Your identity/brand precedes you. Even people who don’t know you yet, already have ideas about you based on what they have seen or heard. Your brand affects the success (or failure) of your business. “Pre-framing” is a business term used to identify what precedes you before you reach your consumers, customers or clients. The concept includes the powerful idea that you not only have a hand in it, you create it. It is not a chaotic-whatever-happens attitude. It is very much a deliberate and creative effort. You want to be seen as an expert in your field. You want to possess a celebrity status to help you “turbo-boost your sales,” explains Justin Bryant of SelfMadeSuccess.
Here Is How You Do It
WHY– “Blogs are simply the most valuable assets to businesses (especially online ones) in today’s internet age. You consistently post articles on them about topics in your niche. You can solve problems people have in your niche, demonstrate your expertise through “how to’s”, etc.,” writes Bryant. “A blog allows you to put your expertise in the form of content and share it with the world to give them a small sample of your skills. It is by far one of the best ways to establish your brand as an expert.”
HOW– Check out this guide on how to set up a blog in 5 easy steps from Bryant.
Book. As in, your own. Write one. Or many.
WHEN– As soon as possible.
WHY– In establishing yourself as an expert, add, Amazon or New York Times Best-seller to the title. Instant credibility. Even if your book doesn’t become a best-seller, you demonstrate that you provide value in many areas, and that in itself is trustworthy and respectable.
HOW– Do not write the same thing that others are writing. Instead, fill a void in the marketplace. “Check forums and come up with a book that hasn’t been written yet that teaches strategies very few people know or have even thought of,” says Bryant. Promote the heck out of it. “Books that have several good reviews and teach a lot of valuable lessons, not only make you a little extra money on the side, but they establish your brand or your celebrity status as an expert in that field.” Here’s an article from Bryant on branding yourself through self publishing.
WHEN– As soon as possible.
WHY– “Youtube channels are great assets for branding yourself and getting traffic online. They allow people to actually see you and hear your voice around the world without you having to be there in person,” writes Bryant. People connect with you, feel like they know you better, feel like they are experiencing what you are. You may not be a music or movie star, but you can still provide value through teaching valuable lessons. You don’t need to be ultra professional or done up with make-up to the nines, keep it personable. Quality videos, yes.
HOW– For great tips on creating video, check out this post.
Testimonials and Endorsements
WHEN– As soon as possible. I bet you already have some, you just need to pull them together.
WHY– “What better way to achieve celebrity status than to get endorsed by an expert who already has it?” notes Bryant. “Having testimonials or endorsements from established people who others recognize, is priceless.”
HOW– Connect with experts in your industry on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. When you get to know them better, you can see if there is potential to do business together. Why not partner with other experts in making video? Adding a big name can do a lot for you if it fits your business’ particular niche. Be watchful and always ready to collect more endorsements and testimonials. They tend to trickle in. Make the most of them.
WHY– “Not only is featuring experts as testimonials or endorsers of your business on your site valuable, but you being featured on their sites is as well, “ explains Bryant. “Imagine just getting on a site like Entrepreneur.com, Business Insider, Forbes, etc. Just publishing a few articles on there gets you instant attention from a massive audience of people in your niche. Become a contributor to other big name sites and it could be exactly what you need to get over the hump with your business.
HOW– Trade featuring another non-competitive business on your site via agreement with being featured on theirs. Sometimes that works well. Contribute to top sites pro-bono. The recognition is payment enough. Get creative. How else can you feature your business in respected places where your target market is?
I’m A Specialist
WHEN– Start now.
WHY– A master can gain great credibility. You can master several areas, but focus on one at a time. Bryant encourages, “It would take you so much longer to get good at all areas of internet marketing if you just get better at all of them a little bit at a time. If you put all your focus on one strategy, you will make huge strides in your progress in a fraction of the time.” Famous quote, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” –Bruce Lee
HOW– Determine which specialties will benefit your business most in the future. Consider how technology will impact the need for that specialty. Study hard, everywhere and ever resource you can find. Practice, and build your portfolio.
Valuable Contributions on Forums and Other
WHEN– Any time, all the time.
WHY– Bring something to the table every time you answer and contribute. You will develop a reputation as an industry expert.
HOW– Look for places where your target market is. Find places where your competitors contribute. See how they do it, and improve on their methods where possible. Develop your teaching skills, communicating clearly and with respect, no matter the question or content. You are helping people in need find answers to their problems. Answer questions on Yahoo Answers or other sites (there are so many) where experts can pitch in.
Command Social Media
WHEN– Yesterday. Okay, that isn’t realistic, but you get the point. If you aren’t there yet. Start and grow ASAP, and AMAP (as much as possible).
WHY– Social media is majorly important in giving your business exposure. It is communication, and you have instant global reach. Make the most of it.
HOW– Cut out any bad social media habits. Here are 50 common social mistakes you might be making (Bryant). Now, show your expertise:
- Share your blog posts (but don’t spam them) on your social profiles.
- Share your YouTube videos on your social profiles.
- Have a professional picture of yourself on all your social media profiles.
- Have a link to your main website and get it verified on your profiles.
- Share great tips or quotes with your followers a couple of times a day.
- Provide social proof every once in a while of some success your business had or even achievements you’ve earned as the owner.
- Have a picture of yourself with an established person in your industry on your profile.
Show Proof When You Have Results
WHEN– Every time
WHY– People like specifics. From Bryant: What sounds better…
- Our business has been very successful the last few months
- Or, our business has created a minimum of a 50% increase in sales for every client we’ve had in the last 3 months
Broad claims are generally unimportant and unimpressive. (Catch the pun?) They can also seem aloof and evasive, which is not what you want to associate with your brand. Proof gives your brand credibility.
HOW– Screenshot your analytics. Visuals are powerful, pleasant to look at. and they are easier to understand. That makes a triple-victory in my book. Use Google Analytics. Show videos of clients explaining their successful results because of your business’ help. Seeing is believing. Back yourself up by showing the proof in the pudding.
When you work on these steps, your credibility and trust grows with your consumers, customers and clients. Bryant sums it up, “You don’t have to develop some kind of futuristic, complex sales funnel to make a lot of money with your business. You need to learn how to brand yourself as an expert in your field,” and apply what you have learned.
http://selfmadesuccess.com/how-to-brand-yourself-as-an-expert-in-your-field-in-10-steps/, http://www.lagunawestdental.net/testimonials/, http://loudmeyell.com/the-benefits-of-social-media-marketing.html, http://www.blackbeardesign.com/5-reasons-every-small-business-owner-blog/ and http://ceservices.fr/expertise/