5 Ways To Make Your Online Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors

5 Ways To Make Your Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors

If you’re not standing out, you’re just blending in. Learn 5 ways to make your online brand start SHINING online today!

There’s a time to blend in, and there’s a time to stand out. When it comes to your online brand and your social media presence, you need to do everything in your power to stand out from your competitors, and not fade into the background. To get started, ask yourself these questions:


  • Does my brand look and sound like every other brand that does the same thing as I do, in my industry?

 

  • What makes my brand stand out among a sea of other dancers, artists, entrepreneurs, and businesses who offer the same products and services as I do?

 

  • What is my value proposition, and have I made it clear to my online audience?

 

  • What’s one thing I do differently, when it comes to my social media marketing, or online video marketing, that makes my brand stand out from the crowd?


5 Ways To Make Your Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors

On location, for my dance tv show, “Inside New York City Dance”


Here are 5 Ways To Make Your Online Brand Stand Out From Your Competitors (no matter what industry you work in):


1. Tell your story. Share your personal story, your background, and why and how you got started. Share what inspires you, and what your mission and purpose is. Share your unique qualifications, education, and professional experience, and what makes you a trustworthy and knowledgeable source, in your field. Make it personal. Let your online audience get to know you on a more personal level. This builds trust.


2. Make your content about them, not about you. What type of content are you posting on social media every day? Is it the type of content that gets your fans and followers talking/commenting? Is it helpful? Is it entertaining? Is it informative? Is it educational? Is it funny? Is it motivating? Your online content should be 80% about them, and 20% about you. That’s how you begin to stand out.


3. Go above and beyond what everyone else is doing. If everyone in your niche industry has a blog, then you need to go hard with podcasting. If everyone has a podcast, then you need to go hard with videos. If everyone has a YouTube channel, then you need to be going harder on Facebook and Instagram live. Do you see a consistent theme here? It’s also not just about doing random videos, but it’s about the types of videos you choose to put out there.

Do creative concept videos, interviews with industry experts (HUGE), do how-to videos, do Q&A videos, do behind-the-scenes videos, document your journey of building your brand, tackling a specific project or task, auditioning, choreographing a dance piece from scratch, or overcoming a fear that you have. Don’t just create, document. Let people see who you are, what your process is, and what your daily life, journey, and operations look like. Then, you will not just have fans and followers on social media, but a loyal community of people who know, like, and trust you. Those are the folks that end up investing in your business long-term, and becoming your best, new-client referring customers.


4. Show up consistently. People like routines, and people like to know what to expect, in their personal relationships, and with the businesses/artists/blogs they choose to support. Be consistent. If you say that you’re going to publish a new blog post every Monday, do it. If you say that you’ll be live on Facebook, every Wednesday at 8 pm, be there! If you promise to offer a freebie, or special discount to your e-mail subscribers once-a-month, deliver on that promise, every month. This is they key to building trust with your online audience, and standing out from other brands who essentially do the same thing as you do. Plus, you need to stay at the top of people’s minds, otherwise, they will simply forget about you. So make sure you show up consistently on social media, every day.

 


5. Build real relationships, not just a large number of fans and followers. It’s so important that you really connect with people, in a personal way, on social media. These are real people (well mostly…bye Instagram bots lol), that are liking and commenting on your posts. Don’t treat them like they’re just another number. Get to know your fans and followers. Ask questions, reach out to them and offer them help, suggestions, resources, support, and motivation when they need it. Don’t just be another random brand that they’re following on social media. Be their friend, their colleague, their resource, and a part of their support system. Follow up with people, send them private messages (or DMs), go out of your way to help them, and show them that you see them, and that you care. Whenever you have the chance, take advantage of any opportunity to meet up with people in person too. Nothing will ever replace one-on-one, real life interaction. Nothing!


Conclusion

If you want your online brand to truly stand out on social media, and differentiate yourself from other individuals/businesses in your industry, you have to go above and beyond the call of duty, and do more. It’s not enough to just do the same thing that everyone else is doing. That will not get you very far.


So talk to me in the comments below and tell me, which of these five tips are you actively using to grow your online brand, and which one(s) do you need to improve upon? Let me know in the comments below.


