Archives for November 2009

How Using Audio Builds Trust in Your Brand

Another FAB guest post for you to enjoy!

I’m recruiting people who I think have valuable information and can give us ideas on business building. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Angela now for about 4 years and she’s always impressed me with her drive, focus, and her get it done attitude. I know she gets things done and has put together creative podcasts, interesting virtual events and has had great success helping her clients and now focusing her efforts at her Marketers Mojo blog.

I’m going to grab a nice hot drink and enjoy this post now. 🙂 Vera.

How Using Audio Builds Trust in Your Brand

When I think of the businesses I am most loyal to online there is always more than just the written word involved. Sure, wonderful copy can build relationships with your customers and readers but there is nothing like the sound of your voice.

You may have heard before that you are the only thing that is 100% percent unique about your business. You may have also heard that a very small portion of our communication comes from the words we say. The rest comes from our voice inflection, tone, level and our body movements.

Now if you are using audio to connect with your audience then obviously they won’t see your body movement. If you are really ambitious you can go for video and give them the full package of ‘you’.

Even if you do audio, you are bringing so much more to the table than just your words.

Why does it matter?

The internet is a new medium for sales. It’s not the same as offline where people would come face to face with a salesman and can make decisions based on intuition and instinct, very powerful human resources. Now there is a lot more mistrust because it is so easy to deceive with the written word. Potential customers almost always only buy from those they know, like and trust.

How do you get them to trust you?

Let them get to know you. Now I’m not suggesting you start recording audio clips of what you had for breakfast or how well your kids are doing in school. However, you can use audio to greatly enhance your sales message and communications with potential customers.

How to Build Trust Using Audio on Your Website

Here are just a few ways you can use audio to boost your brand and connect with your audience:

1. Provide instructions on how to use your products or services – Many times people need more information. You can provide this information through audio and let your potential customers know what the practical uses of your product, service or even your website is.

2. Interview Experts – Providing great interviews of experts in your field is a fantastic way to build trust. You become an expert yourself for learning from so many people who know a great deal about your topic. You also become a trusted source of information.

3. Welcome & Thank You Messages – When someone walks into your house you greet them and say ‘hi’, right? You can do the same thing with audio on your website and in your salespages. Welcome them to your website with a useful message and a call to action. Thank them for signing up to your email newsletter. There are so many things you can do here with short, three to five minute audios that grab your visitors attention.

4. Provide Testimonials – Maybe you want to interview someone who’s used your product or maybe you can just have them record an audio for you. You certainly will gain more trust by having real, human proof that you know what you’re doing. I’ve done this on my own testimonials page and it’s often impressed the reader enough to enquire about my services.

5. Provide Audio Versions of Pages and Articles – How about providing an audio version of your website page or a great article you’ve written. Allowing different formats for the same content isn’t repetitive, it allows your readers to choose their favorite form for consumption and they’ll appreciate you for that!

6. Create and Record Teleseminars – A very common use of audio is to record teleseminars. A teleseminar is a conference call that provides useful information to your audience through a mult-user line (often 100 or more people can attend). The problem with telesemiars is that they will never fit into everyone’s schedule. The solution is to record it and then send it out to those interested. You can also add it to your website to provide value for a long time to come.

I could go on and on here about the ways you can use audio to build trust, build your brand and build your business. I think you get the picture and I’m sure you can come up with some creative ideas yourself.

Now you might be wondering how hard it is to do this. Won’t you require an expensive expert or some high level of knowledge to record, host and play audio for your audience? No – not at all!

There are a few ways you can record and add audio to your website but my absolute favorite for it’s simplicity is a program called Audio Acrobat. You can use Audio Acrobat to record, host and playback your audios. It can be as simple as calling into a phone number, creating your recording, logging in to get your code and adding that to your website. There are also a multitude of features that make it a very powerful (yet easy to use) program.

So, are you ready to use audio to build your brand? I recommend you check out the Audio Acrobat free trial and see for yourself how easy it is. I’m looking forward to ‘hearing’ from you soon!

Angela Wills

p.s. If you want to find out a little more about the program first, you can check out my Audio Acrobat Review at www.MarketersMojo.com!

Stepping Up Your Brand This Christmas Season

santaBRAND

With all the talk in the media in regard to retailers deep discounting their wares, where does this leave small independent retailers?

For one thing it provides an opportunity to step up the customer relationship. Large corporations cannot turn on a dime due to their size and complexity.

SME’s (small to medium enterprises) on the other hand are much flatter and can provide superior experiences. If you’ve been diligent at building your email database, you can start providing exceptional information for your customers.

You can provide them with valuable offers, open houses, and special cross-promotions. Take the opportunity to get out into your community and make your brand stronger in the eyes of those who affect your income.

Send out thank you gifts to your customers. If you are a retailer, reward them with thank you vouchers worth a nice reward should they show up at your location, up the ante if they bring along a friend.

Tie into a local food bank and have a promotion to help. The whole point this season is to step up your brand with home grown initiatives that are too targeted for the big boys to embrace but are perfect and easy for you to push your brand into public notice.

