How to Easily Build a Community of Raving Fans In Your Business

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The most important component of your business is YOU.

Most people do pretty well with the technical aspects of setting up a blog, developing a website, creating their email list, and beginning to write informative articles. But there is another component of the success formula that many people are missing or avoiding. And that piece is YOU.

If you aren’t doing something to differentiate your business, you quickly become a commodity. And if your business is a commodity, then you are stuck in a huge dogpile of competitors who basically all look the same to your prospects. You won’t be able to charge a premium price. And you won’t have loyal customers – they’ll simply jump ship at a whim. Yikes! This is not any way to grow your company.

Build a personal brand that is magnetic to your audience

In contrast, anchoring your business around your personal brand will draw people to you, make your business more memorable, and completely differentiate you from your competitors. Your personal brand is what will showcase your unique and authentic self. And when you leverage the brand of YOU, there is no competition.

If you’ve been reading Laura’s blog or attending her amazing Webinars for any amount of time, you’ll know that she is all about Creating Fame. She teaches you how to become famous in your industry and niche. One of Laura’s core concepts is that when you develop a business brand with a clear, passionate vision then a community of fans will rally around you.

So how exactly do you do this?

The first thing is to get really clear on your vision. This is the soul of your brand. I call it your Why. It is the very reason that you do what you do. Your vision always reminds you of where you are going, what you are doing, and why you are doing it. And it will shine through every aspect of your business.

Then begin to write more personal posts on your blog, create videos, give interviews, record podcasts, and share more photographs of your life. Chat informally on Twitter and Facebook. Tell your audience about your successes and your failures. Shout your vision from the rooftops. All of these things will magnetically draw people in to you.

Yes, I know it’s friggin’ scary. I realize that it feels weird to write about why you dance under the full moon and why you hate the color aqua and why you’re scared to launch your next product. I understand that you don’t want to get on video because you’re too old, too young, too boring, too pimply, too awkward, too shy, too brassy, too weird, too whatever your latest story/excuse/fear is yelling inside your head right now.

I get all that. But when you make this leap to fully show up as YOU, you develop a brand that is absolutely unique. People will get really excited about what you are doing. They will spread the word to their friends, they’ll sign up for your services, and they’ll comment on your blog. And best of all – you’ll start having more fun than ever before because you are in absolute alignment with your Why.

Why a personal brand eliminates all of your competition

Remember, you are the only YOU in this whole wide world. Your collection of knowledge, experiences, skills, reading lists and network, are yours. Your audience…your right people want to build a relationship with YOU. They want to learn about YOU. They don’t care about a faceless company…they care about YOU.

So, proudly show your beautiful, brilliant, awesome, unique self with all of your amazing, fabulous, uniquely perfect quirks, imperfections, weird habits, and imperfections. Your audience will fall in love with you. You’ll get noticed by the A-players in your industry. You’ll get interviewed by the media. Oh, and you’ll sell more of your products and services. Authenticity is a great sales tool.

So tell me… What are you doing to build your personal brand? Do you have any strategies you’d like to share with us? And if you’re feeling stuck, do you have any comments or questions? Please share a little about what you’re doing in the comments below…

 

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Wendy Maynard writes MavenDiary.com, a blog about how inspired entrepreneurs can grow our business through personal branding and online marketing. She is a marketing and social media consultant who will help you position your business as a leader in your industry.

Comments

  1. Hi Laura–

    I’m stuck with this question and would love (for anyone to offer) insight:

    How to market a psychotherapy blog (tips for anxiety, stress management, and parenting) when the ‘therapy’ word is somewhat stigmatized? (Despite this, over 70,000 Americans search monthly for online help for these issues).

    Thanks!

    • Yes Linda, anxiety is stigmatized, but you’re totally right that there are a LOT of people in need of what you have to offer. Lucinda Bassett is one of the top marketers in this niche, and I’m certain you could learn a LOT by studying her approach. She’s not built her business on a social media foundation, but if you mix her niche-specific tactics with what Laura has to teach you, you’ll be unstoppable ;)

    • Linda ~ here’s a (maybe silly) suggestion about your question to Laura on how to market your Talk Therapy Biz when the word ‘therapy” is a buzzkill:

      Seems the word is a combo of “there” and “happy” — so maybe instead of “get therapy”
      you play with
      “get there happy” — wherever YOUR “there” is.

