How To Create an Inviting Brand

…and Stay Away From Icky Marketing

None of us like the idea of what our guest marketing expert, Erin Ferree, refers to as “icky marketing,” and would prefer to avoid it like the plague. Luckily, Erin has a solution by way of a shift in your focus about what marketing should be. I can guarantee you will enjoy throwing a party as much as your prospects will be happy to RSVP when you apply the engagement strategies Erin provides below. Thanks, Erin!

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Most small businesses think of their marketing as a push or pull operation.

Either they’re pushing their services, to get their clients to buy this, click that or opt-in… or pulling their clients to them, trying to attract or hypnotize them into their influence field.

Push or pull marketing winds up being an exercise in getting people to do something. Pushing has an aggressive icky energy about it. Pulling has a passive icky energy behind it. And both are just plain exhausting.

This often leaves entrepreneurs feeling icky and out-of-alignment with their marketing… which results in marketing avoidance (you know, that feeling where you’d rather hide under the covers than market your business) or general marketing malaise (where you just feel icky about it all).

Worse yet, it leaves your clients turned off or tuned out – not opened to working with you.

Instead of pushing or pulling… meet your clients in the middle by extending an invitation. Treat your business like a party, where you’re inviting your ideal clients to come and play with you.

Here are 3 simple ways to do that:

  • Increase your brand’s engagement factor. Create marketing worth paying attention to that rises above the chatter and noise online. Think about your clients’ need for entertainment, advice, personalization and information… which are you offering in your marketing now and how can you ratchet up the others? Some proven tools for increasing engagement include: stories, photos, videos, and quizzes.
  • Open the door to individual conversation. Most people want to talk with you one-on-one when they make a significant investment of either money or time.  They need to make sure that they’re making the right choice, that they feel understood and to get that touch of personal attention that tells them on an emotional level that they’re important to you.  Ways to do this (without spending your whole day on the phone): ask questions over email and send well-thought-out replies, schedule group “office hours” or Q&A calls, or quick & easy 10-minute check-in calls.
  • Welcome new clients in. Too many entrepreneurs focus on marketing and selling or getting opt-ins, and then launch right into delivering on their promises. This is like inviting people to a party, and then when they get there, just leaving the door open and never saying “hello” or telling them where to put their coats. Once they agree to work with you, it’s polite to tell them what’s next, and to help them settle in. How to do it: schedule a brief one-on-one “what’s next” call, send an introductory packet, or have your assistant get them up to speed.

My final, bonus tip: always take a moment when you’re doing any marketing and ask yourself, “Does anything about this feel icky?” Access your intuition and slow down to check in with yourself and your values about the tactics you’re using and the way you’re putting things together.

What are you currently doing to create an inviting brand for your business?

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Erin Ferree is a branding coach, design genius and strategic thinker. She loves connecting the dots between passion and profit, mixing strategy and inspiration and shaking things up.

She deeply enjoys working with entrepreneurs who want to help more people and look good doing it. Who want all of their branding and marketing to make sense and speak to their ideal clients. And who want an open, honest, inviting brand with integrity – instead of using icky, pushy, sleazy marketing tactics and trickery.

When she’s not obsessing about branding or design, she can be found hugging her corgi-dog Stanley, going for long walks, cooking improvisationally, or throwing parties so her friends can enjoy them. Visit her website at brandstyledesign.com to learn more about small business branding.

Connect with Erin on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

6 Trackbacks

  1. [...] Making your brand inviting. A big part of selling what you do is convincing customers it has value. That’s where your branding efforts should come in. Here are some ways to make your business brand more appealing. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  2. [...] Making your brand inviting. A big part of selling what you do is convincing customers it has value. That’s where your branding efforts should come in. Here are some ways to make your business brand more appealing. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  3. [...] Making your brand inviting. A big part of selling what you do is convincing customers it has value. That’s where your branding efforts should come in. Here are some ways to make your business brand more appealing. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  4. [...] Making your brand inviting. A big part of selling what you do is convincing customers it has value. That’s where your branding efforts should come in. Here are some ways to make your business brand more appealing. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  5. [...] Making your brand inviting. A big part of selling what you do is convincing customers it has value. That’s where your branding efforts should come in. Here are some ways to make your business brand more appealing. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

  6. [...] Making your brand inviting. A big part of selling what you do is convincing customers it has value. That’s where your branding efforts should come in. Here are some ways to make your business brand more appealing. Dr. Shannon Reece [...]

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