With so many Marketers in the mainstream social media world, how do you set yourself apart from the rest as the one people trust and buy from? It has long been said that people do not buy products from salespeople, they buy YOU…the salesperson.
People usually start into Social Media Marketing in one of two ways:
1. They have a product already but no social media skills to understand how to market in the new media
2. They start with a blog, no product to sell and just start marketing themselves as a source hoping to one day to actually have a product
Which ever category you may have fallen into, you’ll need to distinguish yourself…YOU and what you stand for…before you’ll see success in social networking.
Personal branding is now more important than ever in communities. People are buying you. If I don’t like you, I’m not only NOT going to buy from you, but I am blocking you and telling all my friends what I think of you too. (Hmmph!) That’s the power of social networking. We all talk, and word of mouth can be your best friend or your worst enemy.
How To Make YOU Your Main Product:
1. Set Up Profiles On The Big Three:
Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Pick one of those 3 as your home and get really really good at it. Don’t waste your time (or others) by pinging hundreds of social networks that you never frequent. I started out on all of them then realized that without focusing on one network I was spreading myself too thin to be an authority on ANY of them.
2. Hook Up With Other Up n’ Comers:
Get to know others in your field or niche that have the same goal as you. I’m not saying give them all your secrets, but be willing to share ideas and experiences that you have learned from and they will do the same.
Have you ever had a friend that made it big before you did? How did you take it? We can either get jealous and angry that it wasn’t us that made it, or we can put all that silliness behind, celebrate with them and learn from their experience. Chances are they may take you right along the success pathway with them!
3. Hook Up With The Influencers:
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating. In social media your ROI is your Return On Influence, so borrow the influence of others if you don’t have much of your own yet. You will be glad that you made friends with a few fire starters when you have them start tweeting out your blog posts and then your product launches for you. Just remember, the big names in Social Media are being pitched all the time, so be real with them.
Try to find conversations that you can fit into and add value to. If you can’t, then start a topic of conversation of your own. Comment on their blogs, meet them at conferences and MeetUps, spend time getting to know who they are before you start telling them who YOU are.
4. Be Unique:
When I buy something for myself I tend to look for things that are a little different than what everyone else is buying. I may like the main idea behind a trending product, but generally I don’t want to be just like everyone else. I’m weird that way.
I’m that way about my writing too. I like the ideas that many people are talking about in social media, but I don’t say it the same way. That’s another thing that’s cool about social media…it allows everyone to be themselves. You can build your own community of people that like you because you don’t follow the crowds or you’re not afraid to say when something really sucks.
You’re selling yourself and YOUR personality, so be different. Be liked, or be hated, but be the best you can be at either!
5. Choose Who/What You Promote Wisely:
Another old saying to remember is, you are who your friends are. Like it or not, who you associate with or the products you promote all affect the perception people have of you.
I have worked with some top names in MLM business opportunities. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly side of network marketing. Because of that, I deliberately separated my blog and my name from any association with that niche. When it comes to business opportunities, I am very hesitant to promote to my community.
I would still talk to any of these MLM leaders and I appreciate their personalities, but the image I want to display is one of authenticity and professionalism. And by professionalism I mean knowing my stuff and calling things as they really are.
If you don’t get anything else out of this article, I hope you walk away with this one concept:
You will never get people to really like you for who you are if you are never really YOU in front of them.
Market yourself as authentic you. Like people. Smile. Care. Listen. Learn. Share. In the process you’ll find that opportunity to promote your products but what people will remember is YOU.
By the way, if you don’t find fulfillment or happiness in what you do, you might as well go back to having a job working for someone else because you will never be happy until you are happy doing what you do everyday. Just sayin…
What makes you decide to buy from someone? What quality or perception did you pick up that made you say yes to that person? How can you adapt the same qualities into your own personal branding plan of action? Can you see where you can do things differently now? Please share your comments below.
To Your Success,
P.S. ~> Don’t forget that I am giving away Google Wave invites to the top two commentators each week. You see the rules for the Google Wave Invite Top Commenter contest to get some ideas to help you win. Please be sure to follow Rule #1. You must COMMENT on the blog itself to win, Tweeting the post will add an additional entry, but will not count unless there is also a relevant comment posted on the article of your choice. Good luck!