Followers are important to your brand. Many of them are your ideal customers, who have a need for what you're offering, who have the problem you're solving and who are genuinely interested in establishing a relationship with your brand. Some of them are already your clients. Others are thinking about becoming clients. Others will never be clients, but are interested in what you're doing.
You probably know that having followers (social media and otherwise) is valuable because they provide an audience for the reception of your message. They are your word-of-mouth machines; the people who will bring more ideal customers to your brand.
However, the value of followers doesn't end there.
If you're like most entrepreneurs and business owners, you have overlooked some valuable opportunities offered by these living, breathing brand-building resources.
Good. Let's talk about that.
Building Your Brand, with Help from your Followers
You and your brand's followers have a lot in common.
They are, essentially, you before you found the solution you're offering to them. That means they're experiencing the same pain you once endured, they've been looking in the lots of places for solutions, they're reading relevant material, and at least one part of their day is consumed by the same thing that consumes your entire day.
What does this mean for you? It means that the people with the best insight into the subject your brand is dealing with are your followers.
You can learn a few things from them. Sure, you're conducting your own research. But do you think it's possible that they've run across some things you hadn't considered? Because they're enduring the problem and searching for solutions in a different time than you did?
Don't overlook these valuable resources. Here are just a few things your followers can do (and are already doing) for you as you're building your brand:
- They are Innovating. Have you ever conducted an internet search for your product (or products just like yours) and found that people are using it for purposes other than for what it was intended? You can do one of two things. You can get upset because it's being 'misused,' or you can view this as a profitable opportunity. One example of the latter is the American fast-food store, Wendy's, and their signature dessert, the Frosty. They created it to be eaten after the meal; however, an increasing number of customers started dipping their fries in the cool treat. Word started to spread, and more and more people were combining the unlikely food pairing. The craze eventually hit social media, and before long, it seemed that the whole country was doing it. How did Wendy's react? Instead of blowing off the craze as some kind of 'gross' phase, they created an ad campaign marketing the two items side-by-side. They listened to their followers.
- Analyse Your Followers' Engagement. Take note of what your followers are responding to, and give them more of that. It's a big mistake to keep doing the same thing you've been doing, waiting for it to 'catch on.' Give them more of what they want. They are helping you to create something that will appeal to others like them.
- Take Criticism. If those who have no use for your brand are criticising it, their words should have little or no meaning to you. Politely thank them for their opinion and move on. Criticism from your loyal followers, however, is a different story. They want to create a better brand environment for themselves and others like them. Give them that, and they'll stay involved.
- Follow Your Followers. This, in no way, implies that you should stalk your followers. I would, suggest, however, that you learn more about how they choose to spend their time, whom they spend it with and the causes they support. This will not only give you better insight into the wants and needs of your followers, it will give you the opportunity to get involved in those things and make the acquaintance of more ideal customers.
- Know Who Influences Them. Who are your followers' favourite celebrities and experts? Whose books do they read? What TV shows do they watch? Knowing whom they respect and what influences them will, again, give you better insight into the minds of your ideal customers. And there's more: you can work to make connections with those key influencers, because their lists are probably rich with your ideal customers.
Following your followers is one of the best ways to be a market leader. You can learn far more about building your brand than by holing up in your office and pondering how to create your next best marketing campaign.
What have my followers been telling me? That they love the Brand Builders Club! It's the place where they're gathering to learn about starting a business, building a brand, marketing that brand to make it more credible, visible and profitable…and they're making lucrative, global connections in the process. The things going on in the club are spectacular: 90-Minute Masterminds, Brand Builders Bootcamps, Mastermind Retreats and so much more. Email me at [email protected] today and we'll find out if the club is right for you.