4 Elements of an Effective Marketing Plan

If you aren’t familiar with creating marketing plans, it can be intimidating and a little confusing at first. 

To ensure you are developing an effective marketing plan, you’ll need to make sure a few components are included in the plan.

Here are 4 elements of an effective marketing plan that will help you develop your own!

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  1. Target Audience

First thing’s first, figure out who you are speaking to. You can start in two different ways. Either look at your current customer demographics and figure out who are your top 3 types of customers, or decide who you want your ideal customers to be. 

Think about their age, demographics, career, fears, stresses, strengths and more. Get as specific as you can so you feel as though you actually know these people personally. 

If you are attracting clients who you do not want to attract, you’ll need to change the way you’re speaking to your audience. 

Luckily, you decide this! You have the power to change the kind of customers you want to attract with the verbiage, messaging and branding that you establish. 

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  1. Defining Brand Messaging 

Your brand messaging includes the tone of voice, language used or intentionally avoided, value propositioning, appealing to emotion and creating experiences, and lastly, resonating with the audience’s values to build trust. 

Your messaging will either deter or attract certain audiences, but be rest assured that you will attract the right people to your brand when you understand your own messaging. 

Think about what your core values are, your mission, your company culture, and the feeling you want your audience to have when they think about you.

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  1. Setting a Budget

Marketing expenses can add up quickly, just like all business expenses! Setting parameters around dollars dedicated to your marketing efforts will help you understand where your marketing priorities are. 

A budget gives a visual overview of where marketing efforts were placed and whether those efforts produced results.

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  1. Taking Action 

It doesn’t matter how well you wrote your plan, how beautiful your branding is, or how well you identified your target audience. If you don’t execute your plan, none of it matters!

Taking action is the last but definitely not the least important element of your marketing plan. You’ll lay out how you’re going to take action--How will you distribute this information? Which platforms will you be focusing on? And how often will you be creating this content? 

Creating a plan takes out the guesswork of what your brand will be producing, regardless of the people who are in charge of the marketing creation and distribution. 

Since we cannot predict how long a team member will continue to work for a business, you cannot rely on them to do every single thing as a one-stop-shop. 

Being prepared for team members to leave while keeping the marketing consistent, that’s the goal and it’s the result you’ll have when you create an effective marketing plan. 

We’d love to help your business be prepared for anything. Take our Marketing Plan Mini-Course to understand how to fully form a killer marketing plan on your own. 

If all of this sounds like a ton of work that you just don’t have time for, good news! That’s why we exist. The Social brand wants to focus on your marketing goals, so you can focus on your business goals! We’ll do the heavy lifting and help you find your people. 

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Branding vs Marketing, what's the difference?

We get it, we’re a Digital Marketing Agency and that means that we know all the lingo.

You hear “branding” and “marketing” thrown around like there’s no tomorrow, especially in the digital world we live in! But...what are they? And what is the difference between them? 

We’re here for you, don’t worry. 

The truth of the matter is that they are very different things but you can’t have one without the other. The two go hand-in-hand. 

Is there a difference? 

The short answer is YES. Definitely, yes. 

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Branding is letting people know WHO you are. What do you want to be known for? What is the character of your company? What does your business focus on? Think, logos and websites, fonts, colors...etc. 

Marketing is the action of reaching people so they can see your branding and figure out who you are and if they want to support you. It’s HOW you let your people know who you are. 

Let’s dive into what each one entails. 

What is Branding?

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Just as you buy the clothes you wear, choose the style of hair and makeup, the car you drive...branding is choosing how someone will perceive your business. How will your customers recognize you? 

Branding is the actions you take to cultivate your brand.

When we meet with our clients, we have specific questions we ask to understand how they want to be perceived by their audience. 

We make sure that there is a cohesive “branding” among their digital marketing presence once understanding has been established. 

Some examples of “branding” are:

To name a few. 

Branding is crucial for businesses because it creates brand recognition. Brand recognition then leads to your audience trusting your business because they know you. You're consistent with who you are, consistent with showing up and the audience knows what to expect.

Think, Nike or Disneyland. You know exactly who they are, because they know exactly who they are. Their brand identity has been securely established and there is no questioning. 

Let’s Talk Marketing 

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Marketing is utilizing all of that hard and intentional work of cultivating your brand, then creating a strategic plan to distribute your branding with the intent of getting the right people to see it. 

This is why cultivating a marketing plan is so important to us at The Social Brand, if you’d like some guidance on creating your own, check out our Marketing Plan Mini-Course and get access to it today!

CTA: Take the Marketing Plan Mini-Course  

Some forms of marketing would be:

These tactics explain and show what your branding is. When your audience sees your brand’s marketing, they should automatically identify your intentional branding.

