In overly-saturated markets, one of the biggest hurdles for small business owners is STANDING OUT and creating brand awareness. Everyone says “find your unique value”, “niche down” yada yada. But how the HECK do you actually do that? How do you separate yourself from the crowd?
Specifically, I’m going to talk about how to establish brand awareness and recognition through instagram and other social media platforms. I’ll overview what not to do and some ideas for how you can take action today!
Be sure to make it to the bottom where you’ll get a free instagram content planning calendar download!
Create a community, not a marketplace
Yes, most people are following you because they care about your photography or your wedding planning ideas. BUT, there are tens of thousands of other photographers and planners and business coaches out there who offer similar services.
People don’t buy from businesses. They buy from other PEOPLE. People who they connect with. If you are only posting about your services, you are only conveying one message to them: sell, sell, sell. It’s as if you’re telling them “I am only here to sell to you.”
My gut tells me that’s not actually the only reason you’re doing what you’re doing.
You are probably here to serve them, too. You are probably here to relate to them and befriend them, too. You are likely here to support them and seek support from them. We are building communities, ya’ll, NOT marketplaces. Don’t let your social media become a marketplace.
Show the behind the scenes, show your favorite things, share about the deep thoughts on your mind or your favorite people. See the next section for more ideas on what to share on your social media accounts.
Choose Your 5 Roots
You know, like the roots on a tree? Your brand should have roots. I recommend choosing between 4-6. Your roots are the categories of your brand that you share about. Choosing 5 roots intentionally will help remind you to post about things other than your specific offerings.
I’ll share mine as an example. My roots are family, faith, dogs, the topic of purpose, and art. Through these categories, I can share about my life, my values and my business. The topic of art encompasses my stationery, calligraphy and graphic design work. The topic of purpose touches on my interest in helping small businesses establish their brand identity and grow their business as a result. I am truly just obsessed with dogs and knowing that many other people are as well, this is a great way to connect to my audience and create community. Lastly, I feel connected to my greater purpose when I share about my faith and family. These things simply matter a lot to me and in order to share my heart and talents well, I need to include these.
Yours don’t have to be intense and serious. They can be fun and quirky – like your love for donuts or craft beer. My sister is obsessed with food and cooking. She owns a screen-printing company, but she still shares recipes and behind-the-scenes of her cooking because it shows people a little more about who they are buying from and who they are supporting, not just what they are buying.
Here are some ideas: your favorite TV shows, home decor, yoga, healthy living tips, your pets, iced coffee, kids fashion, your faith, music.
Humanize your Feed
Make sure your instagram photo has your FACE in it. Again, people buy from PEOPLE – not logos!
Trust me, I am a firm believer in a beautiful logo and if you really love your logo, I highly encourage you to use it for your highlight covers. But make sure people can see your face and associate your brand with a real person.
Also, make sure your name is somewhere. If you’ve chosen to make your handle or instagram “name” something else for search purposes, that is fine. But include your first name somewhere in your bio. If someone wants to reach out to you, she should be able to refer to you by name.
I hope these three tips for creating brand awareness through instagram will put a fire under your butt to get started now! Comment below with your 5 roots when you decide them!
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