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  • Will Helton

Why “That's not my brand” is going to kill your business

Misunderstanding social media in a business context is the death of a lot of online businesses.



Imagine your phone is ringing....


You answer and it’s Tom, the guy who runs the local hardware shop.


Now, Tom’s a nice guy, always upbeat, and you can count on him for all your household needs.


The problem is, whenever he calls, that's all he ever talks about – his business.


Sure, he’s got the best stuff, it’s almost always in stock, and at the right prices.


But he never has anything else to say - it's always about his shop and his business.


Now imagine how long it would be before you just stopped answering the phone when it’s Tom who’s calling.


This could well be your company’s social media – and you don’t even realise it.


WHO PLANS TO FAIL?


Every business wants to do well. No one starts out with a plan to fail.


But if you believe that social media is just there as a sort of digital megaphone that you can use to shout about your business to the four winds, you’d be wrong.


THERE’S A REASON IT’S CALLED SOCIAL MEDIA


Now imagine when Tom calls he might well talk about his business, but he might also talk about his family. Or his hobbies. Or something interesting or funny he read the other day.


This would make him a far more interesting conversationalist and someone you would want to hear from, not someone you end up actively avoiding, right?


The same is true about your business and social media. If all you ever do is promote your business and the products you sell or the services your deliver, you’re going to turn people off. Worse, they are probably going to start avoiding you.

THE 80/20 RULE


One of the first questions clients ask me when we discuss this topic is, “So what do I do?”. And the answer I always give is this: “Follow the 80/20 rule.”


Put simply, the 80/20 rule says that you should spend 80% of your time sharing useful and engaging information with your audience and only 20% of your time selling.


This often shocks people. A typical reaction is, “Why would I waste 80% of my online marketing time trying to make people laugh or sharing info about something that has little or nothing to do with my business?”. That’s just “not my brand”.


Because you want to prove to them - the people in your audience - that you’re a person, too.


NO ONE NEEDS YOU EVERY DAY


Imagine you run a landscaping company. I’m sure you’d do a great job. But the bottom line is, no one, but no one, needs the services of a landscaping company every day. They just don’t.


But if you were to give your audience helpful tips on how to create stunning borders, what plants go best with what season and a few amusing observations along the way, your audience - those real people we’re talking about - will know you’re out there, that you’re a real, trustworthy person, and they will be far more likely to contact you when they *do* need your services than just some random company they saw on the internet.


See how that works? In marketing, it’s what’s referred to as being “top of mind”. That is, you’re there in their subconscious just waiting to spring out when they need you.


And you don't need some fancy social media toolkit or new social media campaign to achieve this. You just need to be you.


As my friend and business coach, Trevor Moore, always says, “It’s not rocket science, but it is a science.”


In other words, this is a proven strategy.


Remember, you're not trying to get one over on anybody. You’re providing real value to your audience to show that you’re right there with them. That you understand them. That you're a person, too.


And doesn't that make all the difference? Shouldn’t that be part of everyone’s “brand”?


Running a business isn’t easy. It requires a lot of time and effort. But there are only so many hours in a day and not everything can have equal priority.


If you’re finding you just don’t have the time to do your social media justice, get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to discuss some ways we can lighten the load and make your social media perform better for you.


All the best,

Will

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