One idea could be to offer a 30 day (or whatever) countdown to service for Christmas. Send out daily emails with something great each day.

How about this one for a retailer: buy a batch of plain tree ornaments, get a local school class to decorate them with paints, then sell them at your locations with 100% of the proceeds going to a local charity. Guess where all the kids parents will go this season?

Make it fun and boost your brand as a gift to yourself.

Brand Booster 21 Day 21: Wrapping It All Up

finish

Well, that’s it! This is our last day and today we’re wrapping it all up here for the Brand Booster 21 Series. We have gained so much from this experience and truly hope it’s helped you think more about your brand and how you will develop your brand in different ways.

We will be going through each day and answering all of  your questions that were brought up. So if you still have any questions, feel free to stop by any of the days and post your questions, we’re here to answer and respond now. In fact I will be sharing some of the best questions and answers here pretty soon.

I figure today I would recap the top 3 posts of the entire series:

1) Coming Out From Behind Your Brand: The Dreaded Video – You really don’t need video to brand your business, it’s just not required. But I think that it helps build a relationship with those who come here to the site. I also wanted to try it out to see if it’s worthwhile to add here and figured it was worth a shot.  The video turned out being played 388 times, which is pretty cool! I’m including a screen shot of my Audio Acrobat account so you can see (I use AA because it’s super easy to put together videos and podcasts – fool proof).

player

2) What Is Your Brand? –  This was the very first day to our Brand Booster 21 Series and it talked about how you can distinguish yourself from your customers, what your beliefs are, and ultimately it’s the CUSTOMER who determines your brand. Here’s a quote from it:

Branding is all about what the customers perceive of your company. Your brand is the promise that you intend to make to the customers. The ultimate goal is to spark an emotional connection in order to create a positive feeling resulting of loyalty to a specific product from the customers.

3) Brand Booster 21 Day 7: Unique Selling Point or Positioning Strategy – This was a pretty cool day and my personal favorite in this entire series, mostly because I think it’s one that most people including me get stuck on. And I don’t think it ever goes away, we should always strive to get to know WHO your customer is. The better we understand our customers, clients, and fans the better we can come up with solutions to help them out. This day started out with this statement, pretty bold words and I think pretty darn good!

This proposition absolutely sets you apart from the competition. In many cases it eliminates the competition all together by virtue of positioning.

What We Learned From This Experience – This whole series was a great learning experience for us. It forced us to plan ahead and this was just a thought between Ed and I in September. We literally whipped up the series and got it all loaded. Sure it wasn’t perfect but we both put our hearts into it and followed through with our own promise, this series. We have alot of plans for the future and we’ve realized how much we enjoy working together so watch out for more “RaposoRoach” stuff coming your way. 🙂

Now we’re off to respond to every single day of the series so if there is anything you’d like answered, please feel free to post and we’ll respond.

What we’d love to know is did you learn anything about branding that you either were not aware of OR realize how important it is to your business?   

Brand Booster 21 Day 20: Public Speaking and Other Promotional Vehicles

publicspeakingPublic speaking for me was quite a hurtle. I knew this was a very effective way to promote my brand but the idea of it made my palms sweat. The first time I did it I spoke to a group of about 50 business woman. I was received well but they were not aware of the flubs and the number of times I lost my place. It occurred to me that I couldn’t rely on a script and memorization. I had a tendency to go off in another direction when I got into my subject. A buddy of mine gave me the one piece of advice that changed everything. Peter said, “Ed you know your stuff, just talk about it.” He suggested that I use the presentation frames to set the topic. To move through the presentation, give a quick glance oveer your shoulder and speak to what is on the screen. When I’m finished covering it, I glance again and move on.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • Where are some places you can start speaking?
  • Is there a small local group you can begin with?
  • Decide where you’d like to start and begin!

Brand Booster 21 Day 19: Get Out There & Nuture Your Brand

nutureGetting one on one with the customers is very important. You need to talk to the customers and let them know that you are there for them if they have questions and that you really exist. Companies need representatives of a business so they are existent. It is hard for a business to gain exposure when they don’t have someone to actually talk to.

If your business targets a local community then it is important to get out there and talk to the community. Remember you are looking for the audience who is going to benefit from your product. These are the people you want to talk to.

If you have a business on the web then you will need to get one on one with the customers by providing access to a direct chat option. This gives customers a good feeling but they know that someone really exists. When you offer a direct chat they have the ability to contact a live person rather than talk to a machine. Customers despise machines, automated phone systems, and more. They will try to avoid them and it can give them a bad taste in their mouth about the business. Try to be as responsive as possible with the customers.

Local business events are extremely important. Not only do you want to target your local or national audience but you also want to attend other business events. You may find a company struggling that may need your assistance. You might find a company that you can work with together on a project in trade for advertising or even help you build your credibility.

