First of all, let's just cover what the heck 'brand visibility' is. In a nutshell, it's the thing that you need lots of if you're going to make money online.
Thanks to all those flashy ads out there, it can be easy to think that all you need to do to make a mint on the internet, is throw up a website and wait for the hordes of adoring customers to hand you their dosh. Woohoo! I'll just come up with a quick money making scheme, sign up to WordPress... and then it's time to play the waiting game!
Awww, maaaaaan! We were SO close to making it big. We just forgot that all important ingredient to making sales... brand visibility.
That is, an audience. To be specific, an audience of your ideal clients!
Now, before we dive into this fabulous list of ideas to help you build your own audience, let's just focus for a moment on that sentence above. For this to work, you need to be building an audience of IDEAL CLIENTS. If you're not sure who that is yet, then spend some time getting clear. Until you're at least reasonably sure of who your people are, there's no point in spending a bunch of time trying to attract them...
(PS - if you're thinking 'well my blog/business is for everyone really...' STOP. That will get you nowhere fast... You need to get waaaay more specific.)
Ok, ready? Let's get visible!
Perhaps one of the most common ways to build your audience and increase your brand visibility, is to blog. In fact, I'd go so far as to say, if you DON'T yet have a blog for your business - that should be a top priority! Here's why. Your blog will just form part of your existing website (don't have a website yet? Read this before you even start worrying about your brand visibility) and you should write content that's going to help your ideal clients. This in turn is going to help you to reach more people and increase your credibility in your particular niche. Your readers get tons of free value and you get a bigger audience. Win, win!
If you want to really maximise your visibility with blogging then you should definitely download my FREE Blog Post Checklist. It gives you each step you need to plan, create and promote your posts for maximum traffic, engagement and leads!
Want a step-by-step checklist telling you how to plan, write and promote your blog posts?
Get your FREE Blog Post Checklist here!
2) Guest Blogging
I ignored guest blogging for the LONGEST time. It felt like such a waste to spend hours creating content for someone else's audience... I was sooo focused on increasing my views, that this just didn't seem like a productive way for me to use my time.
Let me explain why I was completely wrong...
Firstly, if you're guest posting for a blog or business in your own niche, then their audience are your POTENTIAL audience! You're getting to borrow someone else's crowd and show them your stuff! Pretty cool.
Secondly, you get to add a profile to your guest post which at the very least will usually include a link to your website (and often, your social channels too). If you've written a great post, then chances are that people will want to learn more about you and they'll click on over to your site. Err - hello new views! PLUS, link backs to your site are super-powerful for your SEO juice. Double win.
The key points here are - make sure you're guest blogging to businesses in YOUR niche and when you make your pitch, don't focus on how awesome YOU are, instead tell them what you can do for them and their audience. Don't sweat the no's - just keep plugging and enjoy the ride! 😉
Oh, and hey - here's a post to help you get started...
Writing not really your thing? Perhaps reading blog posts isn't really your ideal clients' thing? Either way, podcasting could be the answer. You're still providing value, but this time, in audio form! You might choose to podcast solo and chat about the various topics in your niche that your audience are struggling with. Or you might decide to find a fellow expert in your area to co-host. Sometimes it can be more fun for you and your listeners to hear you bouncing ideas around with someone else. Plus - you get someone else promoting your stuff! (See number 11 for more on this).
4) Podcast Interviews
Podcasts are BIG right now. Every man and his cat is at it. (I really hope there's actually a podcast called Every Man and His Cat...*rushes off to check*)
Anyhoo, my point is, podcasters are looking for great content ideas for their audience and it might just be that you would be able to provide that through your particular area of expertise. It might feel a bit scary, but get yourself out there and who knows - maybe you'll even have some fun!
It might even give you the confidence to start your own podcast...
Are you sensing a theme here?
Yep, you've guessed it! More free content - but this time via video. One popular option is to create a YouTube channel and upload your videos there (I'd also recommend embedding your videos into a blog post on your site - double the value!)
When I use the term vlogging, I'm not just referring to its original meaning, which was to create a video journal - think Casey Naistat type vlogs. I also mean creating video content to help your ideal clients. This might be teaching sessions, interviews or inspirational videos - more like Gary V!
