When you're on the social media scene, chances are you've come across advertising messages subtly weaved through your feed while you scroll through friends’ latest pictures or updates from your favourite artists.
As an emerging artist, marketing student, or budding influencer, the best you can do is control how you might appear if someone was to scroll past you. Do you have a statement to share, a story to tell, or a product to sell? Let's work through four simple ways to boost your personal brand - on any budget.
1. Know thy 'funnel'
The marketing 'funnel' - or, inverted pyramid, or tube - is a concept that has been re-branded time and time again - and for good reason. Understanding the basics of guiding your readers through a 'process' - regardless of its accepted, figurative 'shape' - will be immediately useful in your navigation towards the broader horizons of better, branded content.
- Laws of attraction: Gaining that all-important social "credit" - the likes, hearts or impressions you receive - or leave - on prospective customers.
- The conversion: Turning customers into those all-important "followers" - think of it like "closing the deal" of your brand's acceptance, with your new follower.
- Closing time: This is where that customer turns into a client or consumer. They might look at that link to your bio that you've been plugging, subscribe to your podcast or your Patreon.
- Keep 'em coming: Once you figure out how to attract and close your clients, make sure they come back to you - when they're buying what you're selling.
2. Plan ahead
Create your own posting schedule and be sure to include the essentials. The more that you can provide here, at the brain-storming stage, the better the results will be when you start hitting that 'share' button.
- Platform: E.g. Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter
- Content: Insert your witty commentary here
- Hashtags: Specificity is key (#donutday is infinitely better and more targeted to a specific audience-base than #food)
- Intended audience: Imagine an ideal audience member - unleash your creative streak here. What are they searching for and why are you or your services the answer?
- Call-to-action: What do you want to achieve in this post - is there a link to your main site, or perhaps a contact page that you're plugging?
3. Just keep posting
It may seem counter-intuitive - and that's because it is. We don't tell everyone on the street about what we eat, so it may feel a bit strange - or even embarrassing - to post about what you're up to. Considering this, there should always be a clear line between the personal in your social media and the professional that represents - or is, themselves - the brand. Don't be afraid to experiment with your posting styles - try a long-form, narrative-style post, with a string of hashtags, and compare that to a more "minimal" post. Remember, you can delete anything that doesn't sit perfectly later. But while there are less eyes on your profile than you're dreaming of, it's a great time to test the waters with smaller, audience 'focus groups' in your spare time. Be your own researcher.
4. Rinse and repeat
The process of planning and posting is a simple formula - it can cost as much, or as little, as you'd like. If you wish to test the waters with paid advertising techniques then many social media sites have integrated business management systems, as well as payment systems that can help you "DIY" when it comes to the marketing side of things. They can help you build your brand without quitting your day job. You can start with as little as a dollar a day, and - once again - test out different posting styles and techniques to find out how your content will find its space among the sea of competing voices online. It's also perfectly fine to post about content you've already shared - you can change up the text, do a throwback post, or a "best of" - as long as it feels newer, your content is bound to reach new eyes on each refresh.
Want to find out more about social media and how it can help your personal brand? Or are you looking for the next new challenge to change your life and begin a career in digital marketing? For any digital marketing needs you might have, check out our digital marketing courses.
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