How to Build Your Personal Brand

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?

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Stay true to yourself and your audience

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.

Choose your audience

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.

Don’t just sell

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.

Become a storyteller

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.

Be consistent

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.

Don’t fear failure

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.


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Best Social Media Scheduling Tools You Want to Use in 2020

Being active on social networks pays off in the long run. Customers expect you to be active. It is a sign that your business is performing well so they can rely on your services and products.


If you think about accurate presence in digital space, it often counts number of social media profiles. I think you would agree that communicating and publishing content on social media can be a bit time consuming…or a lot.


This activity is very important, but can be done automatically. The right tools will help you publish posts in just a few clicks. Moreover, at the right time, because within each social network there are different and more effective times in which to contribute to different target groups.


There are hundreds of tools available on the market that offer different features in different price ranges. This article is a selection of several proven applications to help you.

Buffer

A well-known and easy to use tool for scheduling your social media posts. This should be your starting point for these kinds of apps. Buffer allows you to connect all major accounts and it’s manageable from your smartphone.

Free plan: 3 social accounts, 10 scheduled posts, 1 user.

Pricing: from $15/ month

Kontentino

When it comes to scheduling posts and getting permission to publish, Kontentino is the tool you need.

Free plan: NO

Pricing: from $54/month


Hootsuite

An all-in one marketing platform. It offers auto-scheduling so Hootsuite automatically picks the right time to post. It even supports the import of hundreds of social media posts at once, in CSV format. With an easy-to-use mobile app, you can manage your content and scheduling on the go.

Free plan: 3 social accounts, 30 scheduled posts, 1 user

Pricing: from $19/month

Planoly

If you are focused on Instagram, Planoly should be in your choice. This mobile app will allow you to visually plan your feed, schedule posts and even add stories. You can reply to your comments directly from Planoly and analyze all data.

CoSchedule — Editorial Calendar

With CoSchedule you can organize your blog and social media content in one place. Editorial calendar in CoSchedule has a great UI, where you can plan posts by drag and drop.

Sked Social

The former Schedugram is now Sked and is a tool for scheduling and automated adding Instagram Stories. In addition to scheduling Stories, Sked also offers Visual Planning, so you can view the wall and see what it looks like without having to add individual posts.

Free plan: NO

Pricing: from $25/month

Postify

The biggest advantage of Postify is that it is free. Only when you need to connect 15 accounts or more do you have to pay $9.99 per month. Although, Postify is not the most visually app-friendly application, it does its job and this makes it a very good tool.

Free plan: Yes

Pricing: from $9.99/month

Later

Probably the best Instagram automation tool. It also offers the ability to publish to other platforms, but focuses on Instagram the most. It offers a mobile app that captures all setup and publishing.

Free plan: 1 account per platform, 30 scheduled posts, 1 user.

Pricing: from $9/month


Scheduling for Facebook

Even Facebook itself offers a feature to schedule your posts. Just create a post in Publishing Tools, select Schedule and pick a date. It is that easy. There's only a small problem, because it doesn't allow you to publish a post into multiple social media profiles. But still, scheduling multiple posts, as opposed to one per day, can still be an excellent time-saver.

Free plan: unlimited

TweetDeck

If you are focused on Twitter, TweetDeck could help you with scheduling your posts. It is an app directly from Twitter. It has some basic features, but it is easy to use.

Free plan: unlimited

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7 Ways to Save Time on Daily Sales & Marketing Tasks

You, as an SMB owner, have a bunch of daily sales and marketing tasks you are probably facing every day, right? With these tips we will help you save some time.

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10 Best Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

There are over 7,000 marketing tools you can use today. And I'm going to name them all. No, just kidding, Scott Brinker already did. Actually, he updates the database every single year, so I don't have to. ;)

  • If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to spend it browsing a list of tools, here is an Excel sheet
  • If you want to print it as a poster for your bedroom wall, click here
  • If you are a marketing expert, I would appreciate your feedback down there, in the infamous comments section.

If you are new to marketing and want to learn about the 10 most useful tools for small businesses, keep reading!

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How to Find and Engage Your Target Audience on Instagram?

If you are reading this then you have probably heard of Instagram. It is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. With over 1 billion monthly active users and more than 500 million daily users.Nowadays more and more businesses are using Instagram as a key marketing tool when it comes to online marketing.

