You may have heard that if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.
In other words, if you're not helping the cause, you're hurting it…or at least contributing to its continued stagnation.
Into what category does your brand fall? Are you helping to solve a problem? Or are you perpetuating the bad conditions, the pain, the difficulties that your target audience members (and maybe even your industry) are feeling?
Here's the key to answering that question with complete honesty: In order for your brand to be part of the solution, you must help. You must serve. You must put what you want after what your ideal customers need and want from you.
Does that mean you can't achieve your dreams in the process? Absolutely not! In fact, serving your ideal customers in a way that puts them and their problems at the forefront will actually move you toward your dreams in a much more efficient and effective way.
Now that we have that straight, let's move on to discuss how you can make your brand a major player in that big solution.
Using Service to Build your Brand
I feel I've said it a million times, and it's so important that I'll say it a million more:
Focus on Serving Rather than Selling
Not only will you build trust, which is essential to build your brand, you will make sales with very little effort.
That's a great reason to serve, if you ask me (not to mention the good feeling you'll have when you lay your head on the pillow at night). However, the strength of this concept doesn't end there. In fact, that's just the beginning.
There's another cold, and much harder truth that goes along with it:
If your Brand doesn't Serve, it will not Exist
No consumer has the goal of helping you to succeed (unless you're counting your mother). No consumer wants to give you money…just for sake of spending it. And no consumer wants to waste his or her valuable time on anything that isn't going to change their life for the better.
Before every sale, a calculation goes on…and it's not the one you might think. It's done by the potential customer, and it goes something like this:
Benefits Received – Time/Money/Effort Investment = Net Value
And if that Net Value isn't a positive number (and a big one), they're going to walk away.
This isn't just about how much money they spend versus how much money your product is worthy. It's about how much effort they used to find your brand, how much time they invested in getting to know your brand, how much money they laid out and how much thought they've put into the decision. It's about how much monetary value they've received, as well as how much time it's going to save them, how much happier it's going to make them, how much smarter they're going to feel, how much peace of mind they're going to enjoy, how much more included they'll be…and so much more.
There's a ceiling on how much you can boost the monetary value of your product. However, there's virtually no limit to how much value (in the form of service) you can add.
Here are some tips for how you can add value, be part of the solution, and build your brand:
- Stop Spewing Facts. Turn those facts into something useful for your ideal customer. Anyone can gather facts; a real brand builder will turn knowledge into a product that solves a problem.
- Lead Them. People looking for help want someone to take the reins and show them where to go, what to do, what to say, how to say it, whom to connect with, how to make their next move, and more. Be that person and you will solve problems and build your brand.
- Provide Life-Altering Content. When the content you publish is relevant, timely and overflowing with useful information, your customers will assign high value to it. They will use it, give it credit for the changes in their lives and then share it with other ideal customers.
- Make Yourself Available. You have billed yourself as an industry expert, and now is the time to open your coffers of wisdom to the masses (or at least to your little target audience). Respond to their comments on social media. Answer their questions in live-streaming video. Be there with helpful advice when they're struggling. On holiday or otherwise indisposed? Have a stellar team at your disposal, with members who are well-versed in your brand language and who whole-heartedly believe in your vision and mission.
- Discriminate. Your brand is not right for everyone…and you should be making your brand available only to your ideal customers. Sound cruel? Or like you'll be throwing away profit? Trust me: Serving only those who are ideal matches will build your brand and your bank account.
- Be You. People want to be helped, and they want to be helped by someone who 'gets them,' who has been where they are and who has overcome what they're trying to conquer. You are who you are because of what you have experienced. Refusing to share that can only hurt your brand.
- Find Answers. You're not going to have all the answers. That's why it's important to build a network of professionals who dwarf your expertise. That way, even if you're unable to answer questions or serve up a solution, you have the best resources available to you. Your audience will catch on to this quickly, and word will spread.
Whew! There's so much to talk about when it comes to serving and solving problems. I hope this list has inspired you to go out and get serving.
Need some clarification on any of the above points? Or have questions you would like me answer, live, in an upcoming Wednesday Brand Breakthroughs session? Simply join the How to Build a Brand Facebook group and get connecting. It's free, and it could just change the way you build your brand.