Small Group Coaching with Ashani Mfuko

If you’re serious about growing your brand, and your income to the next level this year, join me for some personalized, intense, small group coaching, for the month of April 2017!

If you need help with making your brand stand out online, increasing your income, or growing your social media presence, I invite you to join my Small Group Coaching Intensive for the month of April 2017. This group is only for 10 people, and is open on a first come, first serve basis. We start our first small group coaching session on Tuesday, April 4th, 2017. If you want to join me, and work with me one-on-one, shoot me an e-mail at ashani@ashanimfuko.com, or send me a message on my Facebook page.

 

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The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them)

  The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them)
Social media can be quite frustrating when you’re working so hard to keep your profiles updated, grow your brand, and garner support and results, to no avail. You may wonder, “What am I doing wrong?” Well, I’m here to tell you, you’re not crazy!

 

 

There may be one or two simple things that you’re missing, which are causing you to not get the kind of results you’re aiming for on social media.

 

 

May I digress for a moment?

 

 

As a Professional Dancer, and Dance Teacher by trade, I know that one little tweak in your execution of say, a pirouette (a ballet term, for a turn), can make or break you. Meaning, if you adjust just one thing while you’re turning, i.e. straighten your standing leg, spot, or engage your core, your turn can go from disaster, to dynamic!

 

 

The same is true for social media. You’ll be surprised at how much of a positive difference you can make in your social media strategy and online presence, by simply tweaking a few things here and there.

 

 

So let’s delve in to Part 3 of this series. Oh, and if you missed Part 1 and Part 2, you should definitely check them out. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. Some major eye-openers!!

 

 

The Top 25 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results On Social Media (And How To Fix Them) – PART 3

 

 

20. You don’t have a website.

It’s hard to believe that in this day and age there are actually individuals and businesses that don’t have a website. If you are working a regular 9-5 job, you may feel like you don’t need to have a website, and maybe you don’t. Maybe your Linkedin profile is enough. Or maybe it isn’t. Any way that you can highlight your expertise and your value, and differentiate yourself from others in your industry is a win-win. Having a separate website allows you to do just that. If you’re an artist, blogger, entrepreneur, or business owner, a website is a MUST! It is not optional.

 

Not to mention, if you’re blogging regularly, or selling your products or services, your website can be a revenue-generating tool for you to use. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to be making money from your website while you work? Now you’re starting to understand the importance of having your own website. Establish one place for people to go to learn more about you, your background, your story, and what you have to offer professionally, or business-wise. Make it easy for people to learn more about your expertise, and find you online through search engines, in a strategic way.

 

 

21. Your website isn’t optimized for social media, and hasn’t been updated in the past 6 months to a year.

 

For the most part, people tend to visit your website once, never to return again. This is no good. One of the ways to combat this problem, is to have your social media links in a prominent place on your website, so that your website visitors can easily follow you on social media. That way, they will have a reason to come back to your website, as they see your blog posts or other links posted on your social profiles. But that’s not all. You don’t just want people to connect with you on social media, you want them to share your content on social media too. That’s where social share buttons come in.

 

Make sure they’re on every blog post, and on every page of your website, so your website visitors can easily share content from your website on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Lastly, update your website regularly. I would recommend at least every 90 days. Tweak your about page, your products and services pages, add new photos, videos, press features, etc. Keep the content on your website fresh and up-to-date, at all times.

 

 

22. You’re not building your list.

 

The second way to combat the problem that I mentioned above (people visiting your website once, never to return again), is by building your e-mail list. This is one of the most important components of any marketing strategy, and crucial to your success online. By building your e-mail list, and getting direct access to your target market’s inboxes, you’re able to build trust, thought leadership, and relationships. It’s through this process that you convert your fans and followers into paying, loyal customers, and brand evangelists.

 

 

Choose whatever service you like. There are many great options out there like, Aweber (my personal choice), MailChimp, Constant Contact, and many more. Whatever you do, start building your list NOW! The sooner you start doing this, the better off you’ll be, and the sooner you’ll start seeing tangible results from your social media efforts.

