Google it. Those two words have taken over the world of business. Whether you want to hire content writers for your blog or you need to find a reputable marketing agency, your search begins with a quick scan of Google search results. You can find out in a few seconds if your future freelance writers, marketers, and other potential employees have been arrested, sued, or slandered. Mug shots, drunken holiday party rants on video, skinny dipping photos from college—all available for the general public online. Now, turn this perspective around and put the Google eye on your company. What do people see when they Google you or your business?
Tell Your Story
In order to build an online brand with optimal influence, you need to start with the heart of your business. Find a way to connect emotionally with your customer base. Do you have a back story or history to your company that would connect to readers, such as having an immigrant founder who started from scratch or a company powered by women leaders? If not, find one fast.
All About Us
After you establish an emotional story, write this out and feature it on your company About Us page, as well as on your social media About Us sections. Next, you need to find customers who will feel connected to your story. This connection will go much farther than the drawl of simply selling a service or a product.
Make a Mantra
You’ll also need a brand mantra, which according to Forbes is a single word or short phrase that sums up your emotional connection to customers. Think about top brands, like Coke or Nike. Sure, the soda and the kicks are being sold in exponential quantities, but people feel connected to the feeling of being a part of the company with slogans like “Can’t Beat the Feeling” and “Just Do It.”
Polarize Your Audience
In order to get your brand message out to those customers who will most likely connect to it, you need to polarize your potential audience. Determine who would best connect with your brand mantra or back story. Important cultural concepts, such as immigrant, woman, single parent, college drop out, small town startup, or environmental consciousness, that go with your story will help you find your target. Next, connect the customer to the business brand by pointing out reasons you need the customer. Look beyond profit margins. For example, if you sell eco-friendly products, talk about why you need help in fighting the battle against pollution. If your business provides start up services for female run businesses, connect customers to the necessity of allowing women equal rights.
Create a Cult Following
Once you have a brand story, message and mantra, it’s time to use it. Start with creating a sense of community by using your brand story to unite the customers that you’ve polarized as your potential customer base. People enjoy rallying behind the underdog, causes, ideals and missions that have meaning to them. As a result, they will support you in full force both online and in person. Find ways to connect personally, such as through e-newsletters, blogs or simply responding to social media comments. As your community grows, make sure to keep your community in the loop so they don’t feel that you’ve grown to be too out of touch. In the end, whenever your business scores successes, your community will feel like they are a part of the success.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.