When brands are creating a strategic marketing plan, they are taking into account what their current efforts are and if they are operating effectively. 

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Conclusion

You can’t have one without the other in order for each to be successful. But, branding will always come first. In order for your marketing strategy to be effective, you’ll need a firm grasp on your branding. The same is true for your branding. If you want your branding to be worth the time you spent developing it, you’ll need a marketing strategy to let your audience know who you are!

Take our marketing plan mini-course or schedule a consultation with us to learn more!

5 Benefits of Having a Marketing Plan

Are you considering writing a marketing plan for your business? Maybe you’re wondering what is in a marketing plan or why they are even beneficial? Why are marketing plans needed for business? 

We hear this a lot. As a digital marketing agency, we have firsthand experience with how effective marketing plans can be for any size business. If you have a business, you need a marketing plan! 

On the other hand, it’s possible to have an ineffective marketing plan that does not help your business the way you thought it would. If you need some extra help with your marketing plan or maybe it needs to be revised, try out our Marketing Plan Mini-Course! It will help you understand what needs to be in your plan and possibly what needs to be taken out. 

If you still aren’t convinced that a marketing plan will help your business, let’s chat about the five benefits we have experienced with our own marketing plans, as well as plans that we have created for our clients.  

  1. Gives Understanding to Who You Are

Businesses are an extension of people. People need to figure out who they are throughout their lives. The same is true for businesses. We need to give a clear understanding of who that business is and where they are going. Which digital platforms will be used, what tone of voice will be perceived, what kind of pictures will be posted, which words are not permitted in all of it’s marketing? 

If the business doesn’t determine who it is, the audience will decide for them. Setting the standard takes time, but it’s worth it! 

  1. Helps You Understand Your Competitors

Studying your competitors sounds a little counterintuitive, but it’s actually exactly what you should be doing. You want to see what they are doing or not doing. What about their website and marketing do you like or dislike? Why? 

Looking over at your competitors is also expected, they know you’ll look at them! Figure out what makes you different. Why would someone buy from you and not them? If you can’t figure that out, maybe study them a little bit more and figure out what their weaknesses are. 

Sooner or later you’ll figure out where you shine and where they don’t. This doesn’t mean you’ll call them out on social media or to your customers (that’s a big NO!). 

All this does is help you understand your own brand a little better while situating yourself apart from your competition. Understanding your competitors’ gaps in their marketing is vital to the success of your marketing. 

  1. Identifies Your Audience and Ideal Customers

When you sit down to form your marketing plan, one of the most important parts is identifying who your audience is. Who buys your product or service? Once you have narrowed down three different categories of people who are a part of your audience, you’ll then take a deep dive into the characteristics of those individual people and get very specific. 

Narrowing down who you are speaking directly to gives the audience a clear directive as to who you want your customers to be and deters the people you don’t want! You want the right people reading your content and engaging with you, not the ones who won’t end up being your customers!

When the right people feel spoken to, that’s when they will start to trust your brand. 

  1. Sets a Clear Plan of Action

Without a plan, we typically only react to what is happening instead of completing intentional actions. 

When it comes to your marketing, you need to be intentional and know exactly what you and our team are going to do. If there is no plan, there is no plan to succeed. 

As our good friend, Benjamin Franklin, liked to say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

And we agree with him! If you have felt like you’ve been spinning your wheels, doing all-the-things in the marketing world--it might be time to sit down and form a plan. 

A marketing plan is just like a guidebook, if there is ever a question about something related to your brand’s marketing, you simply refer back to the plan and find the answer. 

  1. Identify and assess metrics that are used to measure your marketing efforts

This one is always interesting to look at because we take a deep dive into our client’s current marketing efforts and evaluate how they are performing. Particularly when looking at SEO performance, we will list out how our clients are currently ranking on SEO or how their site is performing. This then allows us to create a plan of action that will explain how we plan to improve that performance or maintain it. 

We also take a look at social media analytics which tells us if the current social media strategy has been effective or not. This gives us an insightful overview of what needs to be done or changed in order to increase exposure of branding. 

By including this in the marketing plan, it gives a point of reference you can look back on when reevaluating your marketing plan in the future and will give you the opportunity to compare your growth in certain areas. 

Conclusion

Marketing plans have so many benefits, but these five are definitely among the most beneficial! We hope you’ve made the decision to create a marketing plan for your business, or maybe revamp the one you already have. 

Good things take time and creating a thorough and effective plan will indeed take some time. If you think you need some extra guidance on what exactly to put in your marketing plan, how to organize it, and helpful tips--the Marketing Plan Mini-Course is something you’ll definitely want to take a look at. Plus--get this--it’s completely free! 

So, get after it. We’re excited for you.

What is a Marketing Plan?