 

 

23. You don’t post a call to action with your social media updates.

 

What do you want people to do when they read your social media updates? Do you want them to post a comment? Do you want them to like it, share it, tag someone, or click on a link? Be intentional and specific about what step you want people to take next, when posting your social media updates. Ask questions, encourage conversation, and add a call-to-action to your posts, to increase your engagement. Check out a great example below, from the amazing, Kim Garst!

 

Seriously, right? If God is for you, who can be against you. #FaithInBiz

Posted by Boom Social with Kim Garst on Saturday, May 16, 2015

 

 

 

24. You don’t send out an e-newsletter on a regular basis.

 

I think we are all guilty of getting off track with this from time to time. Lord knows I am! But consistency is key! When you send out an e-newsletter on a regular basis, people get used to opening your e-mails, and start to actually expect them, and look forward to reading them. Remember, they joined your list for a reason. So be consistent with your e-newsletter, and make it worthwhile to read. Every time your subscribers read your e-newsletter, and gain something of value from it, you build trust with them, and authority within your niche market.
 

A targeted e-mail subscriber list drives sales, and drives businesses to success. Don’t treat your e-newsletter like a place to just share company announcements, personal updates, or events. Make it personal, valuable, and useful. Put your readers first. Make sure they’re walking away smarter, wiser, more informed, and empowered after they read your newsletter. Your success online depends on it.

 

 

 

 

25. You don’t reply to people’s comments in a timely manner, interact, engage, or say thank you when people share your posts, mention you, tag you, etc.

 

 

You’ve heard it a million times before, “Social media isn’t just about having a large following, it’s about engagement”. So if engagement is what drives success on social media, why would you not make it a priority to interact with your fans and followers regularly? It’s so important to show people online that you care, and that you’re listening, and paying attention. It’s something so simple, but many people fail to do this. Trust me, it makes a huge difference in how you’re perceived online. I worked with a major client who’s online perception and reputation was terrible, simply because they never replied to people’s comments or questions on social media. No one likes to feel ignored. If you’re going to be active on social media, people expect you to respond and interact with them.
 

 

 

When you have people who consistently engage with you online, make it a point to highlight them in some way. Share one of their updates or blog posts, shout out your most engaged blog reader, or Instagram follower. Show your gratitude, and get social with your fans and followers.

 

 

This is Part 3 in my series, “The Top 25 Reasons Why You”re Not Getting Results On Social Media, and How To Fix Them”. Be sure to read Part 1 and Part 2, if you haven’t already. I promise that it will give you some great insight on how you can start getting better results on social media, starting today!

 

 

Did any of these points resonate with you? Where have you innocently slacked off in regards to social media in the past? Post your comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it, like it, and share it on your favorite social media sites! Sharing is caring! 🙂

 

Ashani Mfuko, Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, Dance Magazine's "Media Maven"

 

If you’d like to learn even MORE about how to grow your brand and start getting REAL RESULTS on social media, I invite you to join my new Facebook group for entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, bloggers, writers, dancers, and media professionals.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about my secret Facebook group, “How To SHINE On Social Media With Ashani Mfuko”.

 

 

5 MAJOR Problems Every Brand Faces On Social Media, and How To Solve Them

Have you ever felt frustrated or overwhelmed by social media? Have you ever gotten caught up in the “how”, and forgot to focus on the “why” for what you do?

 

Do you sometimes think to yourself, “I know that I have something of value to offer, that many people will pay for! Why am I struggling so much to make money, and make things happen?”

 

These are questions that every artist, small business owner, entrepreneur, and blogger experiences at some point along your journey. The thought of creating something fantastic, that people will pay for again and again, then refer their friends to is exciting yet daunting!

 

Throw in the work involved in getting your message, art, product, or service to the masses on a daily basis, and you may want to quit before you even get started. But don’t fret. Help is on the way!

 

Whatever issue you’re facing today, there are thousands of other people who have gone through the same thing, faced the same challenge, and overcame it. So guess what? That means you can too!

 

Are you starting to feel better now? Great! Let’s get started!

 

Five Major Problems Every Brand Faces:

 

1. Having a Great Product, Service, or Art to share with the world, but not knowing HOW to get it in front of the right people/your target customer/your “super-fans”.

