefits and deliverables to your ‘tried and true classics’ if you can make it even better for your market.
Knowing your client is more important now more than ever!
What don’t they like about their own growth and development? If you are having brand trouble, maybe they are too. Maybe they want to be on top again. Good. Maybe your new updated services can help them. Now you have a starting point. You have to gather information and make assumptions and be ready to switch your assumptions based on real world market feedback.
Know what your target clients are tired of experiencing by other providers in the industry. Then wrap your website, marketing and social strategy around what your client really wants. Sounds so easy right? At first yes, but then with an honest assessment of your services and how market demand may have changed, you might discover a re-freshening and re-invigorating of your brand is due, maybe long overdue.
Where to begin . . .
First, back to the website, the first impression of your website should be one of competence, authority and experience. That’s it. And don’t let anyone put ads on your site – your site should never be compromised from its original intent. Your site is not an affiliate site for another organization, so don’t allow ads. I am still seeing Google ads on client sites. The viewer is immediately convinced you are not the one for the job. In their mind, it’s onto the next.
How to fix your website quickly.
Choose a designer with a history of delivering sites like the one you desire and get to work. And be fast about it. Every day you are not creating a more powerful brand, your brand is getting weaker and your competitors are getting stronger.
How do you re-invigorate your brand?
In addition to the freshening up of your site, GET ACTIVE! Create a diversified social marketing strategy that supports your business growth and development goals. Be sure to always tag or mention others Twitter handles to increase re-tweets, brand awareness and authority. But first, write a great post/message. For example, if you were on a radio talk show, you would want everyone to know about it. So you would tweet something like this: Thanks to @RadioHost for a terrific interview. He asked great questions on how to create your best self! And then include the link to the interview if it is posted on your site as this can drive up your website visitor numbers adding power to your online authority, which is an important component of brand building. You want the search engines to have the proof they need (and as you know, volume to your site is only one of many data points search engines use to return your site to a query request).
Eventually with enough online action in the right places along with other strategy to increase influence (we’ll discuss this in other posts), search engines should start returning your site as a top search result. You want this. If Google says you are good, that’s proof you have proven to them that you are good. And they are tough as they run a lot of algorithms to return the most relevant info to those searching on Google. They take a search, as you know, very seriously.
Our most successful brands MIX IT UP!
And be sure to use more than one strategy. Our most successful brands MIX IT UP. With some posts leveraging their media, some sharing tips, some asking and answering questions and some promoting what the company stands for to remind everyone of they relevant business philosophy.
The value of consistency in a brand.
Be consistent. The one thing authors, experts and speakers who have followed me for a very long time say when we speak, is that they admire my consistency over time. Many have followed me for years. They love that I have never forgotten them as I include them in my updates, newsletters and online strategy.
And it’s true. I am consistent. The one thing you can count on is that “I WILL BE THERE.” In any industry, there are a lot of POP UPS and start-up companies. These firms may not be anyone’s best investment but yet they are suddenly out there competing. At first, they can do some damage to your brand if you are not consistent. If your brand is always out there, once a client is ready to hire someone like you, you already have jumped through one of their qualifying hoops in building confidence by being consistent and high quality. You can edge out the newcomers or pop-up companies that have entered your space.
Only strong brands are consistent.
Weak brands lose their enthusiasm and eventually don’t even bother anymore and many go out of business. Now think about it, is that the kind of impression you want to make? Of course not, but this is the impression created by just letting your BLOG, yes your BLOG, go NOT updated and your social media platforms unattended.
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Annie Jennings of the National PR Firm, Annie Jennings PR, is a highly respected and accomplished National Publicist who creates meaningful and valuable publicity strategies that help her clients be heard in the world. Annie offers her famous #1 radio talk show interview campaign that comes with free unlimited media training, a performance guarantee and bookings on the major, high-listenership radio shows that include the nationally syndicated networks that help share your message coast to coast. Performance publicity programs are offered for TV bookings, prestigious print and influential online media placements.