For those of us with online businesses harnessing the power of our audience is vital to success. Our audience is not only the people who can eventually turn into supporters, influencers, and clients – but they also fuel ideas for blog posts, courses, products, services, and so on. Creating trust, loyalty, and a value given and received relationship with your audience takes time, work, and perseverance – there’s not really a short cut to ‘winning someone over.’ (Unless you’re like Brad Pitt, then consider me won).
There are moves that you might be making, however, that confuse your audience and therefore detract from this necessary relationship. This week I want to show you three places you are confusing (and therefore giving a bad experience) to your audience and offer you a solution to fix them.
YOU’RE PROVIDING INCONSISTENT CONTENT
I know we’ve talked about niching down before, and I stand by the idea that you can create content that is broader than your exact business – but still relates (I offer branding, but I blog about business, blogging, branding, etc.). What I mean by inconsistent content isn’t necessarily your topics that you cover in your blog, newsletter, or social media. I mean what you actually stand by and say.
If one week your blog post is talking about how you need to create 1000+ word blog posts to really cover a topic in depth and offer expertise, but then every other blog post you have is 500-600 words – that’s a problem. That’s inconsistent with what you are teaching and, as a viewer, confuses me. What’s right? What do I believe? What you say or what you do?
Other things I’ve noticed before are when someone talks about the value of having good customer relations, but then are spotted bashing a customer or client on social media. I mean that’s bad for many reasons – but for this particular example it just comes across as very inconsistent. Inconsistency leads to thoughts of unreliable, untrustworthy, and unworthy of following. Don’t leave your audience feeling that way.
But how can you be sure you’re providing consistent content? Create content that is based on what you actually do or believe versus what you think will look good on Pinterest or be appealing in that moment. Don’t write a newsletter that states a successful business needs XYZ if you have no experience creating a successful business with XYZ. Instead, be honest and say, “I believe that these things are important and I am currently implementing them into my business.” Better yet – invite your audience to stick around and see how these implementations are working when you write the follow up/review post in a month.
YOU’VE GOT A LOT OF UNFULFILLED PROMISES
A quick way to let down someone is to not deliver on a promise. I understand that things come up, life gets in the way, and problems happen – but there are ways to handle that professionally that don’t let down your audience.
If you promise a new series, promise to return emails, promise to create the best e-book ever (and pre-sell it!) and then never deliver on those things? BIG letdown. I promise to answer emails - but to be honest - my inbox is a disaster. Do you know what I do when I finally respond? Apologize PROFUSELY for the delay and then offer some grade A advice/answers/help. Your audience understands that you’re human and things come up – but don’t make a habit of not following through on things you promise to them.
Feeling guilty of this? I understand – here’s a tip: don’t make promises you know you won’t keep. Don’t say I’ll answer your email in a day or two; say I’ll answer your email in a week or two. Don’t pre-sell a book with a release date that’s too soon for you to get it done. Don’t promise a new blog series without a few posts outlined and ready to go.
It’s easy to get caught up and say “I’ll do all the things!” but in reality, you know you can’t. Instead, step back, and be honest. Do the things, slowly, carefully, meticulously, and right – people will value that over unfulfilled promises.
YOU HAVE INCREDIBLY MISMATCHED OFFERINGS
This is a personal pet peeve of mine, but as an audience member I find completely random and varied offerings to be confusing and off-putting. If you offer every sort of design service under the sun, plus social media management, plus content creation, plus copyediting, plus bookkeeping – no. You can’t specialize in that many things as a solopreneur. MAYBE if you have a team that has someone specializing in each area, but even then, it’s a bit much.
I’d much rather see you be so fantastic at one or two things than mediocre at 100 things, and I’m going to make the general statement that your audience would too. Be the person that’s great at designing wedding stationery for garden party inspired weddings, or the person that’s amazing at copyediting e-books for small hand-crafted business owners, or something niched and specific. It becomes so much easier to showcase your talents and skills in one specific arena than trying to show 100 different examples of random things you are good at.
Does this sound like a problem you’re having? Focus down on what you REALLY want to do and are actually good at. Not just something that you’ve managed to figure out for your own business, but something that you have/can repeat that you are 100% confident in.
What these points really boil down to is a lack of a brand vision and lack of foundation for your business. Answering questions like “who is my target client” and “how do I serve them?” are daunting tasks. Not having a solid foundation for your business and for your branding is detrimental to your overall success – but I created a solution for you.
Branding 101: Building Your Base is my new e-book that will help you to answer questions like “why am I in business?” and “who is my target client?” It will also help you establish your brand vision, elements of your brand experience, and finally understand what branding actually means and does for your business and growth.
I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!