What is a Marketing Plan? 

You want to grow your business and you know that marketing is the key to that growth. However, how you’re going to tackle that marketing is a different story of its own. You know where the business is capable of going, where your team is capable of taking it - but you need the growth in revenue and sales to help get you there. That’s where a marketing plan comes in. A marketing plan acts as a roadmap on how to get from where you are now, to where you want to be. A marketing plan presents a clear understanding of the business, sets expectations and standards while taking away room for confusion with future team members.

So, what is a marketing plan?

A marketing plan is an internal data-based written plan that guides your marketing efforts. It considers where you've been, where you want to go, the current market, who you're targeting, budget, time and resources available along with any other relevant data. It should provide a step-by-step plan on how to proceed with your organization's marketing at any given time. As time progresses and you accomplish your goals, the plan will continue to evolve.

This is something that guides your internal decisions on marketing and what to focus on. It will help guide what you spend time and resources on, what avenues you pursue and the order you pursue those avenues in.

At The Social Brand, we make sure that our client’s marketing plans have a clear marketing strategy included which is the foundation of the actual plan. 

We believe that marketing plans ensure the success of a business...ANY business.

Is it different from a business plan?

Another common question we hear about marketing plans is - isn’t this covered in the business plan?  The answer is yes… and no. 

Most businesses require a business plan and a marketing plan because a marketing plan explains the how of the business plan. By this, we mean that a marketing plan explains the steps along the way that are required in order to achieve the business plan.

So, what is a marketing plan? 

What does a marketing plan consist of? 

It only takes a quick Google search to see various examples of what a marketing plan looks like. Marketing plans come in many different forms and don’t need to be extremely long, but they do need to be intentional, detailed and strategic. 

Some common elements to a marketing plan are: 

Each plan will be unique and will change based upon industry, services and products, but these categories will typically stay consistent. 

Don’t think too hard about each section, it can get overwhelming. Just take each element one at a time. 

The executive summary is a fancy phrase for business overview. Who is your business, what is your background, what are your goals for this marketing plan...etc. You’ll also want to include your core values, mission statement and tagline(s). You might think about including information about external factors that could be affecting revenue or the efficiency of the current marketing plan. 

Situation analysis looks at your current marketing efforts while summarizing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and even possible threats. This is a crucial section that will be the baseline for your marketing strategy. It will show why you need to increase efforts in one area or decrease efforts in another. It’s also a good area to refer back to when reevaluating how your marketing plan is performing in the future. 

Marketing goals and business objectives are tied to each other. Your business objectives will determine what your marketing goals will be. If you’d like to increase your overall ROI from a certain demographic of your target audience, you’ll need to create a goal for marketing to that target audience. This section could become pretty lengthy but don’t let that deter you. The more detailed, the better. 

Target audience, like we just mentioned above, is who you want to see your marketing. These specific people who are either the people you want to attract or they are already coming to you most often. If you cast your net too wide, you will end up attracting less people than you think you will. The more specific you become, the better. In order for someone to connect with your brand, you need to speak directly to those people with a tone of voice that is attractive to them and messaging that will resonate with them in a meaningful way. By trying to speak to everyone, you’ll essentially speak to noone. Niche down...hard. 

Unique selling proposition is essentially what makes you special? What sets you apart? What are you going to offer your clients or audience that will capture their attention and ultimately make them want to become a customer or patient? Again, becoming specific about this is crucial. Think about what the client wants, what’s in it for them? What is something that would benefit them in a big way? 

Messaging guidelines is a big one that you don’t want to leave out. If you have a marketing team or would like to add one in the future, it’s helpful to have guidelines on what is permitted and what is not. What type of verbiage is going to be the norm and what are you going to avoid at all costs? Think about how you want your audience to feel when they come to your website or scroll through your social media, and even walk into your office. What’s the goal? That is how you want your messaging to come across. Luckily, you are the one who controls that! 

Conclusion

Never underestimate a good plan. As a digital marketing agency we see businesses everyday who did not set up clear parameters around their marketing. The result of this was a confused audience and missing revenue goals. 

Many business owners will often avoid marketing efforts because some of them are not always trackable in regards to their ROI. This is understandable since your bottom line is your main priority. It’s easy to get caught up in a numbers game, but if you trust the process and the experts, you’ll start to hear compliments on your marketing as well as see an increase in monthly revenue that will be indirectly related to that time spent on determining your tone of voice, target audience and clear messaging. It’s all worth it, we promise. 

Ready to jump-start your marketing? Take our marketing plan mini-course now!

Meet The Team: Amber

Meet Amber.

Hi everyone! My name is Amber. I am the Content Strategist for The Social Brand and my typical day looks like writing content for blogs, newsletters, social media campaigns, and websites while strategizing with clients on the direction of their brand messaging. It's a very creative role and I honestly have a ton of fun doing it. 

