Free Advice is Socially Acceptable

Want to stand out from your competition? Be the expert in your field. Being the “go-to” person for information, advice, and commentary is a fantastic way to promote your business and create a personal brand.

Back in December of 2008, we gave you a list of 8 ways to build yourself up as THE information source. They were:Graduate-2-226x300
1. Educate – write, write, write!
2. Go public – publish your educational writings online, and in print.
3. Add press releases to your marketing mix.
4. Speak Up! Turn your writings into presentation material and become a public speaker.
5. Tie it all into your business (without selling!)
6. Become a life-long learner.
7. Network to increase your net-worth.
8. Form alliances through networking.
You can read the entire post here.

Now with the onrush of Social Media, there’s a new twist and an even better communication method that wasn’t really prevalent in late 2008.  Tie in #1-#8 above to Social Media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn Answers, and you have a whole new way to reach prospects.

Here are 6 new considerations:
1. Give something for nothing. Chuck Flagg of Cruise Holidays – The Flagg Agency hits it right on the head with his post “You Want Me to Give Away What?”. Read it here. The point is, that you need to share your expertise, or no one will ever know you have a clue as to what you’re talking about. It’s like giving out samples at the grocery store.

2. You will be most effective when your motives for sharing are genuine. Of course, you expect a return, but if you go into it with that as the sole motivation above helping people, you’ll defeat the whole purpose. Put others first, and you’ll find the results surprising.

3. People buy from those they know, like and trust. Get people to know you, be like-able, and be honest. Trust will build and in the end, dollars will flow. You’ll need to open up, be transparent and share things that you may at first feel are too personal, too proprietary, or too valuable. Remember, you gotta spend money to make money. Time is money, and building relationships takes time.

4. How much is too much? Well, the bikini reference Chuck makes in his blog post (see #1 above) may be too much for you. You may feel more comfortable in board shorts or a one piece skirted number. The point is that you know how your business operates and you can only be the judge of what can be found via a Google search, and what cannot. If you’re a professional, experienced in your field, you certainly have something to offer that others don’t. The trick here is to make them aware of what you have to offer without revealing all the cards in your hand.

5. Use the tools. Yesterday we posted information about how Social Media Marketing is another tool. Communication methods come and go, and the bottom line is that the deal is done between two people. How you forge that relationship is almost irrelevant once you shake and dollars are exchanged (of course, at I2D, we insist you track every customer you can to see where they come!).

6. Content is still KING! Filling your blog, writing articles, Tweeting tips, Sharing on Facebook, and Answering questions on LinkedIn are all great content boosters. Google LOVES your content, and your readers, visitors, friends, followers, and connections will all benefit. In the end… so will you.

Expert-status and the associated promotion of your business are really just by-products of the efforts you put into educating others. Call Inspired 2 Design to add knowledge to your marketing mix – if you don’t like to write, research or speak, we can help!