...despite the blackhole of the internet
You're an entrepreneur or a business owner. You want to reach your audience and market your business through the wonderful world wide web, the miraculous network of space and electronics that connects us all and is able to reach people and places you never dreamed of. But making a connection one-to-many is so vastly different than reaching it one-to-one. Your message is about more than 'buy me', 'use me', get this 'thing' I want to sell you. How do you make that connection personal? How do you get your name and brand and message to resonate in a very real way, despite the impersonal mass-market medium that is the internet?
This is my challenge and the subject of this blog. It may be a rant really. I'm not sure if I can offer any real wisdom or advice. But let's pontificate just the same… Because, I sense, I'm not alone in this dilemma.
We are at an incredible age of do-it-yourselfer, self-made men and women who have chucked the corporate rat-race and are seeking their own path with some sort of freelance, part-time/ full-time, entrepreneurial gig. We are a generational force of business owners, all shucking our wares in a grassroots digital way on social networks and websites. Regardless of the seeming floodgates however, in such big waters our voices can give the impression of just a trickle, barely noticeable and perhaps undistinguishable from the roar. We want to stand out. We want to speak to possible users, clients and customers as if we are the only two people in the chat universe and yet that type of connection is oh, so very hard.
Have you felt the struggle? Are you with me in my frustration?
Here's what the experts advise:
1. FIND YOUR NICHE
Know your prospect and know them well. Know where they gather and what they talk about. Meet them on their level, like one of them. Then, when you market to them don't push your solution but let them see you fully understand their problems and issues. Make helpful suggestions and advice that doesn't cost them anything but gets them closer to the solution. But don't give away the farm. Plant the seeds. Give advice. Be the expert. They'll learn that if they want the full service to come to you.
2. BE AUTHENTIC
Authenticity is a popular word these days and it's being tossed around without much depth of understanding. The definition connotes an authority that is verifiable, as well as a quality of genuineness. The genuine quality includes sincerity and emotion. So, to be authentic means to be both an authority on the topic and one who cares about the outcome and those seeking the advice. Be that and your words will shine.
3. DELIVER, DELIVER, DELIVER
Good news travels fast but not as fast as bad news. Make an unhappy customer and you're likely to kill all the goodwill, authority and authenticity you worked so hard to build. So, work as hard as you can to make every customer exceedingly happy. Many small businesses have thrived through "word-of-mouth." I don't recommend you rest your laurels on this expansion model but never underestimate its power either. Your good work will follow you. But, bad work will kill you.
OK. Those are the golden rules from the experts. Are you inspired to make it reality? Can we reach through the black hole of the internet and make a personal connection in our marketing efforts? It's hard. And challenging. And difficult to sustain.
Let me add a few of my own tips that may also help:
1. KNOW YOURSELF
Maybe a better phrase might be "know your brand." For some of us that's one and the same. Fully define in your head what your brand stands for and how you express that. Then be true to yourself in every post and phrase and ad. Keep it consistent and real. Those little drops in the bucket can fill an entire pool over time.
2. BE CONFIDENT
Don't let the 'naysayers' get in your head. Be confident and persistent. Also, be positive. No one wants to hear us gripe all the time. If there is a problem, pose the solution. Be the light that shines on the issue and helps us overcome it. Your audience will welcome your positivity and will keep coming back for more.
3. REMEMBER THE GOAL
In any struggle in life, it's good to remind ourselves along the way of the end goal. The path can get long and tiresome. But keeping the goal in mind will help us persevere. What is your end goal? Why are you doing this? Are you reaping some of the rewards already? Don't forget to count your blessings daily. If your goal is unchanged, then don't give up in striving to reach it. One day you'll realize… you did!
So, all that being said, I'm not sure if I revealed how to make your own marketing personal so as to penetrate the black hole of the internet. But, per usual, my rant served to clarify a few things in my own head and assuage my mind that I'm on the right track. So, I think I'll keep at it. How about you?
To all you go-getter, self-made men and women solopreneurs out there: You got this.
If you wanna chat or make a personal connection with me, I may be able to help with your marketing or branding efforts — it's what I do — just give me a ping.
Hi. I'm Barbara Bogue. The name [double b] came from my initials. Here I share tips and advice on marketing, design and copywriting.
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