Build a Bond Before You Build A Brand

Posted by By at 18 January, at 18 : 13 PM Print

Build a Bond Before You Build A Brand

shakeEveryone wants their podcast to be an instant success. If you’ve got a popular brand with a large fan base, you’ll find you can start up a new property and get a lot of interest right away. Of course, that doesn’t mean your new brand will be successful over the long term but you can toss a bunch of people at it right away and see what sticks. However, most of us are working on our first success so we have to work a bit differently.

We have to develop personal relationships to gain momentum. If you’re name is Tom Hanks you can find instant “friends” by walking out of your house, but are they really friends? No, they’re fans of your work and they’ll follow you, quite blindly, anywhere you want them to go. If you’re Joe Generic, you’ve probably developed some friendships but, let’s face it, you’re no Tom Hanks. While your friends are more dedicated and understand you better than a “fan,” they’re also in limited numbers and won’t make you an instant hit superstar on the Internet.

You’re going to need to expand your friendships using social media outlets and get to know people at a more personal level. You’ll need to understand their needs, their likes and their desires on, perhaps, a first-name basis and develop a connection with them. Once you’ve established this connection you’ll be able to share thoughts and ideas which, oddly enough, includes showing off your podcast and seeing what they think. You may meet them on a social media site but you can continue your conversation through e-mail, direct messaging and other means.

If you want them to respect your efforts you must first respect theirs. I’d like to call this, developing a personal relationship. We all do it in “real life” but when it comes to Internet marketing and promotion people seem to think we can just spam forums and blogs hoping someone will click over to our domain name and become a fan of our brand. This method of promotion annoys people and doesn’t create a dedicated listener. If you want that, buy ad space and go watch some TV; for everyone else, we want to work a bit harder and more cost effectively.

Unfortunately, developing personal relationships takes time and you want your numbers to grow quickly. If you’re a podcaster with no patients than you’re in the wrong business. First, you’ll want some creativity, quality and passion for your brand, than you’ll want to develop some personal relationships and see if those people agree with your passion and love your quality and respect your creativity.

Establishing yourself with people on a one-on-one basis is the cement that binds your foundation. Eventually, you’ll build momentum, and fans, through your effort. However, you’re going to first need to surround yourself with a large group of personal relationships outside of your close family and friends. Meeting people on Twitter, Facebook and through blogs and other social media is a great way to get started.

Don’t start a twitter account to simply blast your URL’s blindingly, that’s annoying. Use twitter to meet people with common interests in what you’re trying to build. If you’re podcasting about chicken than I suggest following people on twitter that have great chicken recipes, a love for chicken or a chicken-related blog. You can use search.twitter.com to search for the keywords “chicken” to find them. If they’ve got a blog, read it and comment about your thoughts on chicken. Read their “about” page to see why they love chicken and how they got into the chicken-loving business because you can use this to relate to them when they tweet on twitter or write editorials on the topic. You’ll be able to talk to them and ask them questions about what they like.

It’s not all about you. Other people on twitter are building their brands too, it’s a two way road and sometimes you’re going to have to share it. Pushing yourself on other people is annoying, would you do that in real life? If so, you’re probably the type of person I’m not hanging around with; you’re “that guy” or “that girl” people tend to avoid. Show people you’re a human by showing them they’re human and build a bond before you build a brand.

Along the way you’ll meet others building brands that may wish to work with you for advertising opportunities, cross promotions or simply “name dropping.” You won’t know who you’ll meet, where you’re going to meet or what you’re going to learn if you don’t start walking the road.

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