      Free advice, worth twice what you paid for it ~ HA!

      See ya round (and thanks Laura, for linking from The Dash),

      ~TheGirlPie

      • Thanks for the unique POV TheGirlPie,–I’ll definitely take your suggesion into consideration. Thank you for the earlier tweet, too!

        Linda

      • @TheGirlPie That’s genius! Linda, I first heard about Lucinda Bassett a couple of years ago and really liked her style so def check her out. Would love to follow you and see what you come up with, people need you to speak in a voice they relate to, kudos! @TiaSParkles

  2. Oops–I meant to address Wendy too! Sorry.

  3. Hello and thank you for a very thought-provoking post.
    I am in the beginning stages of starting an online business and have recently fallen in love with blogging.
    This post has helped me to see that I need to get clearer about my vision for my business as well as my blog. I’ve also realized that fear has lead me to shy away from creating a clear mission.
    No more!

  4. Hi Linda, The best thing to do is optimize your website with keywords that people are using in Google. Laura has a product that can help you with this. It’s called Zero to SEO and it will teach you how to find the right keywords (they are not always what you think) and how to put them into your website and blog. Here’s a link to the program description: http://www.lkrsocialmedia.com/resources/zero-to-search-engine-optimization/

  5. Hi Jenny – I am so excited to hear that you are getting ready to step forward (and glad the blog post helped)! Wooo-hooo!

  6. Hi Christian, Nice to see your happy, screaming face. (-:

  7. Thanks for this Wendy. It is one of those ‘feel-good’ posts. So necessary for when you’re having a down period in your business (of which yours truly is currently having).

    Ironically, it seems like our biggest fear – fear of showing our vulnerability is exactly the thing that makes others relate to us. And no matter WHAT niche market you’re in, it’s mostly the same – you have the opportunity to show up fully as yourself and be authentic.

    And so proceeds the death of the sales letter. People want a real face – someone they can TRUST. There’s been too many scams over the years.

    Thanks again Wendy. A fantastic, inspirational post.

    many blessings,

    Renee.

  8. Thank you for this post. I am in the beginning steps of launching a shop and sometimes I forget who I am. But, that’s the most important part.

    Last week I had nothing new to write about, so I started writing a short series on all the apartments I have lived in. After 5 posts, I stopped writing them because I thought, “this is boring, you sell baby knits, no one wants to hear about your previous apartments.” Today I got an email asking for the next apartment story installment. Silly me.

  9. Hello Wendy and Laura,
    I appreciate your encouragement and specific advice in this blog post on personalizing one’s brand. I am actively struggling with this right now. I still haven’t managed to take the video leap; I must have done 10 takes of a simple demo for applying mineral sunscreen and I still can’t just upload the darn thing. It boils down to the same issue I have with written content which is how much of the person do people really want to see behind the doctor (I’m a dermatologist with a skin care blog and ecommerce site selling the products that I love). Do you think there is a different amount of personal/casualness that is ideal for physician bloggers relative to bloggers from other professions or in other niches?
    Warm Regards, Cynthia Bailey MD
    http://www.otbskincare.com/blog/

    • Great question Cynthia – to be frank with you, I get this question from everyone! “But I’m an artist! But I’m a lawyer! But I’m a pet sitter!”. The fact is that people always want see the real YOU, and I think as a physician you have a unique opportunity to stand out in a very dry, dull profession. People are absolutely craving more humanity and “realness” from their doctors.

  10. Wow, Wendy, you’ve written on this topic better than anyone I’ve ever seen…you really elevated the topic from the preachy, “Be authentic, be yourself” pablum to a real zinger of a motivational piece.

    My precious daughter-in-law, in commenting on my new Heartspoken.com blog last week, said almost the same thing, “I want to see more of YOU in these posts!” Now with your great article, it’s clear the Universe is trying to tell me something:-). Hopefully I can tow the line between being myself and being narcissistic. A friend recently told me narcissism is her pet peeve with many bloggers.

