Here’s where 99% of unsuccessful brands are going wrong: they are too cynical.
What do I mean by this?
I mean that they are getting into online marketing and creating a brand for all the wrong reasons. Most often, this means that they’re getting into it because they want to make a quick buck and they want to promote their product to as many people as possible.
But what does this do? Simple: it turns their brand into one that people will come to associate with spam. It demonstrates a complete lack of interest when it comes to providing value and quality. And it sends signals that this is the case.
I’m telling you this because I don’t want you to make the same mistakes. I want you to realize that in order to have a highly successful brand and build a big audience, you need to choose a niche that you are passionate about. You need to build a brand that you are proud of and that you love. And you need to keep at it out of love, even when it’s not growing as fast as you hoped.
Reasons Why Cynical Doesn’t Work
Take a look at the biggest sites in your niche – the ones that you yourself probably signed up to. These are the sites that have unique logos, stunningly designed websites and an interesting hook that sets them apart from the competition. They provide excellent content and they clearly are invested emotionally in the subject of their blog.
This makes a huge difference because it means that when you land on their site, you know what they’re all about and you trust them. The site looks professional and their writing is eloquent and well informed.
Compare this to a site that has clearly been knocked together and that is only interested in selling to you.
I encounter lots of clients who are attempting to build the latter kind of site. They order generic content, they have bland web designs and they clearly have no interest in the niche and no understanding. And guess what? You never see those sites again. They never make it big. And why would they? They are offering no value to their prospective audiences. They are writing about a subject of which they are ill informed and they selling a product without demonstrating any capability to make something worthwhile.
Building a passion project takes longer. But it is the only way to build an audience. Trust me.
I was recently inspired by the story of a brand that recently made it big. That brand is Charisma On Command, which is all about ways you can present yourself more engagingly and persuade others. The channel is doing very well now on YouTube and in one video, the presenter explained how this success came only once they decided to focus on YouTube and stop concentrating purely on their blog.
The difference was immediately apparent. YouTube gave the creators a way to convey their personalities and thereby to build much closer relationships with their audience. At the same time, they were able to stand out with high quality production values and with a channel that looked and sounded instantly engaging.
And this is something that you should DEFINITELY consider as well if you are currently trying to grow an audience. Here is why:
It’s Not as Hard As You Think
You might be thinking that you don’t have what it takes to create a successful YouTube camera. Maybe you’re reluctant to go in front of the camera or maybe you don’t believe you have the necessary skills.
Firstly, note that a lot of successful YouTube channels like ASAPScience and Mr. Sunday Movies don’t ever go in front of the camera either. As for editing etc., this can often be accomplished through outsourcing.
You Can Stand Out
When head onto YouTube, you can immediately stand out in a way that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. You know those reservations we just addressed? Those are the same reservations held by countless other creators and as such, fewer brands are on YouTube than have blogs.
SEO Actually Works
Because of this lower competition, SEO on YouTube is much simpler and more effective. If you want to become the top video for a popular search term, it’s a simple matter of creating something great, adding the right keywords and then thinking about how you can link it with other popular videos so it will be a suggested video.
It’s Highly Engaging
Finally, video give you the opportunity to get your personality across, to convey emotion and to generally engage your audience in a manner that simply isn’t possible with the written word alone. This means people will be much more likely to subscribe and you can even ask them to follow you on social media, or to sign up to your mailing list.
If you want to create a big audience for your website, business or brand, then social media is likely one of the first platforms you considered. Social networks are all about finding people, brands, products and services we like and then following them. It opens up a line of communication between a company and its fans and this creates a lot of opportunity.
But it’s not easy to stand out in such a crowded space. And it’s not easy to encourage action. So with that in mind, let’s look at some top tips for building your audience on social media…
Add a Twitter Feed for Your Blog
This is a pretty simple and specific tip but it works wonders. If your site uses WordPress (and it should), then look up a widget that will allow you to show your Twitter feed right in the sidebar. Do the same for your Instagram.
Now, when someone lands on your page, they will not only see your social media channel and have the option to sign up but they will also see what it’s like and what they can expect if they do sign up!