I began writing freelance for The Social Brand towards the end of 2020, and was brought onto the team full-time in April! I didn't start working freelance with the mindset that I would eventually come on the team full-time, but this is something that developed into a great relationship and we both realized it would be a really great fit to join forces full-time!

I've always been a jack-of-all-trades, with experience in just about everything. It's helped me throughout my career because I'm unafraid to try something new or learn a new skill, knowing it will help me later on in whatever I do. 

With a degree in Mass Media, I've always had a love for social media, production, journalism and design...when you mesh all of these together, you get a Content Strategist (in my opinion). 

When I say this is my dream job, I'm really not kidding. Getting to work remotely, do my job well with a killer team and not cut corners as a mom, is the dream. 

I have also been a military wife for ten years and I'm a mom to four crazy daughters..don't feel sorry for us, it's a blast! Currently we are in Knoxville but we will soon be moving back to our hometown in sunny Southern California where my husband will pursue his Master's Degree in Kinesiology. 

I want to say I'm really cultured and have so many hobbies, but let's be honest I'm a mom of four kids ha. I love reading books and always have about 10 books on my nightstand that I'm "finishing," and I'm a sucker for a good workout at the gym.

My favorite thing about The Social Brand would have to be the team. I could do this job just about anywhere but I wouldn't have the same leadership from Victory or the camaraderie from the team in our epic group chats, or how we rally to get projects done. It's pretty great. 

Although we all work remotely, it really doesn't feel like it. I think that's the goal of every remote team leader and somehow it just happens naturally with us. I'm really grateful for that.  

Some fun  facts about me:

Meet Ted! - Our COO

Hello there! I’m Ted. I am the COO at The Social Brand. I handle account management, assist in financial operations, legal aid, and organization throughout the business. I work closely with our CEO, Victory, on a day-to-day basis to provide great customer service for our clients.

I have been with The Social Brand since 2018 with my job transforming to a more formal input. I have over 30 years of experience in leadership management, operations, and small business. I’ve always had an innate insight of teamwork and have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Social Brand team. I love how we utterly transform how others view their businesses and how we can help those business owners get to a place where they love running their business, again.

Some fun facts about me:

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Facebook Tips for Marketing Your Contracting Business

We know your business is fun and exciting to YOU, but how can you show that to your customers? How can you grab their attention on social media, specifically on Facebook?

Lucky for you, Facebook is the perfect place for you to market your business, especially for contractors! In this blog, we’ll give you our top 8 Facebook Tips for contracting businesses that actually work. Are you ready?

1. Before & After Photos

Let your work speak for itself. Most service-industry businesses acquire new clients with word-of-mouth referrals. What better way to let your work speak for itself, than with a picture showing a complete transformation?

Our thoughts exactly.

You’ve seen the social media trends lately...the 10-year challenge, How it started/How it’s going, etc.. It grabs the attention of the audience quickly, while telling multiple stories at the same time.

By providing a ‘before and after' set of images, you are proving to your audience that you do what you say you’ll do, and that you made someone’s current situation buch better than it was before. You’re ensuring your value.

We know you’re not social media experts, so if you’d like a guide to help organize your content, it’s yours!

2. Timelapse videos of work

What’s a timelapse? We’re so glad you asked. 

A timelapse video is a specialized technique that can be used by the average person, and can even be done on your iPhone if you do not have a professional camera. 

This allows the action taking place in the video to appear much faster than it is in reality. Kind of like a “fast-forward” experience, but much more visually pleasing to the viewer.

An example of this would be in nature documentaries when they show clouds moving at a rapid speed.

This is a great example of a timelapse being utilized for a construction company.

Timelapse Key points:

Useful apps:

Here are 15 timelapse apps that are getting quite a bit of attention this year and will make your life a whole lot easier if you want to get into the timelapse game. 

3.  Pictures of the team/owners of the business

People connect with other people. 

In our digital age, it can be easy to forget that there are people behind screen-names, email addresses, text/direct messages, etc..

The loss of human connection has been very apparent in the recent struggles with social norms or even common courtesy and respect when conducting ourselves on social media. Cyber-bullying has presented itself to be a bigger problem than most could have expected and many truly judge a book by its cover, or should I say, by its social media profile. 

This is why being “human”, or “real” on social media is so crucial for businesses, now more than ever. 

By having pictures of your staff/team, creates an automatic rapport with a prospective or current client. It gives the audience immediate insight to who they will be speaking to, who will show up at their door, or who will be handling their money.  And if you can add fun facts about your staff/team, or hobbies they are comfortable sharing, that’s even better! This will allow more connection to happen. 

