Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fake It 'Til You Make It in Marketing

I was very involved in my high school marching band. One of my funniest memories is when my band director told us that if we couldn’t march and play, then just march.
Basically, fake the whole playing part.

A student director for that marching band later told me, “People hear with their eyes.”
It was more important how we looked on the field, than how we sounded.
That was mind-blowing for me.

Not only do people hear with their eyes, people think with their eyes as well.
When you’re running a small business, you’re an expert in your own field. You understand everything there is to know about begin a lawyer, dentist, or realtor.

But, it’s just as important to come off as an expert marketing professional (even if you don’t feel like you are).

There’s even compelling research to suggest that if you fake something long enough, it becomes a reality.


Here Are 5 Tips for Faking Your Marketing Expertise:


1. Create an attractive website


I have a friend who was auditioning for a job as a singer. Her husband told her that she couldn’t look like she needed the job.

So, she went out and bought a whole new outfit.

She was more successful after that because she looked the part.
Your website needs to look the part. It can’t appear worn-down, amateur, or home-made.
Whether you design it yourself, or rely on a low-cost website technician, it needs to convey to your visitors that you are a professional.

Think color coordination and consistency in fonts and graphics.
Your website may be the first encounter that prospects and customers have with your small business. You want to make a stellar first impression.

2. Use a professional profile picture

You need to have a profile picture on your website, blog, and all your social media accounts.
And it needs to be a headshot of you (not a flower, dog, child or the default generic graphic).
Obviously, there shouldn’t be inappropriate clothing, beverages, or behavior. (Well, let’s hope that’s obvious!)

And research suggests that if you smile in your profile picture, you appear more trustworthy, friendly, and approachable.

So, grab a camera, smile, and upload that beautiful profile picture.

Here are a few other profile picture tips.

3. Create content like crazy

Arguably, the best way to get the word out about your small business is by creating content day-in and day-out.

And having a blog is one of the easiest ways to manage all that content. Remember, a blog isn’t just for writers. It can showcase any type of content including videos, infographics, charts, and audios.
No matter what type of content you create, your blog is the platform you use to get your content out to your audience.

4. Take advantage of social media

Social media isn’t going anywhere. So, like it or not, you’re going to have to embrace it and use it to your advantage.

Select two or three social media sites and get actively involved. That means every single day you should be tweeting, posting, and commenting.

And, it doesn’t matter if you like to write, speak, produce videos, or create graphics, there’s a social media site just for you:

5. Engage with your audience

You may be at a loss as to what to share with your audience on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.
Here’s a helpful little hint: People love quotes.

They’re liked, favorited, commented upon, and shared.

Search for quotes on the internet that will inspire and engage your audience.

At Shoestring Marketing, we tweet a few of our favorite marketing quotes almost everyday!
In addition, you can easily make picture quotes with the use of several online tools.

Quotes are one of the easiest ways to actively engage with your friends, followers, and connections. Plus, they help you stay visible and involved on your social media accounts.

All of your accounts must be for purely professional purposes. For any personal posts or pictures, you should create a separate personal account.

So, don’t be afraid! If you start acting like you are a business guru, you’ll inevitably develop a following. And from there, you’ll truly become an expert.

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