You’ve heard about strategies for content, social media ads, and email funnels— but why isn’t anyone talking about strategies for brand awareness?
When you initially think about “getting your name out there,” you probably think of marketing and content strategies.
But ultimately, the only thing that will scale your business is your personal brand.
If you’re here trying to learn how to get your business brand off the ground, you’ve come to the wrong place. That’s the slow route.
Today, we’re taking fast, practical — and honestly — free methods to fast track the success of your personal brand.
What is Brand Awareness?
Brand awareness is the process of not only streamlining your content schedule but how you present your information.
Anyone can post to social media. In fact, plenty of people do this consistently, and they use all of the widely professed “best” marketing methods.
And yet, their business never takes off the way they thought it would.
The problem in these cases lies in the personal brand. Your personal brand is the heart of your business, whether you’re a tech startup founder, a real estate agent, an author, or a CPA. It fuels the energy, personality, confidence, and content you need to run your business effectively.
Your personal brand is all about how you present yourself as a person. Not just the way you present yourself as a business coach or a coffee shop owner. The way you act on camera, how consistent you are, the tone of voice in your blogs and social media captions— all of that plays a part in building your awareness around your company.
So, what does this all mean?
It means that your personal brand is what makes your business (and breaks it if you ever get caught up in a scandal). That’s why you — the business owner, the entrepreneur, the founder — needs to work spreading brand awareness about yourself before your business.
Strategies for Brand Awareness
For a lot of us, spreading your brand awareness is tough. Maybe you’re not good on camera, maybe you’re a terrible copywriter, or maybe you don’t like the idea of putting yourself on a pedestal.
Believe it or not, you can use a decent amount of inexpensive strategies for brand awareness. And none of it is going to focus on you.
Wait, didn’t I just say that you need to “work spreading brand awareness about yourself”?
I did— but hear me out.
Donald Miller’s StoryBrand explains this perfectly. While your brand needs to tell your personal story, you’re not the hero of this story.
Your client is.
You simply act as the guide who leads the hero to their happy ending (buying a house, ironing out their financial woes, etc.)
If you can focus on making your videos, content, and brand about your client, your brand awareness will spread like wildfire. And you’ll be able to present yourself more authentically because now you don’t have that feeling of being a gross salesman— you’re genuinely promoting your brand to help others survive and thrive.
But you have to be open to new concepts, and you need to recognize that everyone is not your competition.
To help you get started, here are my 6 inexpensive strategies for brand awareness.
6. Guest Content
Everyone is not your competition.
If you’ve been burned before, trust me, I get it. It’s happened to me, too. And for a while, I let that distrust run my business.
It wasn’t until recently that I saw how much my distrust in other business owners hurt my brand and my business.
When you change your mindset to the community over competition, you open up a giant doorway to success.
Guest content is the backbone of all successful personal brands. That’s why music artists will collaborate on a song together, it’s why authors will write book reviews for their peers, and it’s why bloggers will guest write for other websites.
Here’s what you can do to implement these strategies for brand awareness:
1. Guest write for other business owners
A lot of people don’t take advantage of a useful blog. If blogging is a part of your content marketing strategies, offer to write a blog for someone in your network. You’ll want to choose someone whose line of work intersects with yours.
For example, if you’re a CPA who works with small business owners, you might want to write a blog post for a social media manager who also works with small business owners. You have the same clientele, but you’re not risking losing your business to them.
2. Pitch to podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to share your knowledge and get your name out there. Take a look at these podcast insights:
- 50% of all US homes are podcast fans
- 32% of podcasts listeners are ages 35-54
- 51% of podcast listeners are male
If these demographics line up with your ideal client, you need to be pitching your expertise to small (and large) podcast hosts.
5. Utilize Long-Form Video Features
As I mentioned, everyone posts to social media for their business. The people who are thriving are the ones who utilize social media video features.
Once people know who you are, it will be easy to sell your product or service.
People can’t get to know you just by reading your Instagram captions or watching your 10 second Tik Tok videos.
You need long-form video content.
Short videos do work as viable strategies for brand awareness if you’re consistent. It takes 5-7 interactions before a customer recognizes a brand.
But you’ll notice that the more loyal followers you have on Instagram, Tik Tok, or LinkedIn, the more your ideal client will be asking you for long-form content.
Instagram Stories or Reels, small video segments for LinkedIn, and Tik Tok videos are a great place to start building your brand awareness. It’s easy to do, free, and doesn’t demand that your audience take a lot of time out of there day to get to know you.
