We’re all used to connecting the term ‘brand' with relationships to companies and products. However, that’s not what we’re going to talk about right now. A personal brand is kind of like a stamp that defines your persona and how people see it. In the past, personal branding used to be only about business cards, logos and websites. Today, it’s much more diverse. (Although websites are still useful for anyone building their brand and if you'd like to know more, you can read about this topic here.) Anyone who has access to the internet and social media can showcase themselves as an expert, build an audience, and attract clients that might be interested in their business. It’s a connection between how you see yourself, how you communicate with others and how they see you. Now, where do you start and how do you build a brand for yourself?
The good and the bad thing about the internet is that it allows you to be anyone. Literally. Maybe you’re an entrepreneur or influencer whose brand is all built on a pseudonym and some kind of alter ego, and that's perfectly okay. Although, it’s easier to keep your personal brand as close to the real you as possible. Why? Because making up and pretending to be a whole new person is much more difficult to maintain, therefore, less authentic and trustworthy for your audience. It is not impossible, but it is more complicated. If you want people to see who you really are, what skills you have or what you believe in, the persona you’re crafting should be authentic and reflect you.
You can’t appeal to everyone, not in real life and, certainly, not online. Who's your ideal client? In order to attract your target audience, you have to give up trying to attract everyone. That means you should identify a specific target audience. This is the audience that will appreciate your message and help your business grow. Targeting ideal customers should be based on certain demographics (age, gender, education, profession, etc.), their aspirations, motivations and common behaviors. If you’re able to target this group of people and send a message that they understand and resonate with, you’re definitely on the right path.
At its core, personal branding isn’t about selling. If you’re going to be all about selling, people might stop being interested very fast. You should focus on making yourself available to your audience. Post business-related content and combine it with something more personal, such as photos of your hobbies, your skills or just anything you feel comfortable posting. I’d say that there isn’t really the right answer to “What’s way too personal?”. Some people post absolutely everything, some post nothing at all. It’s up to you and where you set your boundaries. Just know that a social media audience likes a good sneak peek into your personal life.
Something you can’t forget when working on your personal brand is storytelling. Why storytelling? Because people like stories. Of course, we’re not talking about writing a sci-fi book, but simply creating a story around your brand that your audience can engage with. If your brand isn’t telling a story, it’s wasting its potential beforehand. Great examples of ways to tell a story online are written content or videos. Use your profile to engage with people as much as you can. It’ll give them a more profound feeling of socializing with you and that’s very good for your brand. Also, the warmer and friendlier your approach is, the nicer you’ll be in the eyes of your clients.
One of the things that challenges people is being consistent. This is super important when it comes to building your brand. People will start recognizing it once they’ve come across your profile or heard of you a few times. Using multiple platforms is fine, but your approach and image should be the same on all of them. If it’s not, people might get confused. One of the purposes of personal branding is to give people the feeling of knowing you, and that is impossible, if your image keeps changing. Make sure the fonts, styles, designs and logos you use are harmonized and your message doesn’t change completely.
Being successful doesn’t happen overnight. If you work for the goals you set, but don’t succeed on the first try, don’t worry and definitely - Don’t give up! Failure isn’t a nice feeling, and all of us want to avoid it, but failing is, unfortunately, a normal part of life. Everyone who’s done something to move forward had to fail a few times. We don’t have to view failure as a bad thing. Rather look at it several times, try to learn from your past mistakes and try to make it better next time. Even the best brands always try and fail. What’s a better way to learn how to do things successfully than looking at our own mistakes?
Building a brand for yourself is really important today and the idea of it makes some people feel uncomfortable, but missing out on the opportunity to control your online persona isn’t worth it. Especially if your goal is to create a positive social media impact. Personal branding doesn’t have to be uncomfortable. Just remember the most important rule — Stay genuine.
Facebook Groups are one of the basic components of Facebook. You are probably even a member of some of them.
It's a place where people with the same interests can connect online. The basic principle is that it is an online place for people to discuss, share experiences and express their opinions and attitudes. It also allows people to organize events, share photos, videos, or broadcast live videos.
Any Facebook user can create a group and its operation is completely free. Each user can be a member of up to 6,000 groups at the same time.
Unlike FB Pages, groups can be closed, and while the Page serves primarily for brand presentation, groups are focused on users and their activity in the community.
Public groups are the ones anyone can find and join. On the other hand, Closed Groups can be found, but their content is hidden and the membership must be approved by its moderator or administrator. This is a great tool to control who wants to join the community and thus control the membership. The highest level of privacy is offered by the Secret group. You cannot view or search those on Facebook. Members of these groups are directly invited by administrators or other members.
