Whether you are a big business doing $50 million to $100+ million in sales or a solopreneur starting from scratch, your goal is to expand, grow, and get more deals in the door. Because if you aren’t growing year over year, your business is dying.
I’ve learned a lot of business success principles from mentors, coaches, clients, and business partners, and there are several consistent strategies for expanding your brand that all of them actively practice.
When we apply them ourselves, our sales explode. When they’re ignored, business takes a hit.
I’m going to share some of these secrets with you today.
I want to emphasize, even as you learn and practice these principles, at the end of the day, it really is all about relationships.
When you’re thinking about all this, don’t get stuck on money, sales, and new deals. All of these are important and necessary. But the precursor is really relationships. That’s the intention you should have when it comes to building your brand. Building a brand isn’t just about your company brand. You, yourself, are also a brand.
And so, there’s two sides: your company brand and your personal brand. How can you tie them together to get more business in the door?
Make a damn plan, Stan
You can’t hit targets you can’t see. You can’t drive forward if you don’t see a green light ahead or stop if the stop sign is not in view.
It’s so easy to ideate on what you want to accomplish, but have you put it down on paper? Maybe your plan, in terms of building your brand, is to grow your email list, increase your social media following, and expand your fan base. But what does that actually look like? What are the numbers you need to reach?
I know if I approach any super-successful entrepreneur and ask them, “Hey, how big is your email list?” the answer is going to relate to the size of their business. It’s a weird tie-in, but ask any entrepreneur, and you can almost always identify how successful they are based on the size of the audience who already know their business, trust it, and like what they have to say.
To get more deals in the door, you need to grow your list — not spam-scraped emails and purchased lists — but active fans who’ve opted in, in some way or another, to hear from you. It could be your social media following or your podcast subscribers, but your email list is the most important because you want to own your list. You don’t want social media platforms to own it.
Reverse engineer what you want to happen.
Let’s say I want 5,000 people. Well, what do I have to do? Will one webinar get 5,000 people to opt in? Or maybe I need to do X number of events every month or X number of social media posts every month or X number of affiliate partner emails every month to get people to opt in on my list.
Let’s say I want to add another $3 million in sales to our business next year. If I’m going to do that, what do I need to do in sales in January, February, and March? What do I need to do in sales in week one, week two, and week three? How many prospects do I need to get in front of right away? If my close rate is 30%, 40%, or 20%, then I need to know my numbers and reverse engineer from the size of my list to sales in the door.
Custom content is context (Say that ten times fast!)
Your content is context for your personality, your brand, and your subject matter expertise. Your prospect could be looking at two companies, seemingly the exact same business with the exact same business model, products, and/or services.
How are they going to tell who’s unique or who has the authority to work with them? The answer is the information and frequency of value shared with custom content.
A lot of marketers go wrong in focusing on one form of content, right? I could write all the articles in the world, but I’m going to be missing out on the attention of people who prefer to consume video. What about people with even shorter attention spans? Maybe they only consume information through short, educational graphics.
Going into 2022, you should be getting content out consistently AND strategizing on how you can repurpose your message in various content vehicles. I need the written word. I need video. I need graphic posts. And I need to diversify the forms I’m using to reach my audience.
Content isn’t king. Consistency is king! Especially during the holidays. People are spending this time of year educating themselves. They’re a little more relaxed, and they’ve maybe taken the foot off the gas pedal for the rest of the year.
So, now’s a really good time to be out there, active, and consistent when other people (i.e., your competitors) are chilling. When the new year rolls around, who do you think your prospects are going to remember? The company who’s so committed to their message, they’re putting helpful, valuable information out there ALL THE TIME or the competitors who assume your audience isn’t really paying attention this time of year?
Don’t wait until everyone else does to get active.
Power of Affiliation
It’s not what you know. And it’s not who you know. It’s who knows about you!
Who has their attention on you and your business? I may know you exist, but why does it matter to me?
Get more aware of the kind of masterminds you can invest in to get access to people with bigger audiences than you. What kind of coaches can I get around and get to know, so I can get access to those people? Can I launch a podcast next year — without caring how many people are listening or how many views I get — to get access to people far more successful than me? Can I get these people familiar with me, so they get to know me and trust me? Eventually they may even want to do business with me and promote my business to others in their network.
Partners, right? Because we’re kind of solo creatures, I don’t think enough business owners and entrepreneurs are reaching out to partners. I reach out to partners. I say, “Hey, I love your material. I’d love to highlight you. Let’s do a webinar together. Let’s do a training together. I’ll help promote it, and I’ll put it together.” And that builds powerful relationships that turn into big fan bases.
I guarantee it will garner huge returns down the road. Start really thinking and researching on how to get around people with influence — the celebrities of your industry. At the end of the day, amplifying your brand is all about relationships. I’d much rather have a smaller, tight community of fans, advocates, clients, and partners, than masses of people who don’t actually connect with our business. Purchased followers will never buy anything or want to work together. It just doesn’t go anywhere.
But your followers, your list, your relationships will take you all the way . . . To your success!