If you continuously provide these short snippets of information, your brand will start to gain traction, and then you’ll have your audience asking you to answer more of their questions.
Now you’re their guide.
There are a few ways you can utilize long-form video features. You can:
- Go live once a week on Instagram, Facebook, or Tik Tok (or be a guest on someone else’s live!)
- Create weekly IGTV videos for FAQs
- Produce weekly 10-20 minute YouTube videos
4. Create Freebies
Would you buy a pair of pants if you couldn’t try them on first? When you’re in the market for a new car, don’t you test drive it before signing on the dotted line?
Dressing rooms and test drives or vital to a successful sale because the business wants to make sure that you actually like what you’re paying for. If we as customers didn’t have these options or worse, we had to pay to utilize them— we would be far less inclined to buy.
You might have plenty of reviews and impressive social media content, but you need to have something your potential clients can take with them.
This is especially true if you’re a service provider. It would help if you had a pdf or a webinar that people can pull up any time they need some direction. That way, you’re passively spreading your brand awareness. Now, you don’t have to hope your audience sees your next blog, video, or social media post. They’ll have something on their computer or not heir phone that they’ll need to reference from time to time.
One of two things will happen as a result of this freebie:
- They’ll send it to their colleagues, effectively introducing others to your brand
- They’ll call (and possibly hire) you for your services
Freebies serve as a tangible guide for your clients—something like an eBook acts as the starting point in your client’s story to success. You don’t need to give away all of your expert advice for free, but it should help them get started in some way.
Just make sure you’re either capturing their email or providing them an incentive (i.e., a discount for your services) within your freebie.
3. Repurpose and Cross-Promote Your Content
I’ve said this in some of my other blogs, but one of the best brand awareness strategies is making sure you are everywhere.
I know that sounds intimidating. Who has time to run their business, work with clients, and effectively produce all of their marketing content?
The good news is, you don’t have to create 100 pieces of unique content every single day. You just need to produce one long-form content once a week and repurpose that content across your marketing channels.
Let’s take this blog, for example. I’ve written 2,000 words of copy here. I write these blogs once a week, so about 8-10,000 words per month. While the primary purpose of this blog is to drive traffic to my website with SEO keywords, here’s where all of this copy actually ends up:
- Across several Instagram captions
- In IGTV, YouTube, and video scripts
- On LinkedIn’s Publish Platform and Medium
- In my emails
- On graphics for social media, blogs, and ads
Repurposing your content makes it easy for you to be anywhere and everywhere to spread your brand awareness. All you really need to do is decide which platforms you want to cross-promote on and then break down your long-form content into smaller pieces.
This also helps you stay consistent without having to think of new ideas. You can always auto-publish your Instagram post to Facebook, but that’s a less effective strategy.
This also works for long-form video content. Your Youtube videos can easily be condensed into an Instagram story, a short LinkedIn video, an IGTV, and even Tik Toks or Reels.
2. Local Networking
Despite the current state of 2020, networking is still possible. Digital networking groups are on the rise, and they usually only call a small membership fee (anywhere from $20-$80 per month seems to be the average).
BNI and meetup.com have always been the go-to platforms for local networking, but it is essential to take note of your options. If you can find a local networking group like Los Angeles’ Six Degrees Society, you’ll see a more significant ROI.
These groups focus on building up the reputation of your fellow business owners. It’s an organic way to get word of mouth going about your business, and it’s a great way to support your fellow local business owners.
Local networking groups like Six Degrees will typically offer digital and in-person meetings. These meetings are meant to provide intense value to help you learn the different facets of running your business. You’ll have the change to rub elbows with entrepreneurs from various industries, giving you endless opportunities to collaborate and build brand awareness.
1. Build a Referral Network
Despite your brand appearing across social media channels, collaborating, and providing free value, referrals are ultimately what convinces people to buy from you.
Building a referral network is cost-effective, and it can be done in various ways. If you join a local networking group, you can usually team up with other business owners within that group to refer each other to your clients.
For example, a real estate agent will refer their most trusted home inspector, and a public relations representative is likely to refer their client to a social media manager within their network.
You can always invest in affiliate programs or influencer marketing for product-based brands to get the message out about your brand. These two options elicit other personal brands’ help to spread the message about your brand’s products.
When you build brand awareness, you’re putting yourself out there in every way imaginable. Not only are these strategies universally cost-effective, but they’re the easiest way to get your brand name out there.