Building a brand’s profile is like building Ikea furniture - you must use all the pieces or run the risk of it coming unstuck. And while it can be an intricate and sometimes 'fiddly' process, if you want to be noticed, you must do what needs to be done.
Unfortunately, this already challenging goal is made harder by a rapidly changing media landscape with Australian media outlets sitting precariously on quicksand and many print publications going the way of the dinosaur. All this means is that it’s time to get creative and move beyond merely focusing purely on the media to do all the heavy lifting. Why? Because:
The remedy? Adjust the way you think about PR and publicity and build your brand profile across multiple channels and to change how you think about. Yes, appearing on a morning TV show, as a guest on a radio program or being quoted in a daily newspaper is gold, but it may be just the beginning.
These days, before people buy, they do a search using Google (or their search engine of choice), YouTube, or another social media channel. How do you show up? Are you even present on a Google search beyond your own Facebook and LinkedIn profile? A rock-solid brand takes up a few pages of a Google search.
An important thing to remember is that brand building is one-part strategy, one-part execution and one-part perception. Having a solid presence online – ie. being Googlelicious – goes a long way to making a good first impression.
Once you know how you show up, you can then plan your strategy to fill the gaps. Your plan should outline the content you need to create (tailored to the platforms you need to be on) AND how you will execute the plan and measure for impact. Do not leave your brand building to chance or adopt a stop-start approach.
You should also reassess and reflect on your target audience – how do they get their info and news, what platforms do they favour, what problems are they trying to solve and what help do they need (that you can offer).
No one is on JUST one platform... and people need multiple 'touches' before they know, like and trust you. This means you must be clever about where you post your content and messaging. This is where repurposing exerts its muscle. If you're regularly writing blogs or content, you can repurpose this content into other forms of content – from social media tiles, videos, webinars, infographics, Facebook lives, eBooks and posts into groups to start conversations.
Naturally, I need to mention the obvious, low-hanging fruit in this article.
Journalists post call outs for experts and case studies to help tell their stories using this platform, and you can get access to every call out (or media lead), every week day for free. (Then if you wish to regularly respond to these call outs via your 'Drink Up!' Alert email, you can sign up to for as little as $6 a month.) Straight into your inbox, every single weekday are requests for help with stories from media outlets like the ABC, SmartCompany, SMH, 10Daily, Daily Telegraph, AFR, The Age, Women’s Weekly and The Australian.
The platform is super easy to use, but given the level of competition vying to be quoted in each journalist's story, my top tip is to always answer the call outs ASAP after they hit your inbox (regardless of the nominated deadline).
Once you've gotten over the 'nervous nellies', using Facebook Lives is a brilliant way to get your message out succinctly, quickly and organically. And given it's still finding its feet, Facebook wants you to use this tool and will reward you with eyeballs if you do. In fact, I recently conducted an experiment and made a Facebook Live every day for two weeks. The result? My engagement went up, my views went up and my page likes went up, and it didn't cost a cent.
Lots of digital publications want and need quality content. In fact, if you Google 'article submission sites', you'll see loads of sites that accept articles on a broad range of topics.
To appear in these publications you just need to follow their respective submission guidelines and you could be getting powerful backlinks from places like Forbes or Inc, even Entrepreneur!
Having your content published on credible sites like these can really help build powerful backlinks with lovely breadcrumbs leading visitors back to your site.
To get in front of your ideal audience, another option is to tap into the power of Facebook Groups. By knowing who your audience is, you can narrow down and focus on the right groups for you. But please, before you embark down this path, don't 'dump and run' a weekly promo, only to ever be seen on that day every week. Instead, be the person who follows the rules, posts daily and in line with the group's themes, answers questions, and takes part in the conversations.
Being a guest on a podcast can get you in front of your target audience by tapping into someone else's. But appearing in a podcast is just the beginning. It's then up to you to use the powerful tool called 'leverage' to share the link far and wide.
Being in the spotlight doesn't sit comfortably with everyone. Some of us are content to plod away in the background, doing what we do well and without expecting accolades or recognition.
However, in this age of entrepreneurship, especially the bootstrap kind, self-promotion is often the only cost-effective tool available to shine the light on your achievements. I mean, who else is going to let the world know what you do and how well you do it?
Entering an award contest doesn’t have to be scary, and if successful, will result in ongoing benefits to both you and your business. With so many to enter (from industry-specific, to start up, even product/service based), it just takes a bit of research to see what’s available before you throw your hat in.