If you run a social media profile, you've probably thought of what to put on your content calendar. You want to create and publish something that truly brings value to your audience and resonates within them, right? User generated content can help you not just fill your content calendar, but truly bring something that gives a new perspective to your business.
User generated content, as the name suggests, is content that is voluntarily created by your best customers – brand advocates – and shared so that their audience can see it. It is basically the best thing your customers can do for you – refer their friends to you/ share your product(s) or speak about your service(s)!
Imagine you are an owner of a gym that is visited by dozens of customers daily. What if some of them posted a photo to their social profile, exercising in your gym and saying something nice about your place. Wouldn't that be great? Could that bring you new customers? Absolutely.
79% of users say user generated content has a high impact on their purchasing behaviour. That simply underlines what we've stated earlier.
In 2014, Starbucks came up with a White Cup Contest which, guess what, is focused on user generated content… You can read more about the contest here. The only thing we will say is that they collected over 4,000 pieces of content! That just goes to show the true power of brand advocates. Your business can do that too – probably on a smaller scale, but you can. Remember that every one of your best customers can bring you another one. Your brand advocates grow as your business grows…
If you say your product is the best, some people might believe you straightaway. But isn't that statement much stronger when made by someone who is already a loyal customer and has no other interest in regards to promoting your brand? User generated content brings true authenticity into your content and, thus, gives others another perspective of your business.
People love seeing the product they aim to buy has great reviews! It gives them proof that their purchase won't be a mistake. Social proof – proof by someone other than the business itself – is a strong weapon and we encourage you to use it in your content calendar. Look at Amazon. Their products have thousands of reviews, which makes it far more valuable and far more worth it to buy for new customers.
Let us look at some other examples of great user generated content shared mainly on Instagram:
Get your audience on board. Talk to your best customers and motivate them to create a good product review, unboxing video or simply a happy picture while using your product or being at your cosy place (café, gym, etc…). Those who love your product will happily help you get it in front of other customers, trust me.
The use of influencers is a trend that has been here for some period of time. Brands work with people who gather an audience that fits their plan. Simple as that. They often collaborate with celebrities who are followed and trusted by millions of people, experts in a given industry, or gamers that record their gaming sessions. If you can find someone who has your target audience, team up!
The fact is that you don't have to work with widely known influencers, pop stars or famous athletes. Find so-called micro influencers who help you reach a smaller audience, but with higher precision. The cooperation won't cost you a fortune and results will follow, as well!
Micro influencers, in most cases, generate higher engagement with their audience and are more passionate about increasing their audience. If you start cooperating with them at the beginning of their journey, your business relationship can grow into something that constantly helps you achieve your business goals and to build a wider (and more relevant) audience.
The best collaborations, nonetheless, are the ones that are natural and not “too obvious”. Give some micro influencers in your surroundings your product, let them play with it and tell you whether they like it or not. Those who do are your best fit. They will happily (and naturally) promote your product within their audience.
In this post we've stressed the strength of your customer base and your audience – motivate them to tell the world about your stuff and let them bring you new business. Find new alliances with micro influencers, let them fall in love with your product and enjoy the fruits of your (hard) work!
One of the buzzwords and a key trend in marketing is automation. Even though it may sound complicated and unaffordable for small businesses, the opposite is true – you only have to know where to begin. If you know what to focus on, choose the right software and analyze your efforts, marketing automation can truly get your business to the next level.
Marketing automation is, as the name suggests, a category of technology that streamlines your marketing activities. It gives you the power to focus on customers with the highest potential and saves your time by triggering messages (campaigns) across multiple channels without you having to start them manually. A miracle, I know.
There is always a buzz around new technologies. We recommend reading our article about the difference between Hype & Trend. Marketing automation, we believe, is a trend to stay. Jump on the train as soon as you can. No matter how big your business is. If you choose an affordable solution, your business can never be too small for this.
There are more arguments to start using a marketing automation tool:
Stop. Doing. Manual. Work. Period. Let technology help you automate. It's not as hard as it looks. You will find out soon, just bear with us…
Let us guide you through the very first steps to start using marketing automation that will take your business to the next level.
Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you'll track it. This is a prerequisite to get started. If you don't clearly set your expectations, you won't know where to go and you won't recognize when you get there.
Do you want to save time? Great! Are you more interested in increasing your response rate? That's cool too. Would you like to generate more leads? That counts as well. Goals and expectations should come out of your status quo - no one will help you here, just you, so start by defining your goals.