If “Suzy” loves to fish and she sees that the accounting manager is an avid fisherman, there is already common ground before any business is done. 

Our trusted friends at Sprout Social explain that when customers feel connected to brands, they are more likely to:

Which leads us into our next topic, personal photos.

4. Personal photos

Social media is all about people telling a story. Whether that story is about the lunch you ate that day, the workout you just finished, the client you just helped reach their goals, or the project that your business is currently working on. 

Consumers don’t just want the finished product, they want the beginning, middle and end. In addition to that, they want the “behind the scenes” or “what if” scenarios. All of which are part of your story

But, how do you get ‘behind the scenes’ on a brand? Look at your people.

Did you know that 70% of customers report feeling more connected when a business’ CEO is active on social media? (Sprout Social)

And that 65% of consumers feel more connected to brands that have a strong presence on social media? (Sprout Social)

In order for you to build that connection, try first by highlighting a blog your CEO wrote on LinkedIn, or a funny picture that one of your employees posted that would give your audience a good chuckle. 

Become friends with your employees and start making friends with your audience. Wouldn’t your ‘friends’ much rather see a real picture of your life, versus only seeing the perfect family picture? ..The answer to that is yes!

Get personal. It doesn’t have to be too personal, but just enough to give insight on your character, sense of humor and interests.

And this would be the perfect segway to chatting about team intros and bios!

5. Team Introduction posts (facts about the owners)

A team introduction post will showcase the people on your staff and highlight the humans behind the brand. 

As we mentioned in the previous section, 70% of customers report feeling more connected when a business’ CEO is active on social media. This would mean that the audience wants to know who the person running the company is.

What do they like? What other brands do they support? What do they do outside of work? 

In addition to the CEO, every person on your team matters. Each person has a specific role and responsibility and moves the needle of the business in some way or another. Each person contributes to your brand and has an opportunity to connect with your client. 

Team introductory posts are always intriguing because oftentimes they are unexpected by the audience and it gives some “behind the scenes” information that they didn’t have before. Pretty sweet, huh?

This builds a bridge of connection that could lead to your reader trusting your company and becoming a loyal customer. Or continue being one. Allow your team members to write some fun facts about themselves.

In a study done by Harvard University, researchers found that when a person shared personal information, it leads to activity in the ‘reward’ areas of the brain. Researchers also found that people enjoyed sharing those personal details if they knew that others were listening.

What better way to encourage your employees, bring content to your website/social media, and peak the interests of your audience!? There’s no downside to this. 

Start organizing your content now! 

6. What makes your business different from others?

If you have a business with employees who are comfortable with posting on social media, this is a great opportunity to get the word out about what makes your business stand out from the rest.

Do you support a charity? Play baseball as a team every month? Give bonuses just because? Send your employees congratulatory flowers when they have a baby or get married?

These are things that employees would probably love to share about, and that could separate you from other businesses. 

Do you send your clients gifts on Christmas? Or give them a complimentary service?

Be proud of what differentiates you from the rest, not ashamed. 

7. Testimonials

92% of consumers looking to purchase who are in the “consideration” stage, will read online reviews and testimonials before making a decision. (Vendasta)

92 percent?? Yes you read that correctly.

This means that if you want someone to hire you, you’ll need great testimonials and should be easily accessible, making the purchasing process the easiest it can be for the client. 

Whether your testimonials are on Google My Business or taken by video, you need them. Word-of-mouth is extremely powerful as well as helpful. 

So this begs the question, how do you get more reviews/testimonials? 

You can add a link into your email signature that directs your clients directly to Google so they can drop a quick and easy review. 

After you finish a project that went wonderfully, don’t hesitate to ask that satisfied customer to leave you a Google review. You can even send them a “before and after” picture of their own project to remind them of what it looked like before they were a satisfied customer.

And finally, ask if your customer would be willing to answer a few simple questions on camera of why they enjoyed your service so much. Testimonials are great content for social media marketing and perfect to post on Facebook.

8. Videos of your process

The process is important. It shows your client what they should expect if and when they hire you. It gives your audience another aspect of the “behind the scenes” and gives them insight into your company. 

This also helps you set the standard of a timeline and what the client can expect from you as a contractor.

Conclusion

(is your brain overloaded yet?)

Nothing about your business is cookie-cutter, mold-fitting, and your marketing strategy shouldn’t be either! 

As a contractor, we know that marketing can be intimidating. That’s why we are here to walk alongside you and help every step of the way. The Social Brand knows your business is not cookie-cutter and we know your uniqueness as a brand. People and results matter to us, and we connect the two.

We believe people are the foundation of business. You, your team, your customers or patients. Everything is about the connections we form, the impressions we give and the value we offer to one another. We will help you craft your brand’s first impressions to convert people into customers or patients. We want to see your business take off!