Local business events help you network in the big industry that you may be working in. It is important to talk to companies and let them know you are out there. Maybe you will recommend one company while they recommend you. Always talk to other businesses, let them know about who you are and what you are all about, what their benefit is by knowing you, and how you can help each other. Give them something to remember you by and make an impact.

When you attend events and network with other companies and people then you provide another form of advertising. Networking works very well because when someone does come across a situation where they could use your product or service they will remember you. Creating contacts is a very big part of branding. It also helps instill your company name in the minds of people around the industry.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • Get out and attend some business events
  • Let other companies know who you are
  • Maybe recommend eachother, trade work
  • Get live assistance on your website

Brand Booster 21 Day 18: Building Your Expert Profile

Confident Businesswoman On A White BackgroundFirst off, you can’t build your expert profile unless you believe in yourself first. If you don’t believe yourself to be an expert, then we have to end right here.

But, let’s face it. You know your stuff and you’ve been making a living for some time now doing what you’re passionate about. If what I’ve just described resonates with you, then guess what – you’re an expert.

Welcome to the club.

Always be aware of your expert profile. You are perceived a certain way. We all are.

What ever the perception exploit it to your benefit (so long as it’s positive). Never cause your audience to doubt that expertise. Be confident in your opinions and actions. Take on speaking opportunities where you can connect and display your passion. Over come any shyness you may have using techniques that also reinforce your brand. For me I have been successful pushing my expert profile out to a receptive audience. Every business task I do, I always have my brand in the back of my mind. I keep asking myself how I can make the relationship experience with customers better?

Media is extremely important when branding a business. There are many different outlets and they can be used in many different ways to your advantage and even for damage control. Proper branding means staying tight with the media as your friend. Some say to keep your friends close and your enemies closer and this is true with the media. They can make you very popular or ruin you but nothing really in between. You need the media on your side at all times.

There are many different local media outlets that you might consider using when you are looking to boost your expert profile. You can use local newspapers to announce sales, events, and other things. The television stations are useful for publicity.

One thing to keep in mind is that public television stations are free and they cannot charge you money to run something on them. If you are a non-profit organization looking to brand your organization the best way to do it is through public television stations. You can announce events like blood drives and other things on public television. This is great exposure and it is free.

Other methods of local media may be local websites for town members. Some towns have a site for the community where people can post things like classified ads and other things. They are free sites and sometimes used more than the newspapers because of this. Article Writing for Press is another way you can use the media to your advantage is to write your own articles and distribute them to the press. This is very beneficial. If the press comes across times they need to fill additional space in their paper they may use them. Sending articles to the press is free. The will not charge you to use them. If you write beneficial articles to magazines in the industry you work in then you may even get paid for the article. You can also use article marketing to web sources making your articles available to other blogs and publications.

One great way of build your expert profile is writing a book or ebook. Nothing gives credibility like your opinion in print. Authors are a relatively small club. It is great buzz. Self-publishing can put a few dozen paperbacks in your pocket for a few hundred dollars. Use these as giveaways or even sell them at presentations and online. What ever you think of doing remember consistency of brand and everything we discussed here at BrandBooster21.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • What are some ways you can build your expert profile?
  • What media will you pursue?
  • Write down everything you can do to build your expert profile, like article marketing, email marketing, media attention..

Brand Booster 21 Day 17: Email Marketing

Email Envelope on White backgroundHow would you like to own your very own audience and market to them rather inexpensively? Well html marketing will resonate nicely with you. It all hinges around having a reasonable op-in email list. This list is your niche audience. Using graphic html, send out strategic messages to them and react to their response. Because of analytics (which is free by the way) you can accurately assume every opened email is a warm lead since they are part of your niche. They are in your list for a reason. They are no doubt searching out information on your mutual topic.

Regular consistent mailings keep your name in front of them and this in turn motivates response. Over time, they build a trust in you and this virtual relationship has a strong potential to cross over into a real relationship that translates into sales. Mailings can also take the form of plain text. In many ways this form has the look and feel of a personal message to the recipient. However you embrace email marketing, the benefit to your brand is dynamic. It should be a part of your long term brand strategy.

Your Notebook To Do:

todo

Answer the following Questions and put the ACTIONS in your To Do Notebook

  • Start an email newsletter
  • how are you developing trust with your market?
  • Plan on regular mailings to develop consistency in their mind.

Get The Complete Step-by-Step Process

To Cultivate A Responsive List eBook (FREE)

Subscribe to download this guide for FREE and work through the steps at your own pace.

Launch A Profitable Podcast

Discover how to start your own podcast business, leverage it to grow an existing business, grow your influence, and more.

There's No Better Time To Start Your Store

Have Your Own Store By This Weekend. Get This Quick-Start Guide To Launch Your Own Profitable Store Online.

The Time To Start Your Service Business Is Now

Launch Your Own Service Business By This Weekend. Get This Quick-Start Guide To Starting A Service Business Online.

Today Is The Day To Kickstart An Affiliate Business

Have Your Own Store By This Weekend. Get This Quick-Start Guide To Launch Your Own Profitable Store Online.