7 Free Ways to Build Awareness and Reputation for Your Brand

You don’t have to spend money to significantly build your brand awareness. Here are seven free ways, plus a few bonus tactics.

Question: In the coming week, how many new people will have been made aware of your coaching or solopreneur brand, or given a stronger belief in your reputation and thus more likely to work with you?

I don’t expect you to actually know the answer, but I hope it triggers the thought, “Ya, even with my website, blog (or podcast), and social media channels, I wonder just how many new sets of eyeballs I’m hitting each week.”

Indeed, if we want to have or maintain a vibrant business, we need to keep front-loading that eyeball pipeline and giving folks who already know of us new reasons to like, trust, and do business with us.

Even If Business Is Good, We Need to Build Brand Awareness

Even if our business is doing just fine, there’s nothing quite like a (longer) waitlist. Or to be able to bump up your rates. Or to have a faster-growing email list of prospects for future offerings like a course or group coaching, etc.

Maybe you’ve even spent some money on paid ads or boosting posts in social media; advertising in a magazine; paying to have your SEO updated; etc. Indeed, there are plenty of ways to spend money to build your brand awareness and reputation.

 (Or you’ve been tempted to respond to one of those, “We can get you hot leads!” offers. Yikes.)

Well, the absolute best bang for our marketing buck is free, ‘organic’ marketing, of which there are tons of best practice tactics to choose from. But…

First, We Gotta Nail the Fundamentals

Whatever the state of your business, you’re likely already doing some organic awareness- and reputation-building via social media, blogging, podcasting, etc. But are you nailing those fundamentals?

The core of personal brand marketing is content marketing: putting valuable content out into the world on a consistent basis, some of which brings people back to your website or other channels so over time they have multiple engagements with your brand. Note the emphasis on consistent.

Take a look at your content consistency. Weekly for primary content (blogging, podcasts, videos) and close-to-daily on social media posts is ideal. But keep in mind that consistency is more important than frequency.

Content Creation Tip: Too slammed to get a new blog out soon? Re-promote an old blog.

OK, on to those…

7 Free Ways to Build Your Brand Awareness and Reputation

Some of these will seem obvious, others trivial – but I invite you to try and check off all of ‘em because cumulatively they're quite powerful. I’ll start with some easy, low-hanging fruit…

ONE. Leverage Your Personal Network

I’m sure you blasted everyone you know when you first started your business – “Hey – check out my new website!” But since then, your connections have grown and perhaps some new needs arose among them.

So don’t be shy about posting some news or your latest blog to your personal Facebook profile (but don’t make it a habit – NOT a best practice), as well as to LinkedIn. And don’t hesitate to ask, “Please share with anyone who might benefit!”

TWO. Promote Your Freemium

Hopefully, you have a free value-bomb lead magnet (a PDF worksheet, an ebook, etc.) on your home page that you offer in exchange for a visitor’s email address.

If so, Yay! But once it’s set on our site, we might forget to occasionally promote it in social media. Maybe we feel it’s too sales-y to do so.

OK, but once a quarter or so, get that thing in front of some new eyeballs on all your channels.

NOTE: At the bottom of the blog is a link to get my 10 Commandments for a Killer Freemium. If you don’t have one on your home page yet or need to improve your current freemium’s conversion rate, you’ll want to grab this.

THREE. Get Listed! 

You’re probably aware of your industry’s available directory listings. But do you appear in all of them? For instance, for ADHD/Life coaches (where I started out), there’s the directory for members of the ACO (ADHD Coaches Organization), as well as CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) and ADDA (Attention Deficit Disorder Association).

Not all ADHD/Life coaches are listed in all three. And the listings are free with your professional membership.

In this sector of coaches, there are also listings for alumni of the various training programs like ADDCA, IACT, JST and others.

In the productivity/organizing arena, there are of course NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) and ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization).

Then the broader, ICF, Noomii and a gazillion other listing opportunities for Business, Life, Health and other types of coaches.

There may also be listing opportunities at local hospitals, support groups and learning centers.

Next, some tactics that take a bit more effort (but are still free)…

FOUR. Freemium Promotion Exchange

Find someone with a complementary business – with a similar target, a good reputation, and a good following – and agree to promote each others’ freemiums.

You could even do the same with a “competitor.” I put quotation marks around that because I’m a firm believer that in the coach/solopreneur world, there really are no competitors for market share, ‘cuz the pie is big enough for us all!

FIVE. Do Some Guest Blogging

Other businesses – even other coaches – are always looking for content. And be clear that you’ll expect to include a link at the bottom of your blog to your freemium or at least your contact info.

No luck finding takers? Trade guest blogs!

“Advanced” Tactic: I’ve done several three-part blog series, posting the first on another coach’s site, the second on another, and the third on my own. With links in each blog back to the other two, everyone got some new traffic to their site. Win-win-win!

SIX. Get (More) Interviews

Whatever your area of coaching or solopreneurship, there are likely scores of podcasters who’d love some fresh expertise from you. If you’ve done some already, I bet a few new relevant podcasts have launched since your last interview! And they needn’t be directly related to your biz – any relevance is relevant!

 [Stay tuned for a future blog where I’ll share tips for landing appearances and for nailing your interviews.]

SEVEN. Present to Groups

 There are likely some local support groups and Meet-Ups who’d love to hear from you. But a massive opportunity exists with online groups around the country to whom you can present from your living room. Just in the last few months from my perch in San Diego, CA, I presented to groups in Virginia, Chicago, New York City, Toronto and England.

Ditto for any webinar series and online summits you can get invited to. (Keeping in mind that the greater your awareness, reputation and email list size, the more likely you’ll be to get invited.)

BONUS TACTICS

Here are a few more to add to your checklist after you’ve nailed the above fundamentals + 7…

  • Social Media Engagement - Obviously, you need to regularly engage with your own social media following – replying to comments, liking, etc. But go beyond your own channels: If you were to spend just 10 minutes a day interacting in a handful of relevant Facebook and/or LinkedIn groups and on relevant posts, you’d quickly expand your awareness.  NOTE: Always comment with insights. Never pitch.
  • Outline a Solid Article and Pitch It - To an industry magazine, association or even local news outlet.
  • Get a Yelp Listing - Ditto for a Google Maps listing if you don’t have one already.
  • Do a Free Webinar - Doesn’t have to be a major presentation – just a 30min series of PowerPoint slides on a specific topic of interest to your prospects. GREAT way to build awareness, reputation and your email list!

Those should keep you busy. And be sure you’re asking each consult where they heard about you and keep track of that data so you know what’s working best!

What are your thoughts on this topic? Did I leave out any opportunities worth mentioning? I'd love to know. Shoot me an email at [email protected] or DM me on Instagram @alanpbrown.

Bless!

APB


Here’s that freebie I mentioned earlier…

You gotta have a powerful freemium lead magnet. Here are 10 tips on how to make yours a must-have value-bomb!!

FREEMIUM = Free + premium.
A powerful freemium is the indicator of your paid offerings and the linchpin of your most valuable marketing asset: Your List!

Newsletters are not freemiums. Sadly, neither are most lead magnets. Your freemium, and the emails that follow have to deliver on value. Use these 10 tips to create something powerful and meaningful for YOUR business. Download your copy HERE!

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