6 Marketing Tips for Facebook

Facebook was founded in 2004, and it is most certainly the most popular and important social media tool you can use to grow your business. In this blog, we will be laying out 6 Marketing Tips for Facebook that you as a small business owner can use to grow your business.

1- Consistent Posting

Everything in this day and age is fast-paced and ever-changing. The world is always looking for the next best thing.

To keep up with this speed, consistent posting is the key for your business to continue to move forward. 

We recommend posting at least 3 times a week, scheduling these posts so that they go out consistently. Then, feel free to share any other encouraging posts that you find, or even make Facebook Live videos to answer any questions your customers may have.

The more consistently you interact with your customers on Facebook, the faster they are going to get to know you and your business, and the more they will trust you.

You might even get to the point where people look forward to seeing what you have to post! And that is where you want to be.

“You might even get to the point where people look forward to seeing what you have to post! And that is where you want to be.”

2- Engage with your customers:

As we discussed in the previous section about keeping your posting consistent, the tailend of that is engaging with your customers when they interact with your posts. Anytime someone comments on your posts, or shares them to their personal page, they are engaging with your post. This is free marketing for your business, because these customers (or you can call them fans😎) are using their own personal platforms to affirm your business!

It’s important to acknowledge someone when they take time out of their day, and space on their personal Facebook, to talk about your business with the people they know. You want to show them you’re grateful for them and their support. Even if your mom is one of them.

Also, be sure to quickly respond to messages and comments when they are directly related to questions about your own products or services. You can always send a quick response with “Call us at 1-800-XXX-XXXX, and we’ll take care of you” if you are between meetings or busy working on a project, so you can get back to them later.

3- Limit use of Stock Photos when posting your content on Facebook:

You’ve probably heard us talking about what we think of stock photos, and we’ve also written some blogs about it. Since this blog is about Facebook tips to help improve your marketing, we had to include this list of stock photos do’s and don’ts.

Stock photos don’ts:

-make your content more authentic

-make your business look more professional. People want to see you and your team.

-build authority. Your potential customers will trust you more when they see you performing the services or products you offer.

-show control over your brand’s image. Stock images tend to poorly represent a brand, making your content look generic.

Stock photos do’s: 

-take less time to create content - but they make your brand seem more distant, and not as personal.

-make things easier (because you don’t have to get in front of a camera) and that’s why so many people use them - but, they don’t build trust between you and your customers.

-sometimes look cool! - but, they can make your content look repetitive. Chances are that multiple businesses will post the same content because there are limited free stock photos out there.

Your people, your customers, are the biggest tool you have. People connect with other people. You can build trust with a customer with something as easy as making customized photography a priority for your Facebook marketing.

4- Sprinkle in some personal posts:

“People are hungry for authenticity, for someone who can relate to them and understand them.”

Authenticity. Is. So. Important.

There are too many businesses that are being deceived into thinking that they have to be perfect and successful from the start to grow.

People are hungry for authenticity, for someone who can relate to them and understand them.

One of the ways you can be authentic with your Facebook marketing is by sprinkling in some personal photos into your weekly content. Do you have a picture you would like to share of you with your dog? Or your family?

Many people think that these types of posts should only be reserved for your personal page, but we disagree. We believe that you’re an asset to your business because YOU are the backbone of your business, so customers want to see more of you.

“There are too many businesses that are being deceived into thinking that they have to be perfect and successful from the start to grow.”

5- Facebook Events

Another great way to utilize Facebook for your marketing is to host events on your business page! You can set up a webinar on how you do a particular service or make a certain product, extending your expertise to your customers. Or, you can partner with another business to share the hosting of the event so you can reach both of your audiences.

These events can certainly happen via Zoom, or Facebook live. They’re a great way to give your audience a chance to become more familiar with you and your business. Interacting with you is a great way to build trust between you and your customer.

6- Giveaways!

This is definitely a customer-favorite.

Giveaways are always fun. It’s low-risk for the customer, and it gives you the opportunity to reach more followers on Facebook.

Most giveaways go something like this: “Like and Follow our page for a chance to win a $100 gift card!” and you are certain to gain more followers.

It’s a good way to add some more fun to your content, and add more engagement to your Facebook business page. We recommend giving your followers a couple of weeks for a giveaway, and make a regular post about the giveaway leading up to the day you pick a winner.

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Now you have a little bit of a better idea of how Facebook can improve your business marketing.

The Social Brand specializes in creating compelling social media content that converts visitors into leads. We’re a vibrant, creative source of marketing strategy that works for your business and helps you accomplish even the craziest of goals.

