SETH PRICE is our guest blogger this week – with some great tips on developing your personal brand.
Hi, I’m Seth Price. As a brand marketer who’s also focused on how this stuff actually builds a business, I wear many hats. I’m a creative problem solver, an executive leader, a digital marketer and a non-stop student who’s not afraid to get my hands dirty. My job is to poke the elephant in the room and create the foundation for tomorrow’s success, today.
Offer your visitors great value—for free
You’re a machine. You’re constantly selling yourself and your value. Trying to get the next listing, the next lead and your next closing. You associate your name with a specific area of expertise and you are delivering useful content – online and off – to earn more visibility and build trust in your community.
Or you’re not.
In either case, the personal brand reputation that you have garnered so far is either working for you or against you. The question you may want to ask is: How can you better leverage your personal brand to accelerate the success of your business?
If the answer to this question piques your interest, then this post, and my new book, The Road to Recognition, is for you. In the book, co-author Barry Feldman and I, cover 26 big ideas to help develop your personal brand. But one of the chapters, O is for Offers, is all about converting some brand equity in measurable ROI.
Both Barry and I have grown our businesses by creating irresistible “offers”. Because what we’ve found over the years is that great personal branders are givers.
It’s called reciprocity—a powerful principle of influence. It’s a simple slice of human psychology. When someone does something for you, you feel obliged to give back. In the spirit of reciprocity, we’ll now dive into a chapter about gift-giving. The ideas will focus on making valuable offers via a web page to help you:
- Build your email list (or capture any contact information)
- Build relationships
- Gain recognition as a subject matter expert
That’s why “O” is for Offers
The pulling power of your offer requires having a firm handle on what your audience wants information and advice about. The good news is the online behavior of your audience will provide the direction you need.
- Search—Mine the free Google AdWords Keyword Planner to determine search volume for keyword phrases and to review related suggestions.
- Social shares—Use Buzzsumo to search by topics and gather insights regarding social shares and tap into popular content that could point the way to the perfect lead magnet.
- Analytics—If you’ve been creating content for any period of time, your Google Analytics will reveal the content your readers find interesting.
- Q&A sites—Spend some time on Q&A sites such as Homes.com, Zillow, Quora and Yahoo! Answers. Similarly, check out forums and groups in your niche.
- Reviews—Mining user reviews is an amazing (and underutilized) way to get inside your prospects’ minds. Read the reviews at mega content sites such as Zillow, Realtor, and Yelp to gather real-world insights about what turns your people on and off.
Create a great freebie
So you landed on a good idea. Now make a great lead magnet.
- Be specific—Tell your audience exactly what they’re going to get. There’s nothing compelling about a vague offer. Be ultra-clear about the benefit of opting in for your free content.
- Deliver a desired result—Capture the attention of your prospects with a lead magnet promising to move them closer to a desired result.
- Provide instant gratification—Everyone wants shortcuts, the fast track, lessons they can apply immediately.
- Be the authority—Demonstrate you’re the expert. A great lead magnet advances the relationship by increasing trust. Create it with the goal of proving you’re the best person to help with the problem.
- Make it worth money—Free or not, the content you create that will help you realize your branding goals should be valuable to the point where people would pay for it if asked.
- Make it look great—Don’t compromise on presentation. Invest the time or money it takes to create a handsome design.
20 ideas for your offer
Here’s a list of strong contenders for your first (or next) offer:
- White paper
- Video or video series
- Research report
- Tip sheet
- Resource guide
- Digital tool
- Infographic or poster
- Product trial
Effective conversion tactics
You have a lead magnet. But it doesn’t sell itself, so it’s time to look at effective ways to showcase your offer and succeed with your conversion efforts.
- Landing page—The most effective way to capture email leads is through a landing page, which showcases your free resource. For optimum conversion, your landing pages should have a singular focus and not include navigational elements that could act as an escape route for the reader.
- Facebook ads —Whether you’re going for a traditional lead capture form or utilizing FaceBook lead ads, creating a great offer to inspire prospects to give you permission to make contact is the key to reducing your cost-per-acquisition.
- Pop-up forms—Pop-ups have become popular and less repulsive to users in recent years. They’re offered in a variety of forms (light box, slide-ins, scroll-induced, exit-induced, etc.) with various features. Don’t knock ‘em. They work.
- Video—You can actually generate opt-ins with your video marketing. Create a free, ungated video and insert an offer within it at the halfway point or end. YouTube allows you to create in-video links as do online video platforms.
- Content upgrade—A content upgrade is meant to capture an email address from a blog reader. Somewhere in your post, you offer an additional free asset, usually a PDF.
- Social media—Mention or feature your lead magnet on your profile page, in your cover photo, or in updates.
- Guest blogs—When you publish a guest post on a blog, offer a lead magnet by including a link to it in your author bio.
Great offers reinforce your personal brand
The equation is simple: personal brands are built on reputation, reputation is built on trust, and trust is created when you add value to your intended audience.
The activities that we do on a day-to-day basis allow us to accelerate our brands and create distinction in the marketplace.
When anyone in business grasps that she can proactively impact the perception that others have about working with her and her business, long before a face-to-face meeting, the aha moment occurs, and the benefits far outweigh the effort.
Personal branding is a road. Your challenge is to steer. A well thought out offer will definitely help you connect with your audience.
Here’s my offer to you. Download 3 chapters of the book for free. Yes, that’s right, try it before you buy it. You won’t be disappointed. Now if you are the impatient type, eager to dive in, go order your copy now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble to get the entire roadmap.