 

 

2. Spending so much time on marketing your brand, and growing your social media numbers, that you are sacrificing the quality of your art, product, or service.

 

 

3. Not putting enough time and focus into building an e-mail subscriber list of targeted individuals, who are interested in specifically what you have to offer.

 

 

4. Not knowing how to speak the language that drives your potential customers to take positive action.

 

 

5. Getting so overwhelmed that you end up doing nothing.

 

 

 

Five Powerful Solutions For Every Brand:

 

 

1. Study, Research, and Discover the top 3 social media platforms where your target audience hangs out online. 

 

Then build your social media strategy on those platforms alone. Forget about trying to be active everywhere. Don’t try to take on too much. If you spread yourself and your strategy too thin, you won’t be effective anywhere. It’s already so much work, time, and energy to create compelling, engaging content on a daily basis, schedule or post your updates, reply to comments and mentions, share other people’s stuff, create unique, branded images, videos, etc. The list goes on and on. Be honest with yourself about the resources and time you really have to dedicate to social media marketing, and focus on quality, and building relationships where it counts!

 

2. Create High-Quality Products, Services, and Art, then enjoy the blessing of FREE word-of-mouth marketing.

 

Don’t ever compromise the quality of your offerings because you’ve become obsessed with marketing and promoting them. I’ve seen it happen too many times before. A person is so focused on creating a growing presence on social media, and establishing their online brand, that they don’t realize that what they’re selling, kind of sucks! Make sure that what you’re offering is something of high-value, of distinction, something that keeps people talking, and coming back for more! There are way too many options out there for people to choose from. In order to stand out and be successful, you have to offer something well above average. When your product, service, or event rocks, people will naturally be inclined to tell their friends, family, and colleagues.

 

 

3. Use Social Media As A Tool To Get People Onto Your List.  

 

Focus more on building your e-mail subscriber list, and less on huge numbers on social media. When someone chooses to opt-in to your e-mail list, they are saying to you, “I like what you have to offer, and I want to learn more. Please keep in touch with me.” That is way more powerful than a like or follow on social media. Build your list, and you will have direct access to individuals who you KNOW are interested in what you’re offering. Provide value through your e-newsletter, offer free gifts and incentives, and build a relationship with your e-mail subscribers that drive them to take action.

 

 

4. Use industry-specific terminology and a personal, conversational tone, when communicating with your audience.

 

People love to hear a personal story of challenge, triumph, and success. They also love it when you speak the language that only people in your specific niche industry would understand. It makes you relatable, and approachable, and also shows that you understand where they’re coming from. When your target market sees that you “get it”, they will be driven to take positive action, i.e., “Click, Donate, Buy, Sign-up, Subscribe, Join”, etc.

 

 

5. Forget about perfection, and aim for action.

 

As the saying goes, “Even the smallest step in the right direction, makes a difference”. Don’t be so concerned with how far you have to go from where you are today. Don’t stress over the lack of time, knowledge, or resources you believe you have, which creates a huge obstacle for you. Focus on what you CAN do, then DO IT! That might mean doing just one small thing this week, and that’s it. In a previous blog post, I talked about the power of the 1 = 52 equation, and the major impact doing something just once-a-week, can have on your business. Don’t get stuck where you are, simply because you don’t know how to get to where you want to be. In my experience, God gives you direction one step at a time, but you have to make a move, in order to find out what the next step is. It won’t happen if you are just sitting still, and doing nothing.

 

On the flip side of that, don’t just throw anything out there online. You don’t want the work that you are doing to work against you. Remember, quality is EVERYTHING when it comes to growing a successful brand.

 

I hate to see talented, passionate individuals putting up some crappy website, flyer, or low-quality video on social media to promote their event, dance class, or performance! I immediately think to myself, “Haven’t you ever heard of WordPress, Canva, iMovie, or Final Cut Pro?!!” It’s tough when someone’s online presence actually detracts from the level of skill, talent, and expertise they have to offer. Don’t let that happen to you!

 

 
 

 

Conclusion

 

Every brand, whether a personal brand, or a large or small business, faces challenges. It’s how you approach those challenges that determines whether you are successful, or just get left in the dust. There are people who want what you have to offer. God has given you a specific talent, gift, service, or product for the purpose of being a blessing to someone, and to make people’s lives better. Don’t take that lightly.

