The Total Package: Why Creating a Complete Marketing Plan for Your Personal Brand Matters
Imagine this: You read a brilliant book or article from an industry expert. You’re blown away by their insights, and you’re ready for more. You’re jazzed about the opportunity to read more of their thoughts, purchase their product, sign up for their service or even bring them in to speak at your next company summit or annual trade conference. But when you search for additional information on them—a great professional website with article links and contact information, their work on reputable industry sites and other media mentions, you come up empty-handed. Worse: what you do find is personal, and probably not something they’d want potential clients, customers or collaborators to see. How does that affect your perception of them? Suddenly, you may find yourself less convinced of their authority or expertise—and ready to head in a different direction.
Now, let’s think about the flipside. You finish that great piece or book. You go hunting for more and, with a push of a button, you find an abundance of high quality, helpful and professional content—both self-generated and reviews or features on other well-respected sites. You’re convinced they’re the total package, and that you’ve found the person for the job—whatever that job might be. It’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship. And the rest is history.
You’ve probably experienced both scenarios in some form or another. And what you experienced, whether you knew it or not, was the power of Authority Marketing. What is Authority Marketing? It’s the strategic process of systematically positioning a person or an organization as the leader and expert in their industry, community and marketplace to command outsized influence over all competitors. In short, it ensures that when people are looking for a particular product, service, or relationship, they know who to call (for more on the definition, meaning and impact of Authority Marketing, click here). And, as you’ve probably realized by now, to do it well, you need more than just one or two impactful items that convey your greatness. Authority Marketing is all about demonstrating that you’re the total package, and doing so requires a multi-pronged approach.
So, how exactly do you do that? Well, the first step is to have a plan. Most entrepreneurs don’t have a clearly delineated strategy to build authority. Instead, they just go for it, hoping their “organic” approach and charming personality will lead to impressive results. Spoiler alert: they usually don’t, no matter how charming they are. To truly build authority, celebrity and expertise, you have to be systematic and strategic—which is probably not unlike the way you built your business. In our view, there are three crucial elements in getting this right. Here’s what you need to get the job done:
- A personal website that’s anything but unprofessional: You may have an incredible product or service that is poised to disrupt your industry entirely, but if you can’t sell yourself, you may not realize the kind of results you’re imagining. Why? People buy from people, not corporations. No matter how slick your corporate brand is—how perfect your packaging and promotional plan—if your personal brand isn’t on target, you’re bound to turn off potential buyers. That’s why you need a site separate from your business that promotes you. After all, that’s what people are really in the market for, whether they know it or not.
- Big-time visibility: Whether you and your business are looking to serve hundreds more people or millions upon millions of them, you must be visible. But making yourself seen and heard requires more than a website and a social media presence. It requires promotion on other, larger platforms. That’s why we give our authors the unique opportunity to promote their thought leadership through channels with a tremendous audience: the over 14.6 million readers of The Business Journals—America’s largest local business media company, with 43 business weeklies—and Forbes, the largest business magazine in the world, with its international readership of 71 million. The bottom line is this: If you’re highly visible, you don’t have to worry about how people will find you.
- Media buzz: No one wants to be accused of tooting their own horn, and—in part—that’s because it’s not very effective. People are much more likely to believe what others say about you—especially when “others” are members of the media. There’s nothing like an endorsement from an outside source to build your authority.
Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. If you’re looking to build your authority, we can help. Click here for more information on our Authority Marketing System and everything it can offer you and your business.