Know the journey of your customer. You can only optimize if you know what leads your customers to purchase. We are fans of marketing funnels that help you (in a simplified way) understand the customer journey. Draw one for your business – you will get a better idea of where your customers get stuck.
Let us give an example here. Say you run your real estate business. Your primary selling point is your website with all the listings and offers. You run Google, Bing and social media ads to generate traffic. You might send some newsletters too.
Your primary goal is to generate leads and close them, right? There are multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey (before you close the deal). Here is what a customer journey may look like:
Now that you know how your customers behave – you've identified the touchpoints, let's slowly start automating. Or better said, let's find out what can be automated. Tools like Hubspot, ActiveCampaign or Keap are mostly focused on email marketing, social media ads, search & display ads, SMS, widgets and pop ups on the website. These represent the channels that you can use to get in touch with your audience. Let us expand on our example above. The touchpoints where the communication can be fully automated are now marked in red:
There are plenty of tools to choose from. Going back to your potential question: “Are these tools affordable for small businesses?”, note that you don't have to pick Marketo or Hubspot to automate your efforts. These are tools mainly for enterprises that operate with big marketing budgets. Not in our case. We go small. But effectively…
Let's list some of the tools you can use to start automating your communication:
ActiveCampaign gives you not just marketing automation software, but CRM on top. Its pricing starts at 9 USD (if paid annually) and offers not just email marketing, but also SMS, Facebook targeting, subscription forms and personalised content on your website. It's a great tool.
You will have to go deeper into your pocket here. Plans start at 49 USD, but they offer you a sales pipeline plus invoices & payment management on top of what ActiveCampaign gives you. If you lead a sales team, this can be a great choice.
As well as other automation tools, Drip focuses on campaign orchestration – creating a single view across multiple channels. We worship the 360°customer view and so does Drip. Their focus is ecommerce and they offer great features, like personalised product recommendations.
It started solely as an email marketing tool, and is now moving into the automation platform. Mailchimp offers features like landing page creation, social media ads and soon-to-be-launched marketing CRM. Pricing starts at 9,99 USD plus they offer a freemium to play with the tool and use basic features.
We love Zapier – the glue of the internet. It allows you to connect two platforms that, by themselves, do not communicate with each other. Say you generate leads on your Wix website and need to send them to your Drip account. Zapier helps you do that – automatically of course. With more than 1,500 platforms, they are the real glue of the internet...
As much as we love Zapier, we adore our own solution – groost. The name itself says that it'll grow & boost your business. We do it by automating and simplifying your campaign management. If you need to generate more leads, increase website traffic or get more post engagement on your social media profile, you probably run paid campaigns – knowing that organic reach is constantly decreasing – which can be overwhelming. Learning how Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or Bing Ads work takes ages. Not with groost – a single platform for all your marketing efforts. We do offer freemium too to show your business on both Facebook and Instagram – try it out!
Make sure to come back and analyze your efforts. As Peter Drucker said, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Analyzing what works and what doesn't is crucial. We recommend running continual AB testing to optimise every step of your funnel and every touchpoint with your customers. All tools that have been listed above allow you to do so easily.
These are the 5 easy steps to get started with marketing automation. Some of them might seem obvious, but believe me, there is no shortcut. Set your priorities first, define the customer journey and touchpoints, find out what can be automated, choose the right tool(s) and after some period of time, come back, analyze and improve.
Do you run your Instagram account, but see it is not as successful as other businesses' profiles?
Building up a community on Instagram is really difficult and it takes a long time to gain followers who are engaging with your content. To find your followers, it is crucial to maintain content that is relevant, entertaining, consistent and frequent. Once you master this, you can start to build a larger following of Instagram users for your profile.
So what can you do to get more followers?
Gone are the days of driving through different neighborhoods and searching for houses and apartments with the for-sale sign. With around 50% of new homeowners finding their new homes online and only 7% finding it through the traditional yard sign it is easy to see why online advertising is becoming very important and effective in the real estate industry. More and more buyers are using the internet to search and find their dream house and it is easy to see why. Today’s technology allows us to search for any corner of the country for properties from the comfort of our living rooms.
So, with everything happening online here are 5 effective ways to sell houses with online advertising.
Most people have been through the struggle and know how you feel or have felt when writing a piece of content for Facebook, “What text am I supposed to put here?”, “Is this gonna work?”, “Is this too informal?” Writing an engaging post on Facebook – for your business page, as this is what I will be talking about here (not your personal page where you know perfectly who you represent and what tone of voice to use) – can be challenging. You are trying to get the customer's attention, arouse a reaction and avoid ignorance...