 

Do the work you need to do to get your brand out into the marketplace in the right way, and start building a life and a legacy that will make a difference in your family, and in the world!

 

 

 
Have you ever struggled with any of the challenges I discussed in this post? What has been your biggest challenge in growing your brand online through social media? What has worked for you?

 

Reply in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you!

 

If you found this post helpful, please like it, and share it on your favorite social media sites. Sharing is caring!

 

Ashani Mfuko, Social Media Strategist, Digital Marketing Specialist, Award-Winning Blogger, Dance Magazine's "Media Maven"

 

If you’d like to learn even MORE about how to grow your brand and start getting REAL RESULTS on social media, I invite you to join my new Facebook group for entrepreneurs, artists, small business owners, bloggers, writers, dancers, and media professionals.

 

CLICK HERE to learn more about my secret Facebook group, “How To SHINE On Social Media With Ashani Mfuko”.

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media For Entrepreneurs, Bloggers, Artists, and Small Business Owners

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media For Entrepreneurs, Bloggers, Artists, and Small Business Owners

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media For Entrepreneurs, Bloggers, Artists, and Small Business Owners

Have you ever wished that you could quickly and easily go to one place to read the most useful and proven tips for creating an effective social media strategy, without being overwhelmed? Well, today’s your lucky day!

 

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The 7 Keys To Building An Online Brand That SHINES On Social Media via ashanimfuko.com

The 7 Keys To Building An Online Brand That SHINES On Social Media via ashanimfuko.com

The 7 Keys To Building An Online Brand
That SHINES On Social Media

Yesterday something amazing happened! No, I’m not talking about the fact that I actually got dressed up, “beat my face” (that means put on some make-up, for those who don’t know lol), and went to a networking event at the very snazzy and fabulous, 3 West Club in Manhattan. Nope, what I’m referring to is a time of fellowship unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced before.

I had the pleasure of leading a seminar on social media and digital marketing at the Christian Women In Media‘s Regional Event in NYC last night, and it was such a blessing! I was able to share my knowledge of social media and digital marketing with so many passionate, talented, and dynamic women, who are all using their gifts for the glory of God. It was so inspiring to be in a room with all of these incredible women of God! Today, I’m sharing some of the information and resources that I spoke of during this social media seminar.

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  The #1 Free Social Media Tool, For Creating Compelling Images Online
When it comes to social media marketing, images are where it’s at. If you want your brand to stand out in the noise of social media, you have to post eye-catching, compelling images, that inspire your audience to like, share, re-tweet, and comment on your posts. This is something that you should be doing EVERY DAY!

You might be saying to yourself, “This all sounds great, but I don’t know where to begin. How do I create eye-catching, compelling images, that are optimized for social media?

I’m glad you asked!

The answer is,

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Is Your Website Turning Visitors Away?

Is Your Website Turning Visitors Away?

Go through this list to ensure that your website is optimized and representing your brand in the best way possible.

 

12 Critical Components of a Website That Converts Visitors Into Loyal Customers

 

1. Eye-Catching Photos.

 

Colorful, high-quality images keep your website visitors on your site longer. The longer they’re on your website, the better your chances of converting them into a loyal customer. Photos allow your website visitors to see what your brand is all about in a way that text can’t. Whether you use your own photos, or purchase stock photos for your site, make sure that your website has a visual appeal.

Don't these cookies make your mouth water? You won't click away with images like this one?

Don’t these cookies make your mouth water? You won’t click away with images like this one!

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#1 Brand

Over the past weekend, I was blessed with the opportunity to speak on a panel on Branding, at the Dance Critics Association Conference in Vancouver, Canada! It was a wonderful experience, and the other members of the panel were very insightful, and made it a very rich and informative experience for everyone who was there.

I wanted to publish a post, here on my blog, touching on many of the aspects I believe are very important, and critical to building a successful, powerful, and profitable brand online. Check out my tips, and feel free to post your questions and comments below.

 

The goal is to create a brand online that matches & represents who you are in person, and the success that you’ve experienced in real life, online.

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