6) Be active in Facebook groups
Chances are, you've heard this one before and maybe you're already doing it! (Good for you!) That's because it's a really great way to connect with your ideal clients and to start to offer value.
WORD OF WARNING!
This is also a method that is realllly mis-used and so it's started to leave a rather nasty taste in people's mouths. You know what I'm talking about. People link dropping and running. The old 'I'll PM you' trick or even the 'can everyone take a look at my sales page and tell me what you think' comment...
I mean really?? We're all SO over those sneaky (or not so sneaky) self-promoters. Please don't be one of them!
Just offer real value. Answer questions, be helpful. Be friendly and approachable. That will be enough to start building some attention. People will start to click through to your profile to see who you are and BINGO, you'll have linked your FB Business Page (you have linked your FB business page to your personal profile, right?) and they'll click on over and so begins the start of a bee-yooo-tiful relationship! 😉
Have you joined my Facebook group?
7) Start your own Facebook group
So what if you're just getting started?? Everyone has to begin somewhere and you've still got something valuable to offer (or you wouldn't be starting your own biz, right?)
So put yourself OUT THERE! It might feel scary, your inner voice might be screaming at you that you're not ready yet. You ARE.
Even the biggest, most active Facebook groups started with just one member...
This is your chance to create your own community, to set your own vibe and to reeaaaaallly start to grow your tribe.
Oh and I even have a post to help get started...
8) Guest Facebook lives
Lots of Facebook group owners are always looking for guest experts to come and chat to their members. If there's a group in particular where you feel you could be helpful, then try asking the owner if they'd allow you to do a guest live. What's the worst they could say?
WORD OF WARNING
Don't be tempted to just go live without checking with the group owner first (unless they've already said it's ok in the group rules).
PS - I host weekly guest lives in my group, Fully Booked Mums AND we have Open Mic days where you can go live any time and get some practice in - come join us!
9) Facebook lives on your business page
Wooooah Colette! Too many Facebook lives!!
Yeah I get it - but the thing is, Facebook lives are one of the BEST ways to reach your people. Facebook will give your live stream WAY more organic reach than a normal post and people are more likely to watch than read...
If going live is something that terrifies you, I totally understand. I felt exactly the same. I'm a complete introvert and the idea of making a fool of myself in front of people is pretty much my worst nightmare.
BUT I knew how powerful it would be if I could just get over it. So one day, I just do it and get the first one out of the way. I was live for around 30 seconds in my Facebook group. I felt like an idiot, I hadn't even really planned what I was going to say and I ended up trying to make my 3 year old say something cute but he just frowned and shook his head. Doh.
Maaan, it felt painful. But the next one was a bit easier and now, I do at least one live per week and I don't give it a second thought! I've had all kinds of things go wrong. The postman has come to the door wanting me to sign for a parcel, my son has wondered in, he's also screamed as if being tortured from outside the door because my poor hubby was trying to put him to bed and he didn't want to go!
No one actually cares about that stuff. In fact, people like to see that you're just human.
Facebook lives from your business page. Do it.
10) Look for PR opportunities
Journalists are always looking for great sources or people to interview and chances are, there will be a few looking for someone in your niche. Try checking Twitter for hashtags such as #journorequest and you'll see what I mean...
Who knows, your brand could be splashed across the national papers next week!
If you enjoy working as part of a team, then this could be a great one for you! Find other business owners in your niche and at a similar level to you and reach out to see if they'd be interested in working together on a project. You might plan an online summit or giveaway together or perhaps even a live event. As we covered above, you could even co-host a podcast or regular FB live together... The options are endless!
By joining forces, you're joining audiences and so benefiting from each others promotional powers!
When looking for potential partners, remember that this arrangement should be mutually beneficial so keep in mind what YOU can bring to the table as well as what you're hoping to gain...
Super successful entrepreneurs such as Kimra Luna and Amy Porterfield have pretty much built their careers with webinars. These are simply live online training or presentations which offer free valuable content to your audience - plus usually a pitch to your product or service at the end.
