While I'm putting the finishing touches on my course, Instagram Marketing Simplified, I'm getting more and more into the specifics of creating and managing a really good Instagram account for a business.
Today what's front and centre is branding.
According to Entreprenur.com, the definition of a brand is "The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.....your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors."
Long gone are the days of creating an advertisement that is designed to embody everything about your brand for everyone related to your brand. With non-stop news feeds full of millions, or billions of posts every day, your brand is seen from all angles and many times over. That means creating interesting, brand relevant content consistently and frequently. So how does a brand stand out against this kind of busy and demanding playing field?
Truthfully, there's really only one way to do this. That is to sell the lifestyle, not the product or services. Remember, your brand is your "promise to your customer" about how your product or service is going to make their lives better, or how it will hold an important place in the life of your customers. In general marketing terms, this is called Lifestyle Branding.
Whether your brand is an actual "lifestyle brand" or not, you need to present it like one on social media. Because social media, by definition, is designed to be social. It's designed for sharing bits and pieces of your life with those you connect with. Without the bad parts of course, just the beautiful, shiny, fun stuff which turns out to be a good thing for branding. You can't run as a non-stop commercial on social media. People will simply refuse to engage with you. This mean you need need to be more subtle about the actual 'offer' by demonstrating how fantastic life is with YOU in the world.
Do you suffer from imposter syndrome?
You know, that awful nagging sense that you aren't really all that great at what you do and someone is going to figure that out? Or worse, EVERYONE is going to figure it out! Some days can feel like why even bother, am I right?
Well you are definitely NOT alone in that feeling. It's not uncommon, especially among women.
It can be tough as a busy woman trying to run a business. Constantly putting yourself out there requires serious bravery. You have to value your work to create a marketing message not to mention continuously valuing your goals and your vision. Often in the face of a hostile, judgmental world.
Comparing ourselves to others robs us of our self-esteem even further.
There are many reasons I believe women are better when they stand together, but this is a significant one. Our friends, our colleagues, our mentors, our sisters.... they all help to support us through the day-to-day challenges of living on our own terms. People may think those who chose to work for themselves are strong and outgoing but that's not always true, is it? The women we surround ourselves with help us get through the times when self-doubt takes over.
There are those days when we are challenged to keep moving through the day when we don't feel worth it or capable of it.
I have learned that breaking things down into small, bite-sized pieces can make a real difference on those tough days.
What is one thing you can focus on right now to really honor the value of what you do and your unique way of problem solving for your clients? Just one small thing?
Just for a few minutes, can you focus on what you know you're killer at? Whether it's a business building skill or a personal attribute.
Practice positive self-talk. .
You've got this! One small step at a time.
You are special.
Your message is unique.
You have value.
Prove it to yourself first.
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Catherine Mellon is an Online Business Coach & Consultant who has been helping entrepreneurs & small businesses use the internet to grow their business since 2014.