How do you write posts that simply can't be ignored? This is what we will explore in the following 5 tips. Keep in mind, that before you write or produce ANY PIECE OF CONTENT, have your targeted audience in mind. What will be appealing to them? What tone of voice should you use? These are some of the questions that you need to answer.
So, let's dive into 5 tips, so that you know how to become your own best-in-class copywriter. Oh, or not yet… I probably did not stress enough how important it is to catch one's attention! So let's take one step back…
The 21st century offers almost unlimited ways to reach out to your desired audience, your potential or current customers. And that's the problem. There are many ways, many advertisers, businesses (like yours) targeting an audience that has its limits. Especially when it comes to attention span. The more stories we tell and the more frequently we are trying to tell them, the less time we have to draw our audience's attention.
8 seconds per one piece of content is on average the time span of a person spending time on social media (by the research conducted by Microsoft). In 2000, it was 12 seconds which only shows how rapidly the span decreases. For some of the placements, like Instastories, it is even less – around 3 seconds. That being said, you truly have to catch the eye or remain ignored…
Luckily, I am about to share some tips for you. If you follow them, your chances will increase!
The user's desire. That is your Holy Grail around which your activities should be tied. When you create a copy, make sure to address it. No one is interested in “just another product”. Need or desires to be addressed first, product/ offer comes afterwards…
Don't speak about yourself. With all due respect, no one is interested (unless you own a big and known brand). Bring your audience into your text, speak about them, use words like “you”, use questions to draw the attention, have a dialogue rather than a monologue...
Everyone has them. Values, beliefs and roles we play or want to play in our lives- we rarely speak about them, but have them in mind every time we make a choice when picking your best suit for a date or arriving at a business meeting in your luxury car. Apple is great at attracting our values and beliefs. Is it a piece of hardware, a PC or mobile phone, or rather something else that increases your status in other people's eyes? The answer is clear, I believe… Be Apple. Leverage on these values and beliefs when describing your offer or when designing a catchy headline.
Note: I do not encourage you to be manipulative. If you cannot help your customers with your product, if you truly cannot satisfy their needs and make their desires come true, stop reading this article, please. But if you and your product can help customers, feel free to show it…
When creating a FB post, there are certain platforms for which you create the copy. Mostly, it is the text above the picture or video, or a headline that occupies the largest place accompanied by a description. There are few models (continue reading) that – if used well – can help you draw the user's attention more effectively. Follow them and…
I know. This has been said thousands of times. But how many of you run AB testing every time you create an ad? Do you think thoroughly before creating the second version that is the copy or do you follow the kind of approach: “Oh, I should do a second version… Let me change one word here… and that's it! I will run the AB test now!”
Testing is the only right tactic to find out what resonates most within your audience. Who does not test, pretends to predict the future or relies on her thoughts…
I promised to present you some models, structures you can follow to create outstanding Facebook posts. Here you go…
But let us first showcase what a Facebook post usually looks like:
Ask a question in the text section, answer it (by offering your product, service), use call to action in the headline and add a proof that your solution works (testimonials, number of users, …) in the description section. This model works best if your audience already faces the issue you aim to fix or a desire you aim to satisfy.
Make the reader feel like you are reading her thoughts when reading the text. Make her feel completely identified with what you write there. Use a combination of short stories and metaphors. After she feels like she just read her life's story, make her complete the action in the headline – offer a way out, a way to improve, a way to get what she desires. In the description, use a sense of urgency. There is something called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that drives people crazy (make sure to read the article after completing this one).
Try to invent your method of approaching your audience in a way that simply cannot be ignored! There are many approaches that can be followed. Go out with your copy, test it and let me know on my LinkedIn profile what worked for you!
Note: The structure text, headline and description applies for posts that contain a link. If you share a picture, text is the only editable section. Similar rules apply in that case.
Here are some of the posts that were created in a really smart way:
After your post has been published, make sure to check the results! This may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone is checking how well the content performs. Do not be one of them. Measure and build on what works. Facebook allows you to see the engagement rate (percentage of people who interacted with your posts divided by the number of people reached) in the Insights tab. The higher the engagement rate, the better your post has resonated within your fan base.
You have been given very concrete instructions on how to write an outstanding Facebook post. Keep in mind this is a lot about testing and finding what works for your business. There are, nonetheless, some rules that haven't been mentioned yet: