If your brand is defined as the thoughts, feelings and emotions conjured up in a person when exposed to you and your business…

Then why isn’t your business communicating with more heart in your marketing?

In other words, are you KEEPING IT REAL and showing the personal, human side of your business? And if you are… then how do you know just how much is too much? We’ve all seen the business owner who ‘over-shares’ their entire life on Facebook, so my guess is that you’ve probably shied right away from showing anything personal about yourself… right?!

Well this could be damaging your business’ brand even more! Let me explain…

“We live in a time where brands are people and people are brands”.

Brian Solis, What’s the Future of Business?

Here’s an example. I was trying to send some invitations out to prospects this week, and I needed to find out the name of the business owner. Not a hard task? Well yes it was! I looked on the About Us page of each of the company websites, and every time could not find any information about the human beings in those small to medium sized businesses! Not even a name! Let alone learn anything about their business such as their mission statement, their business culture, their future vision, their humanitarian side, and what made their business DIFFERENT to everyone else.

I ask you, how does a business expect to make a real connection with a potential client if they don’t even reveal the names of the key people behind the company?!

Living in the age of social media; YouTube, Facebook, Instagram…. etc, e-newsletters, online product reviews and forums,pod casts, mobile apps and every other way to connect 24/7 with your favourite brands… why is it still such a big deal for a business owner to put their name and their key staff’s names on their company website?!

I always smile when I present an online marketing workshop and the first thing I’m asked is what social media outlets should that particular business be on. And then when I list the obvious ones, there is always the business owner in the room who answers smugly… “Well we tried Facebook and it doesn’t work. Our target market just doesn’t want to hear about our business there.”

And therein lies the answer… STOP SELLING your business and your services so much and put some deeper thought into how you can CONNECT and ENRICH the lives of your audience. Give them something of VALUE that can then develop TRUST.

What better place than your company Facebook page, Instagram or Twitter, to start getting REAL with the human being BEHIND the business, and get into the conversation about the essence of your business and your company culture. Take it one step further and connect personally through your own profile! Communicate the heart and soul of what you do, why you do it, what it is that makes you unique as the business owner, and what motivates and inspires your team to deliver great results for your clients. Imagine having conversations!

“People will talk about you whether you are there to hear it or not.
The questions you have to answer are:
What do you want them to say? What do you want them to do? and What do you want them to feel? Answer these questions and you start to design intentional experiences.” 

Brian Solis, What’s the Future of Business?

Show your team, show where you hang out on weekends, show your office and behind the scenes of staff meetings and events that you attend. Highlight your friends in business, seminars you attend and famous presenters you lined up for half an hour to meet (this is one of my favourite social media strategies, and then when you hashtag the presenter into your post you get even more responses and exposure to their wider audience!).

Get real with your social media and online activities. Have an opinion, share it! Be controversial (but be sure to be able to back up your claims!). But most of all, don’t hide behind your company website. STAND OUT. Be the person in your industry that has an opinion and start talking about it. Create PR opportunities because you actually stand for something as a person of influence in your industry.

Think of someone successful in business that you really admire, who truly lives by their personal and business brand. Study how they market themselves and their business, and emulate their successful traits. They know who they are and they are happy to stand out. Boring, generic marketing gets lost in the noise. Bold, personal and ‘real’ brand message get noticed!

It may not be the easiest thing to do, and you may need some help. Our door is always open, and the phone is always on (well, maybe not on weekends! – If you follow me on Facebook then you will know that most weekends I’m off with my family and dog somewhere in the great outdoors – which by no coincidence are my most popular Facebook posts!) Companies like ours have great information sessions around this, we can provide training for you and your team, or if you just want to get results now, we can provide the full service for you. 

You want your business and brand to be part of that conversation….

Melissa x

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