I’m a ________ (Insert Your Career Here), Not a Celebrity…or am I?!
When people I meet first learn that I Coach on the topic of Celebrity Branding®, many of them shut down almost instantly. It’s funny, because if there were one subject most American’s are obsessed with, if they would admit it (yes guys, you too!), it’s Celebrities. But I’m actually not talking about Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Oprah or Dr. Phil, I coach entrepreneurs, CEOs, professionals and many others how to charge more for the same services they are offering now, create recurring revenue streams in their businesses and lock out their competitors in their field of expertise. How, you ask? Using the power of Celebrity Branding®!
Celebrity Branding® is a series of strategies used to get a specific market, those who are looking for what you have to offer, to find you everywhere they turn. When executed correctly, your prospects hardly know anyone else exists, but you. It’s all about finding out what your potential clients are searching for, and how they’re searching for it. Next, you develop specific ways for your prospect to find you and then finally, help your prospect learn more about you, your philosophy, why you’re right for them, and how they can reach you.
I can do this for people because I use the same strategies that big Hollywood PR agents use, to seed the media (online and offline, Mass Media and Targeted Media) with the information that I want my clients’ (the people who hire me), prospects and clients to know. It’s one of the oldest strategies around, but it’s been heavily guarded for years by Hollywood gatekeepers who want to keep the media, and the money, to themselves.
Let me show you five of my key strategies for building Celebrity status in your business or practice.
Notice I said Websites, plural. Yes, one great website it a great start but you should have multiple websites. One for your busienss, one about you personally, one with video and audio of you, one for social media connections, and the list goes on and on. Why? Because Google, except in very rare circumstances, will only show 1 website, 1 time in it’s organic rankings. That means that if you only have 1 website, you’re only going to get one listing in Google for it. If you have multiple sites, you get multiple listings in the rankings, not to mention if executed correctly it can really help your prospects see other dimensions of your personality.
I won’t tell you to give away your kids cell phone numbers, and the name of your proctologist or anything, however, sharing real life stories, photos, video and info, are all great ways to break down the barriers that often stop clients from reaching out to you in the first place. Most businesses don’t have TV commercials, newsletters or anything else that has more than 1 dimension. This is a great point to differentiate yourself from the rest of your competition.
Many of you know what a blog is, but for those who don’t, it is a dedicated place for you to communicate with your clients and prospects.
A blog (short for a web log) is an online journal or diary that allows you to write and post information or ideas you feel will be of interest to your readers.
So, how can your blog help you grow your business or practice? Great question. To understand the answer you have to know a bit about how search engines work.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and all the others use what they call “spiders.” Spiders are software programs that “crawl” the Internet looking for new content and rank it based on this content and its relevance to a certain topic. This is all done by some very complex math, but the important thing you need to know is that if you write often and/or discuss topics that are often searched online (i.e. topics in the news), the search engines will consider your site “relevant.” If you also include “key words” (popular search terms) in your content that you know potential clients are searching for, there is a much better chance that they will actually find you when they type those words in a search engine. The more often you blog, the greater likelihood you will appear higher on a page when someone conducts a search using key words related to your expertise.
Our three principles of blogging for search engines are:
1. Write Often
2. Write Relevant
3. Write Using Key Words
What makes a good blog?
The only thing that really matters is the opinion of the audience you are trying to reach. Here are a few tips that will help you develop your blog to generate business.
1) Know who you are writing for. As a basic example, that hopefully won’t offend anyone: If your audience is 13-year-olds, writing about retiring next year probably isn’t going to get you a lot of return visitors. Writing about becoming a teenager, the best car to get when you turn 16 and how to attract the opposite sex will probably make you pretty popular.
2) Keep it short and to the point. Approximately 100-300 words is all most people have the time to read. Remember, in the online world, people are looking for actionable answers — not novels (or they would go to a bookstore). So, keep your blogs short and to-the-point. Over time, this will build a great deal of credibility with your readers.
3) Write actionable content. “How Tos” and “Top 10” lists are great. It gives your readers action steps that they can take and use in their everyday lives. Think about ways to use this type of content to point out how you are different from your competitors.
4) Don’t be afraid to tell some of your secrets. People love to hear about how to make something happen, and then they love to pay someone else to do it. Let’s be honest, even if someone just told us how to edit the code on our Web site to make it stick out like neon lights in a search engine, that doesn’t mean we want to do it ourselves. Just give us a way to contact and hire you. After all, you just showed us you are the expert.
5) Allow comments. Consider allowing people to post comments about your blogs. In fact, you should be the first one to post a comment after each blog. Pose a question or comment to simply get a discussion started. If visitors are interacting and writing comments about your blog, they are actually adding relevant content that the search engines are going to like.
THEN, the real secret is to syndicate your blogs. Syndicating your blogs takes them and posts them on thousands of sites around the web, and they all link back to your original post, giving your website a “vote” in Google for relevance (which helps it to climb higher in the organic rankings), gives you another listing in the organic rankings for the subject that people are searching for (remember we talked about having multiple websites so you showed up multiple times for a certain subject in Google? Yes, this counts too!), and if you give them great content, it will also continue to build your expert status.
You can find some great blog syndication sources online just by typing “Blog Syndication” in Google.
(Note: The other big objection I get often is that “the Bar/Board/Professional Association/Compliance won’t let me do that.” And while I don’t profess to know the rules of every association or board, think outside the box a bit here. If your Board or Association won’t let you talk about your business skills, don’t talk about your business skills! Talk about something more interesting! Talk about real life and the stories it constantly delivers to us and those we know! This also applies to everything below that we are going to cover.)
Articles work the same way as blogs in regard to driving up the relevancy of your Web site in search engines. And while you should certainly use your Articles in hard copy newsletters, etc, let’s talk about them in the online world for a minute. The online game is content driven, so the more relevant content you have on a subject; the more likely you are to get traffic to your site. Articles allow you to show your expertise in a manner that is easily digestible to your visitors. The key to these articles, similar to blogs but slightly longer, is to keep them short and actionable. Give your potential clients information that they can use, and they will trust you even more — getting you one step closer to earning their business.
Articles are usually a bit longer than blogs, but they don’t have to be. Tell what you need to, but keep it slim. Remember, you are trying to build credibility as well, so try to keep your headline relevant to the context of your article. You should also keep your “sales pitches” (like “call me now to get started on your case!”) to a minimum inside the content portion your article. There’s nothing worse than looking for good information on a topic, getting three sentences into an article and getting a blatant sales pitch. Articles are meant to be informative, so try to leave the sales pitch out of the meat of the article and add a byline at the end. At the end of your articles, consider adding a section like this:
To learn more about Celebrity Branding® You, to lock out your competition, increase your profits, and have the practice you always dreamed of, visit www.CelebrityBrandingAgency.com. JW Dicks, Esq. and Nick Nanton, Esq. founders of the Celebrity Branding® Agency, publish the “Celebrity Branding You™” e-zine monthly covering topics that every lawyer looking to build their practice needs to know. If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, get more FREE info now at www.CelebrityBrandingAgency.com.
This text can serve as your sales pitch. By adding in a link to your Web site, if you syndicate your article, you create additional inbound links to your site. Again, just run a Google search for “article syndication” and you’ll find lots of sources.
Since this blog post is already a bit too long, I’ll save the last 2 strategies for the next post! Go ahead and take a guess and leave me a comment below! Or if you have something to add to the discussion, please post it in the comments!