Remember, social media is first and foremost a communication tool. That means that you should not only post ‘at’ people but also ask them questions, create competitions and generally get the community involved.
This engagement will mean your page is shown on more homefeeds but it will also build more trust with your audience.
Sell the Dream
This one is particularly important on Instagram but here the tip is to make sure that you are portraying the lifestyle you wish to promote through your social media. Learn who your channel is targeting and think about the kinds of things that get them motivated. Try to inspire them or to fascinate them because ultimately it is emotion that drives decision.
This one is the most important of all: post regularly. This is especially true on Facebook where only a small percentage of your followers see each post. Find ways to make it easier to post more content by using scheduled posting tools, by using apps that post automatically and by linking your various accounts.
Whatever you do, just make sure that you don’t have periods of radio silence on your social media because attention spans are short and momentum is everything!
If you know your niche and you want to build a massive following, then one of the very best things you can do is to engage actively in the community.
So, let’s say you have a well designed site and brand and you just posted a fascinating article on free running. You now have to go about sharing that article in order to get readers and to hopefully gain a few more followers in the process.
One tip you’ll get often is to head to a forum or another online community such as Reddit or Google Plus and then to post there. In doing this, you’ll be gaining exposure for your creation and getting lots of new eyes on it.
Problem: if you head over to r/FreeRunning and post your article, it will probably get downvoted and possibly deleted. And only one person will see it.
Why? Because you’re engaging in blatant self-promotion and close-knit, supportive online communities don’t take kindly to that. Even if the content is good. Not only that, but they don’t know you from Adam and they likely have a number of views and policies, several of which you probably violated.
The Other Approach
Now consider the other approach. You spend time in that community actively taking part. You comment on other people’s posts, you helpfully answer questions and you make friends with several of the members.
Then when you post your article, people see it is written by you. They know you and they trust you and so they click it. And because many people in the community will feel obligated to you and indebted to you for helping them out, they’ll be far more likely to share what you’ve posted in other places.
You now have the force of a whole community behind you. These people are practically guaranteed fans and backers and because you understand this audience so well, you can keep writing content you know is going to be a massive hit with them.
So, the bottom line is this: if you want to grow your audience then you should absolutely spend time in the community making yourself known. This can be transformative in the eventual success of what you release and it’s something that very few creators have used to the fullest of their capability.
And then you can find more communities and repeat the process!
Think about the type of brands that you follow online and the sites you’ve subscribed to. What do they all have in common?
Chances are high that all of them have great production values and a high-quality presentation. They probably have beautiful logos, modern websites that are mobile friendly and active social media channels.
And when you land on a site that doesn’t have these things – that looks like a kid built it in the 90s – you will be instantly put off from following.
So, what does that mean? To grow your audience, you need to invest money. And not necessarily in marketing or other ‘obvious’ methods for increasing an audience. I’m talking about investing in designers, artists and writers.
Imagine Your New Site
Many people who start online businesses don’t have huge budgets to spend on design and other factors. They might also wonder if it’s really necessary for building their audience.
Well the first thing to recognize is that yes, spending that money on good design is 100% necessary. What’s more, is that it probably isn’t quite as expensive as you think it will be. Instead of struggling to make your own logo which will likely look grainy and which will put people off of your website, instead head over to 99Designs and get one made for you for a decent amount of money. It might cost you a hundred or two hundred dollars but the result will be something that informs your audience what you’re all about and that demonstrates your brand has the resources and skill to build something great.
Imagine these same higher production values for your website, for your writing and for every other aspect of your business. Suddenly your site comes alive with youthful energy and it starts to look like the top competitors in your niche.
Why This Really Matters
This matters because if your site looks amateurish, people will assume your information, your products or your services are amateurish too. As such, they’ll be less likely to sign up and less likely to invest time and money into engaging with your brand.
A good place to start is with a PayPal loan. This is a flexible and simple loan for small businesses that places no pressure on rapid repayments. It’s a good way to give your business a little nudge in the right direction with zero risk.
Your private details are safe with us, we will never sell or share your information