Five years ago I decided to make a public instagram based on my love of nature, natural hair, and body confidence. I had no clue what I was doing but I was inspired to get into social media marketing. I am definitely not afraid to fail when learning but I made some huge missteps when I first started out. Now I guide others looking for help and mentorship as they work on brands.
If you have been thinking about building a brand using social media tools, let me save you some time and frustration with these tips:-
1. Being Inconsistent
When I first started, my branding was ALL over the place! I was using different fonts, clashing colors, and sharing different topics at random. I had no posting strategy and would post whenever I had time or remembered. Major mistake! Now that I am a Guide for others, I help them put together strategies to improve their consistency.
Social Media Marketing (and marketing in general) is a tool to develop trust and provide clarity. Before you can make a sale or land a deal, people have to believe and understand your message. An unclear message can turn an interested client into a confused onlooker who will be moving on to the next thing.
2. Focusing On the Numbers
Whether you're building a personal brand or a business, metrics can help determine how successful the brand is. Worrying about likes, conversion rates, and other analytics can really suck the joy out of your work. The numbers are helpful tools but don't make the mistake of thinking they are most important. Instead, I remind my clients to focus on engagement. If you only have 3 clients, develop meaningful connections with those clients. Those conversations can give you more insight into your brand than any conversion rate could. Don't let the numbers overwhelm, confuse, or discourage you. Use them to determine your brand's strengths and opportunities, but never brand value.
3. Faking It On Socials
I can't tell you how many follow-for-follow and engagement groups I tried when I first started. After a month, I had a jumbled feed full of content I couldn't care less about and followers who probably felt the same. It actually hurts your brand's presence if there is a large number of followers but low engagement. Successful brands build communities and a culture for their clients to participate in and engage with.
I often ask my clients to think of their brand as a CD or album and I ask them what the title and genre of the album would be. This gets them to start considering the message they want to anchor their brand community on. This message is what your audience will connect with.
So avoid those follow trains, buying followers, or any of those other fake-the-funk tactics. Focus on creating a culture for your communities. (Check out my How to Build Brand Culture post)
4. Offering Too Much
This one is simple. Offering too much variety can be very confusing. Remember a confused client is a non-starter. We usually do this, thinking we can appeal to more people. Not everyone is your client, so trying to appeal to everyone can actually cause it to appeal to no one. It is very important when starting a brand, that people are able to relate the brand to a specific item, service, or style. Even if you end up offering other things later, it is important that clients know exactly what they can expect from the brand. In my one-on-one Guide sessions, I ask my clients to pick 3-5 words that they would like their brands to be associated with. We use those words to make later decisions about brand design, services, and even business cards. I find this to be an easier way to find your niche.
5. Being Afraid to Invest
When I first started, I was determined not to buy any equipment for my brand. I wanted to use what I had available to me until I could make money or justify further investment. My camera phone and makeshift tripod got me far but the limitations make it harder for me to level up. Starting a brand, a business, or anything new is taking a risk. You have to accept that there will be failures, and be willing to learn from them. This means taking the risk to invest in the equipment and skills needed to make the brand succeed. I invested in a better camera, took SEO classes, and connected with mentors to help me take my brand to the next level. You can't expect others to invest in you or your brand if you won't.
It helps to know that you're not alone and others have experienced what you are going through. That's why I decided to help others avoid my mistakes using CheckIn. This platform lets you connect with others about topics like Work & Career, Love & Relationships, Family & Parenting, and more.
As a Check In Guide, I help others who are starting a business, building confidence, or balancing a brand with a full-time job. We meet for 30 minutes at a scheduled time and create a plan to successfully handle these parts of life. If you've tried on your own and think mentorship could help then book a session with me--> Check In with Kim
If you know what it's like and you would like to help others navigate similar topics then go HERE and click Be a Guide.
*This blog post was not sponsored but some links are directed to a platform where the author may be compensated.