Nothing about your business is cookie cutter, so neither should your marketing strategy. Together, we’ll create a completely custom strategy based on data that will deliver the results you’re seeking. There are no contracts for our ongoing services. The results will speak for themselves and we’ll earn your ongoing business. 

Leadership in Business

As a young Leader, I attended a Conference called, “Leading and Preaching to Change Lives” with John Maxwell and Bill Hybels. In a particular session with Bill Hybels (1997), on “Leadership Gift Mix and Style,” I was transformed. That conference, was over 33 years ago, and much has happened since then.

As a child, my dad was the Chief Engineer of the project in charge of putting a man on the moon. This exposed me to leadership every day of my life. I would include myself in with the Leadership Team that were all friends and who often hung-out together. Many of the Leadership principles I learned in those days, I also put to use in my years as a Contractor, Developer, Manager, and Pastor. Each role required different elements of leadership from me. When I transitioned into mentoring young leaders, I found that their core life would firstly improve dramatically, as well as finding success of their professional lives. Many would become very abundant (or even wealthy). This was in an era preceding the “Personal Coach” industry.

Leadership Core Values

First, let me lay-out a couple core values of Leadership. Yes, some people are born Leaders, but Leadership is documented as a learned skill. That means there is hope for all of us who were born with their leadership bucket being a little on the lite side. Secondly, a Leader never fully arrives. It is a journey of a Lifetime. I’ve studied Leadership most of my 62 years. However, there is a lot of confusion about what leadership is.

Have you noticed, no two Leaders are the same? 

Some people feel you must just learn Leadership Principles. There is no question that is very important, but if you don’t understand your Leadership Type, then Some Leadership Principles can become irrelevant. It is sort of like a mechanic who works on a Ford car with Dodge parts. No matter how hard you try, the parts just don’t fit. Even if they have the similar purpose, they will not work. However, there are multiple fuels, like gas, diesel, Biofuels, electric, etc. The fuel is the Type of Leadership, while the vehicle is the Principles of Leadership.

Here’s the deal, a major element that causes one Leader to be different from another Leader, is the Type of Leader they operate in most often. Let me give you an incomplete list of the Types of Leaders that I have found there to be:

Types of Leaders

When I first heard about this concept from Bill Hybel, a light went off in my head that connected many things that had been in the dark for me. I was under a leader at that time, and I was his second in command. I was constantly frustrated by him, and though I did not know it at the time, I was being frustrated by his Type of Leadership. I liked him a great deal, but I did not understand much about personalities and their interactions, nor the difference in Leader Types. I thought a leader was a leader, right? I could not have been further from the truth. That’s like saying all cars are the same. Armed with a minimal Understanding on the Types of Leaders, I began to understand that at the core of our frustrations, was our Leadership Types.

Today there are thousands of books on Leadership, espousing methods, practices, systems. All that is good and has a place, but if you fail to first recognize what Type of Leader you are inside, then you will be drifting to one methodology to another, from one practice to another, to one system to another.

Obviously, we do not have the space here to cover every Type of Leadership enumerated above. That will be for future blogs. However, you can take the Free Leadership Type Quiz. It takes just a few minutes, but can help focus you on who you are, and how your Leadership Type show up. It is also useful for other Subordinate Leaders or a future Leader to take. For each question, you are to answer with 0 to 5. With “0” being the least applicable to you, and “5” being most applicable to you.

Though I had been frustrated by his Type of Leadership, I now understood why. My Leader was functioning as a Visionary or Entrepreneurial Type of Leader. I on the other-hand was functioning as a Strategic or Manager Type of Leader. We were having major type conflict, though neither of us understood that to be so. He was a Big Picture guy who loved starting New Projects. I was one who could see where all the roads led, along with their hazards. I was good at finishing and implementing. This insight made dramatic differences in how we functioned, in the roles of how we functioned and the result was explosive Growth. How many can use explosive Growth?

Once we made room for the other’s Leadership Style, we entered into the dimension of explosive Growth.

Each of us has different Skill-sets and Talents, and that Mixes in different ways, depending on our Personalities. Finally, our Leadership Type play a role based on the Foundations of Skill-sets, Talents and Mixes. This is sort of like the soil where you place a building determines what kind of foundation that building will need to have. Each of us are unique and therefore will not be like any other. You can see this all over. Even two twin’s personalities are different from one another.

In life and in business, each of us is important in how we are made. We do not need to be the same as another. We can be perfect with our own unique strengths as another can be with their unique strengths. In the book, A Certain Trumpet by Gary Wills (on leadership types), Wills suggests certain leaders have had an enormous impact on society because of their leadership type and the Need of Society. This is the same principle to be harness for your Organization and the Leadership Type which you are.

Business owners are leaders whether they have a team working under them or not. Recognizing the type of leader you are and playing into your strengths can make a huge difference in the success of your business.