 

But it is important to do your research and learn the ins and outs about marketing on Instagram. So you can enjoy all the benefits it has to offer and create the best possible marketing strategy to ensure great results.

 

Your main objective is to find your target audience and engage with them in the best way possible. This is achievable by using a number of key tactics and data which are all available to you via Instagram. Studying this information will help you come up with the best marketing strategy for your business. Which will help you reach your targeted audience to ensure you are offering your product or services to the right people.

 

Sound interesting. Here are the key methods to finding and engaging with your targeted audience on Instagram.

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How Do Sponsored Social Media Posts Help You Reach WAY MORE People?

Have you already come across social media posts tagged with “Sponsored”? Do you wonder what they mean and on which principle they work? Good question! An even better one would be, how can these posts help you reach way more people than you do with your organic posts – the ones that you publish on your social media timeline? In today's post, we will uncover not just that, but also concrete steps to get started!

Truth be told, you can use these types of posts to reach many more people than you do today…

But before we jump into what a sponsored post means, let's look at what it doesn't. Say that you run an Instagram profile and add posts to your profile. So do we. This is what it looks like:

Instagram Feed

These posts are the ones that appear on your social media profile and most importantly, on the feed of your followers and friends. The ratio between the number of people you reached with your posts and the total number of followers is your ORGANIC REACH. The more people who follow your profile, the more people you can reach with every one of your social media posts. Therefore, it is important to build your audience.

But what if you want to reach more people? What if you want to expand your reach to someone who hasn't liked your page yet? Both answers will be clarified, go ahead and continue reading...


In regards to the organic reach, we have to tell you the cruel truth. The organic reach is constantly decreasing. What that means for you, is that you no longer reach the same number of people as you did before. 

We have covered this topic more thoroughly in this article, but to point out the importance of this decrease, see the graph below:

Facebook Organic Reach Decline

From 2012 to 2016, the organic reach on Facebook has sunk to almost zero…


Let's do some math to understand it perfectly. Say your page or profile has 10,000 followers. Due to the organic reach decline, your organic posts may reach between 300 and 800 people based on its performance – making your organic reach between 3% to 8%. Now the chance that some of these 300 to 800 people interact with your content is way lower than if you reached 3,000 to 8,000 people (call me captain obvious). It may sound logical and totally clear, but ignoring this fact and relying solely on your organic reach may cost you your share of voice or market share. In other words, you may lose your followers, fans and customers if you don't act.


Now that we've come through what organic posts mean, let's finally clarify what these “sponsored” posts are that serve you targeted content on your social media feed…


Refresh your Facebook or Instagram feed and scroll for a few seconds… Stop, there it is! A post that looks like any other one with one small difference. It is tagged with “Sponsored” in the upper part. Can you see it?

Vogue Business on Instagram

You will find plenty of these on your feed. And most of them will be perfectly targeted at you – based on your interests and preferences. Now the key is to leverage this feature for you and your business, isn't it?


Let's dive into how this sponsored content works. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tik Tok and other social media platforms allow you to run ads through their advertising interfaces. You sign up, learn how the platforms work and jump straight into promoting your content. These interfaces – let's call them the Campaign Manager Accounts for now – remain unknown to “ordinary” users. It's all the magic that “happens in the background”. 


Let's take Facebook as an example. Say I want to promote our post that has been (organically) published on our timeline:


Facebook Feed

Organically we didn't reach as many people as we'd like to. Let's promote the post then…


Either in Facebook Business Manager or tools like our own app, you can follow a few steps and create your campaign – sponsor a post. By defining your goal, marketing persona, budget and message, you can expand your reach and speak to people that have never heard of your business before or show your content to followers you'd not have been able to reach organically.


Going back to our example, let's say that we want to target small business owners in California. According to data from Facebook, we could reach 290,000 people, respectively 277 to 800 people a day for less than $10 a day. 


Yes, promoted posts are about investing something into expanding your reach. But as you see, you don't have to sit on millions of dollars in marketing budget to speak to more potential customers than you probably do today. You don't even have to sit on hundreds of dollars to achieve your goal of reaching more people… 


Not to say that when they purchase from you, your investment is back – with interests (or margin:)


This is what the set up would look like...


Facebook Ads Manager

With only a few clicks – in case you use tools that simplify this process – you are able to start your campaign (sponsored post). 