People love free training and webinars have proved to be a hugely successful way to increase your brand visibility and get people on your email list.
In certain niches (mine included), they're in danger of being over-used - or rather used too cynically. Too many people have advertised some awesome webinar and then spent the full hour just self-promoting. Bleurgh.
To avoid leaving a bad taste in people's mouths, make sure your webinar offers real value - and even consider calling it something different, such as a 'Live Workshop'...
13) Live Events
Just because your business is online, doesn't mean you can't hop offline once in a while and meet people IRL!
By organising an event where people get the chance to meet you (and each other) face to face, you can set yourself up as a leader and create an unforgettable experience that hopefully people will go away and tell their friends about (in a good way, of course!)
Live events don't have to be huge and intimidating. Start small! Perhaps a local meet-up, training day or even just a social event for people in your niche.
I'm fairly sure that I won't be the first person to tell you about the power of Pinterest to increase your brand visibility. If I AM the first - well, I definitely won't be the last!
Pinterest is a hugely powerful (and often underestimated) tool to bring traffic to your business.
There are 3 major mistakes that I see people make when it comes to this channel...
Firstly, people think that Pinterest isn't for them - it's just for the foodies and craft lovers right?
Go check Pinterest right now for boards in your own niche - I'm willing to bet you'll find some!
Secondly, people don't join group boards. That is game changing. Find large, active group boards in your niche and send requests to join. Yes, sending the requests is a minor inconvenience, but the rewards are SO worth it.
Thirdly, people give it a go but they're too timid. They pin once or twice per day (if that) and wonder where all their traffic is...
The thing you have to remember about Pinterest is that is is basically a huge search engine. I pin 40 times per day - and I intend to start pinning more once I join more group boards!
Seriously - if you're not on Pinterest, set up an account, join group boards and get pinning! A lot.
You can thank me later. 😉
PS - Please don't try to manually pin 40+ times per day! You'll never get anything else done... Use a scheduler such as Tailwind or Boardbooster. I use the former and love, love, love it! Here's what I do...
15) Instagram Stories
I LOVE Instagram stories. I don't use them nearly as much as I want to (so, watch this space!) but I watch other people's stories pretty much EVERY DAY.
Instagram stories are a fantastic tool to both promote what you're working on but also to give your audience a great insight into a more personal side of you. Let people in to see what goes on 'back stage' and see how it helps them to connect with you!
I love using a combination of standard Instagram posts (making use of all 30 hashtags) which gives my followers a boost and then Instagram stories to really show a bit more character and fun.
16) Influencer Outreach
Who are the key players in your niche? Wouldn't it be great if you could get one or more of them to give you a bit of a shout out?
Perhaps you can...
There are 2 key factors to successful influencer outreach...
The first is relationship building. Influencers are people too and will often be happy to help - as long as you act appropriately. Remember, these people probably get MANY requests per day, so you need to stand out. Don't just dive in with 'Hey there! I love your stuff - would you promote my latest blog post?'
Why on earth should they?
Join their group, ask questions, be helpful and build a relationship.
The second factor is being able to show how giving you a shout out would be of benefit to them... Perhaps you've created a round-up post and they're included? Or maybe you're reviewing one of their products or services? So, by promoting YOUR post, they're also promoting themselves...
Give it a go - what's the worst that can happen? 😉
I couldn't write a post about how to increase your brand visibility and not include advertising. This is the cornerstone of marketing activities. It has changed a lot over the last few years, with Facebook and other online ads slowly taking precedence over more traditional forms such as newspaper or TV.
Facebook ads in particular can be a great way to start because you don't need a large budget. You can start on just a few £'s per day - and in fact, that's what you should do until you've had a chance to try different strategies and see what works for you and your business.
There is nothing like advertising for adding some rocket fuel to your brand visibility, when it's done right. Done wrong, it's a great way to lose money fast...
Learn how it's done - or get professional help before investing too heavily in this one!
Hopefully this list has given you lots of ideas to help you to grow your own audience. Don't feel tempted to try everything at once. You'll feel completely overwhelmed and won't be able to give any of the strategies the time and effort they deserve. Just pick a couple to start and then you can see what works for you.