  11. Linda Eaves says:

    Thank you for this post Wendy. When I first met Laura and did her webinars I was like vision? brand? What’s that? Isn’t that for cars or big COMPANIES? A person needs a brand too? Wow.
    Now I have an inkling of the idea and am refining my Why each day. My intuition kept saying – Just Put Up A Website. So I did, and it’s sometimes uncomfortable to put things up. Is it too much? Narcissistic? Not clear enough? Boring? This might fail and I’ll look foolish. Sometimes the answer is yes – and it goes up anyway. Then sometimes there’s this feeling of…Yeah. Like I’m hitting a target.

  12. Tamarisk says:

    Thank you for this post Wendy – I’m interested in what Linda has to say as I’m a psychotherapist too (based in London, UK). Although I don’t have any stellar insight into your specific question Linda, I do try to bring something of my personality to my practice as a therapist.

    Mostly counsellors and therapists need to keep very personal stuff private otherwise it can get in the way of the work we’re doing but my feeling is if you get very clear on the niche that you serve, you allow your brilliance to shine through in a way that really speaks to them. On my blog and newsletter I use pretty informal language which isn’t in keeping with the therapy stereotype but I know that’s what my niche wants and when they find me they feel like they’ve found someone who speaks their language.

    Having said that Linda – I specifically chose to call my business Two Chairs Counselling because my feeling was the word “therapy” was too stigmatized and I’d find it harder to resonate with my tribe!

  13. Thank you Laura for allowing me to monopolize your wonderful blog for my benefit!!

    Thanks Wendy for the great post and suggestions re: Laura’s stellar services.

    To Tamarisk–I agree that personality goes a long way in session. I try to be as open and honest (within the ethical framework) on my blog. So far, many have been receptive. Hopefully mental wellness will gain ground.

    And if I have broken any social rules here, please accept my apology…

  14. The only problem with personal branding is you become attached to the business ..
    Which will make it very difficult to sell later .. If that’s what you want of course.

    I know of a few high profile marketers that are having this problem and trying to detach themselves from the brand/business they have built around there name.

    Any thoughts on that?

    • Dave, the longer I run my “personality based” business the less truth I see to this argument. I think it’s really more about your business model than it is how you brand. If your business model relies 100% on your personal involvement that is not scalable, whether you go by your name or a business name. But we only need to look at pretty much every design brand out there to see that businesses can live well beyond the “brand name” that started them. (Not to mention law firms, ad agencies, etc.) In fact this guest post is a great example of scaling up a business without my personal involvement.

      • This is a great take on an important issue Laura. It would be cool to see you address this to your audience directly. I think a lot of people have this concern…that personal branding impairs the value of your company negatively when it comes to determining market value later on.

  15. Thank you for this post. I don’t have a business at the moment, I’m studying for a coaching credential, but I blog and edit others. I *only* seem to talk about myself and always seem to go back to my editing clients to tell them to bring more of themselves and their experience to their writing. I was beginning to think I was overdoing it but your post gives me permission to continue and renewed belief that this is the right way forward.

  16. Very clear, specific and brilliant advice, Wendy! As you know I’m rebranding my entire site, bringing more of ME into it. When I first started blogging a year ago, it was such a learning curve and I was still finding “my voice”. Now that I have direction and boldness, I’m unleashing it on the world!

    One of the ways I’ve built my personal brand over the past year is by having a unique twitter name (TiaSparkles) so whenever I’m at a tweetup, people always remember me and go “Oh, Ms SPARKLES!” Now, this wasn’t my intention at all when I picked that name but it just shows how standing out makes one memorable.

    I also write like I talk, so that becomes a part of my brand. I reach out to people I’d like to know better (like Wendy – we had a phone chat a few weeks ago), tweet inspiring links and social media tips, and maintain a consistent image of who I am.

    There are some ways to brand yourself and like Wendy says, it starts with first becoming very clear on who you are and what you want to offer. Cheers Laura & Wendy! @TiaSparkles

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