The best thing is, that you target your posts solely at people who are relevant to your business. In other words, you tailor your content to people that can become your customers, followers or fans.


Say you run an eshop with accessories. You sell watches, necklaces, small pieces of clothes, rings and other goods. You have two types of products: those made for men and those made for women. 


You manage your Instagram profile and post content about your customers’ satisfaction (reviews), newest pieces of clothes and inspiration as to how they fit with other outfits. This content can be interesting for both men and women. But what if you want to run a campaign targeted solely at men with the goal of selling all the men's watches that have been sitting in stock for a long time? That's when the sponsored post comes into play…


The process has already been described: you define your goal (sell more watches), marketing persona (men in California between 25 and 45 years old, interested in fashion), choose which channel you want this post to appear on (Instagram), set your budget and campaign length ($5 a day for 7 days) and finally, create your great content – the ad that your potential customer sees on his feed. Say your post looks something like this:

Example of an Instagram Post

Thanks to this campaign (while using the setting in the brackets), you are able to reach more than 7,000 people. And you've invested $35 in total. Awesome, isn't it?


Is this the only option to increase your organic reach, you may ask? It's definitely not. Marketing is all about synergy. You may want to combine more tactics to achieve the best results. 


Let's go through some tips & tricks that can work perfectly with (or without) promoting your posts.

Create engaging content that can't be ignored

Again, this may sound obvious, but is not always completely understood. Creating super engaging content comes first, along with understanding your audience! If you don't know who you're talking to, your speech can never really resonate, right? 


It's like in life. Imagine you go on a date with a pretty and intelligent woman who is into fashion and yoga. You spend the whole time speaking about the Super Bowl! How would that date end? You probably know the answer... 


The same applies to your social media profiles and any content that you publish. If you create something that no one's interested in, you decrease not just your reach, but also engagement. 


Start with defining your marketing persona and create content that they find interesting, educating, funny or shocking – anything that goes with your brand.


If you do so, your followers will like, comment, share and recommend your content and products. Thus, you can leverage the real power of social media: the snowball effect that happens once people share your content.


Leverage other channels and platforms

Let me share one secret with you. Your followers are not only on Facebook or Instagram. They also use other platforms like Youtube, Pinterest, LInkedIn or Tik Tok. In fact, an average American Internet user has more than 7 social media accounts. That being said, you should definitely leverage the potential to reach your audience where they are (and where your competitors probably aren't… yet)


Platforms like LinkedIn or Tik Tok have a much higher organic reach now. They are where Facebook was a few years ago. That may change as they grow and decide to monetize their audience, but till then, you can build your follower base and successfully grow your business! Go for it...


Are you also suffering from a continuous decrease in organic reach? Do you reach less people than you'd like to? Try some of these tactics and let us know how it has helped :)

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6 Reasons Your Online Advertising Brings No Results

Let’s be honest — some online ads simply don’t work. At least we think that they don’t. Or better put, we judge them before knowing the real reason they don’t… Now, there are almost unlimited ways to reach your target audience on the internet: targeting people who search on Google with your search ad, capturing people’s attention with your promoted social media post, direct messaging on LinkedIn or creating a short video on Youtube. There are many channels and many types of ads that can use to target your potential customers.

But why the heck don’t they work for you? Many businesses have rapidly grown thanks to online advertising and yours hasn’t. What is it that makes your campaign inefficient?

First of all, be clear on the problem you are facing. What metrics say that your campaign is not working? Is it the ROI (return on investment — easily put, how many dollars are you making out of 1 dollar you invest in the ad), cost per lead (in case of lead generation campaigns) or number of people your campaign reached? When reporting on your marketing efforts, make sure to be as precise on the desired metrics as possible. “Thoughts” are the worst reporting tool.

Secondly, who is running your ads? Is it you who has access to all the important metrics and reporting or do you outsource ad management to someone else? If so, are they fully transparent on the process of a campaign setting? Do they let you “watch the chef while cooking”?

Let us be clear: this point is crucial. Online advertising is not a black box. It truly works and increases the ROI if done well. But if not, there is no positive ROI, just money thrown out of the window… What I am trying to say is, that there will be plenty of companies charging you for the ad management who are not truly willing to help you. As a result, your campaign ends up being inefficient.

Let’s say you are running the ads on your own and still suffering from lack of efficiency. We won’t let you down. We’ve prepared a few points which — when done well — will increase your ad efficiency.

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