Before Approaching Zenith was what it is now…
a laid back and focused spot for healthy living and entrepreneurship for creatives
…it was just a blog, alllll the way back in 2009. Back then blogging was much different than it is now. Long story short, bloggers can now make a full income outside of brand deals and affiliate partnerships.
My steam for my old DIY blog Approaching Zenith fizzled out, and I picked up some other paths to earn a side income.
These included being:
- A freelance makeup artist
- A beauty consultant with a multi-level marketing company
- A travel consultant with a multi-level marketing company
There is one connecting theme in each of these entrepreneurial pursuits on why I either failed completely or didn’t reach my full earning worth.
And it’s because I had a business, but I didn’t have a brand.
When you have a brand, you have a reputation. And when you have a reputation, that means that you have made a connection with your target audience, and they recognize you amongst the crowd.
So, here are the 3 reasons why not having a brand was detrimental to my last 3 businesses and fixes so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.
DIDN’T TELL MY STORY
The most important feature of a healthy brand is storytelling. I would say, if you forget everything else from this post, at least remember this.
When you tell a story, that keeps your reader interested. So this means that you’re not just putting up an image to promote your next event and saying, “The Blahdy blah event is next week. Get your tickets today to save your seat!”
This is just too boring for words! I’m sorry, but if you’re doing this, you must stop.
HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY
Instead, tell a story about what is happening behind the scenes. Put YOU in the mix. Show your process.
Why did you create the event? How did you select the venue? Why do people want to attend? What’s the value in it for them?
“Behind the scenes” content is vital for a brand these days. The old ways of just telling the features of a product and expecting people to buy it does not work. You know like the black and white Mr. Clean commercials? You have to share more than just the commercial.
People want to be nosy and see if you’re really doing all this work! Like if you had minions or something, but still.
You know the saying,
Seeing is believing
Well, people need to see that you’re actually working to not only believe it, but to get a visual image in their head that stays with them long after. Then when they see something that reminds them of you, that triggers their recognition brain cells, and that leads to memory of you and the event, or whatever else you’re sharing.
So, you’re not sure what kind of behind the scenes posts to share? Well, maybe that’s because you don’t know exactly who your target audience is.
DIDN’T REALLY KNOW MY TARGET AUDIENCE
So, I knew I was targeting women who preferred a natural approach to makeup in my makeup business, or people who loved to travel as a travel consultant, but I didn’t have a full picture of who that person was.
I was thinking of a group of people rather thinking of a person.
When you share a message or write a blog post, you want the group of people that you talking to feel like you’re talking only to him/her.
HOW TO GET TO KNOW YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
There’s a couple first steps you need to do to get to know your target audience.
Meet Them Where They Are
Go to the social media platforms they’re using, the groups of which they are members (online and offline) and talk with them. Ask questions, but don’t be too pushy. That’s a turn off and people won’t respond.
Create a Persona
Once you get to know people you are targeting and helping, you can get an idea of what their life is like.
Then, create a little story about them, this is what writers call a persona. In your little story (about a paragraph), answer these questions:
• What’s his/her name? (Yes make up a name for your person, it makes them real, so that everything you create is just for them. It makes you personable and not general)
• Does he/she have kids?
• Where does he/she shop?
• What kind of music does he/she listen to?
• What is his/her favorite social media platform?
Add any other questions you would want to know about your character. Also, create a few personas for the different types of people in your target audience.
Understand that even if you represent your target audience, that you still need to do this. People may have a similar characteristic as you, but their interests will be completely different because people are different and unique.
Because of my background and training, I’ve always had an eye for detail, photo composition, and what’s good content, but guess what? None of that mattered because I didn’t post it regularly enough.
If you are not posting consistently, people will not trust you. And if people don’t trust you, they don’t buy from you.
Posting and sharing builds a connection with the reader and if you’re doing it right, your ideal customer.
A relationship must be formed, and an important part of a relationship building is trust, ESPECIALLY online when there are so many freaks and fakers trying to make a quick buck.
Your ideal customer needs to connect with you and trust you, so that they can be sure that the product or service they are giving you their hard earned money for is going to be worth it.
HOW TO GET CONSISTENT
Consistent can mean something different for each person. Just do what you can handle. And what makes sense for your brand. And if you have the means, delegate it to someone else like an assistant.
Set Aside Time
Knowing when and what time you’re going to work on something specific is so powerful. When you set aside a block of time to produce your content, you will be better prepared when it comes around on your schedule. You will find yourself starting to gather materials, so they’re ready when you need to work.
You will also become more productive. Which means getting more done is less time!
To get consistent, you need to get a system for producing content. Decide which days and times are dedicated to photographing the images you need, which days and times are for writing your messages and blog posts, and decide on the days and times you want your content to be shared.
Schedule Your Content
To decide what days your content needs to be shared, you need to have a calendar for it, also known as an editorial calendar.
Put what day you want each social message to come out on each platform, as well as what day each blog post is going to be published.
I use a Numbers document. Each month has a tab with the full monthly calendar in it. Here’s the first week of a month:
(Btw, this template is saved in the “files” tab in my facebook group. Join to go grab it)
If you don’t have a blog for your business or business social media…get them. This is the best way to share your story, plus it’s free.
The other side of scheduling your content is to actually schedule it in advance. For one reason, if the time that the content needs to go out is an inconvenient time for you, then you can avoid that potential inconsistent roadblock altogether. Another reason is that you can be sure that your content will go out a time that is best for your audience to receive it.
PIN IT, PIN IT REAL GOOD
So tell me, what is the next thing you’re going to do to make sure your business succeeds with a brand that consistently delivers value to your target audience?
Here’s to the top,