Look for future Blogs on Leadership to Gain more insight on how to be the Leader you were made to Be. Take the Free Leadership Type Quiz and begin your journey to de-clutter. It takes just a few minutes. Also look for future Blogs here on Leadership to gain deeper insights you can implement to transform your Leadership.

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The Social Brand uses clear, user-friendly websites and powerful messaging on social media, to create performance-driven, online strategies that make a real difference for you and your business. Our goal is to empower businesses to grow in a digital world. This fuels our marketing and branding services, as well as our free classes and speaking engagements.

Contact us today to give you the proper fuel your business needs.

Leadership Quiz Freebie

Being Honest as a Business Owner

What does honesty look like as a business owner?

 

Honesty and transparency are at the core of what we do. Or so we say. When we founded The Social Brand, these words quickly entered the conversation. We wanted to be a marketing company that was honest, forthcoming with people and transparent even if it hurt.

 

But, this is a blog about real life and real life doesn’t always fit into a nice box. So, today I want to break out of the box.

 

The Yes Girl holding up a thumbs up We are a marketing agency. Generally, I like to be a girl who gets to say yes to people.

 

“Yes, we can make your website do that.”

“Yes, social media really can grow your business that much.”

“Yes, we can Photoshop that out.”

 

But, over time this becomes a habit. Say yes… to everything.

 

Maybe I shouldn’t say yes to something because it will hurt the quality of everything else that our team is working on right now. Maybe a certain client isn’t a great fit for me, or maybe (and sometimes this happens) someone else could better meet a company’s needs better than our team could.

 

Maybe trying to “be there for someone” means I don’t practice the self-care I need to that day and my staff gets the uglier side of me.  Maybe, in saying yes, I take time away from my husband or my parents when I was looking forward to seeing them and they had made plans to see me.

 

So, the gnarly part of this habit I have formed in the time I’ve been in this business is that it’s spread. I’ve noticed myself being a “yes” girl in my relationships, in my family, in my friendships, with my business partner, and with my staff.  Something would happen and it would bother me. Then, rather than being honest, I would swallow it down, smile, and work harder.

 

The Solution

But about six weeks ago, something shifted in me. I realized, hey, I promise honesty and transparency to the people in my life. Why do I think this doesn’t apply to my feelings, too? Don’t people deserve to get the genuine version of me?

 

At first the transparency was a bit uncomfortable. It was scary to not be the yes girl. To say, “No, I’m sorry I wish I could do that last minute thing for you, but this weekend I need to sit still and recenter.” or “No, I can’t get that project over to you by tomorrow.  You deserve my best effort at your project and I need more than 24 hours to do my best work.”

 

It was scary because I thought I was letting my clients down! I thought I was leaving money on the table.  I thought maybe my clients would take their projects to someone else. And, yes, when you say no, sometimes you lose work. I have to say though, I am truly blessed to work with brands who didn’t freak out and find a new marketing agency.  Instead, when I said no, their response would look something like, “Ok, no problem. Thanks, Victory!” and I would be looking at their email in disbelief, like, “Really? They don’t care?”

 

The pressure I had put myself under to say yes even when I shouldn’t was related to that huge fear. That saying no would cause this huge, explosive reaction that would threaten my business and my ability to stay in business…. But, then I got a thumbs up emoji and none of my clients even cared.  But you know who did care? My family. My mental health. My friends. The people I work with. When I was present and centered and could do my best.

 

With practice and with time, it grew into more important things like, “Hey, it bothers me when you talk to me in that tone of voice or use those words with me.” or “No, you can’t talk to my staff like that, they deserve your respect.” (The people who know me well, know that the one thing that will get me fired up faster than anything is people mistreating my staff. Mama bear alert!) or the best thing ever - putting my phone on “do not disturb” after 10 PM. (Hello quality of life!)

 

Ultimately, I think the thing that has shocked me the most, is that saying no means that my yeses are more valuable. The quality of my work has improved, I’m meeting my deadlines, I’m implementing strategies “I haven’t had time for” (for years now), I’m sleeping better, and when I say yes, you get a smile with it.

 

Because saying no sometimes, means that I get to be present more of the time.

 

There’s been a pretty amazing side effect though - my business has grown!

 

But I haven’t gotten to the best part. My relationships have improved. I’m closer to the people in my life, because I don’t have my “yes” face on. I am allowing myself to be honest and transparent without forcing myself into the box.  

 

It still freaks me out, when I have to set a boundary with someone in my life because it’s still something I’m not used to. I listened to a podcast last week that compared setting boundaries to a muscle that for many people is weak, and the more you do it - the stronger it gets.

 

This week, I challenge you to say no at least once.