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Can you sell without manipulation?

Today I want to share a thought not very popular. I hear these type of comments every day: “Be natural people, tired of manipulation”, “Be yourself, be authentic”, “Share your emotions, it’s natural”. Let’s check out what is manipulation. Personally, I do not like when people lie to me. And in advance, I will tell the truthful message “I want to sell you the product for 1000 dollars because I need money.” How often have you heard something like this?

So at first I checked Google, not to share just my thoughts.

Manipulation

məˌnɪpjʊˈleɪʃ(ə)n
noun

1.

the action of manipulating something in a skilful manner.
“the format allows fast picture manipulation.”

2.

the action of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way.
“there was no deliberate manipulation of visitors’ emotions.”

I’m going to talk about the second option “the action of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way.” So when we use emotions and persuasion in our communication, we do manipulate the public. For example, you write deeply personal posts to various groups. You put a catchy headline which grabs people’s attention via an emotional hook. And people read it. Now when you share such things with friends, you do not throw headlines to them. You just share because you are sharing you do not expect anything back. When you throw you mega emotional, private, best headline ever, to the bunch of unknown people you are planning something. You do expect that people will follow you and eventually buy something from you. Even the biggest teachers who we admire and know sell us something.

So, when some new marketers manipulate your mind by telling you that you have to be yourself and show your emotions to the public; they do teach you how to sell via emotional manipulations. The only difference between old school marketers in such a situation that they know and admit that they manipulate the audience and the neo marketers hide it.

Here’s another fact which I want to share with you. In the market where 90% of communication is built around emotional content to dig deep inside the customer’s mind, your true message will sound silly.

Remember? “I want to sell you the product for 1000 dollars because I need money.”

Check it out. “When I started my business I had no clue what am I doing and how to popularise it Facebook for free. I was wondering in various groups and was commenting, but had no feedback; there was a time when I was posting six seven times in a day to every group. But I got crickets; no one responded, no one wanted to work. No one noticed me, though I earned some friends, I didn’t make money.

Sounds familiar? I was just like you. I was overwhelmed and discouraged. Lost and frustrated I thought to leave the business.

So I understood I need to have a system, after all, I made it for my clients all my life. It sound’s weird, but I have it all already in my mind. So I’ve carved the plan, created templates and decided to check it in public. Once I’ve created my Social Media Kit with Design Templates, Strategy, and Plan, in three weeks people found out what I do, they started calling and messaging me and congratulating me on my huge success. I got first clients and many calls within first four weeks.

Today I want to share my Social Media kit with you. I have adjusted and polished it to exclude all the mistakes I made. The designs will be created individually for your brand so that they can be so much you. And just for today, you can have it for $999. And if you order today, you will get one coaching session with me for free; offer is valid until the end of September.”

The second message is equal to the first one.
But it has several triggers and emotional connections. It is also full of clichéd words which on one hand irritate you and on the contrary sells well; that’s why people use them.

My point is that if your final goal is to sell and if you try to share the message about it in some tricky or indirect way; you are manipulating people’s mind. It doesn’t matter if you are a corporate advertising PRO or a little boy from the post office.

And the conclusion is simple, if you are anyway going to manipulate peoples’ minds, though it sounds wrong, maybe you need to learn how to do it in a way which will be comfortable for you. Will not irritate or discourage you. Will help you to help other people to get that what they need without feeling that they were manipulated.

Why is branding such a slow thing?

I know you think that you can contact a designer on ‘fiverr’, pay ten bucks and order the logo (let’s not discuss its quality). But I’m not talking about a logo. The sad truth is that having a logo or a registered business doesn’t make you a brand. If we consider that brand is the image in customer’s mind, then it’s a long process. It’s such a long process that you can’t build it in three days or even in a week. Creating an authentic brand is a journey within. It’s transformational, even for big companies and it’s super powerful for solopreneurs and small businesses.

We are all creating goals and we believe that we can build things faster. But a bird needs some time to get out from the egg. If you hatch the egg before its time come, the bird will die. If you do not feed the bird, it may never grow up. If the bird does not have an example of the parent, it may never learn how to fly.

It’s great to have a logo, colours and a mood board from Pinterest, they are all good-looking and attractive things. And don’t get me wrong. Your business will run with or without all of it. But it doesn’t make your business a brand.

So my recommendation is very simple.

  1. When you start, make marketing research. Clients, market, the purpose of your biz and other things.
  2. When you move forward with sales, you may need to create a marketing campaign or even advertising campaign. (You may not need even a logo unless you put it on products.)
  3. Once you create some business which sells things etc., and you feel like your products are fine, and most of the other things fall into place. That moment, you’ll feel the need to expand your business. That the right time to start your brand. It’s a time when you will establish the deep understanding of your business and make a powerful brand.

The brand is an investment in your business. Good branding is never cheap. It is always deep and provides you with the system which increases your confidence, make your business noticeable and build the image in the customer’s minds.

So I have only one suggestion – do not rush!

Four things to know to attract the Ideal client to your brand

When we start our business, we need to know several things that we are going to do, who we are going to sell it and why they need it. This knowledge helps us to build an established business. Surprisingly, the same data helps us to create a successful brand.

I’ve created several topics about target audience already. And think, you already know what are you going to do. So here we will touch the most important client’s pain points, fears, dreams and desires.

If we want to communicate to customers in the right way, not just share the theory, we need to speak in their language about their issues. But even if you know who your ideal client is, how do you find their pain points, fears, dreams and desires? Asking about such things a little bit weird, isn’t it? First of all, if you know your ideal client, or at least target audience, you would be aware where their hangout. Let’s check these places:

Facebook groups.

Become a member of the group where your potential customers might be. Once you are in, add your keywords or potential pain points in the search field on the top right. That way you will have the list of comments and discussions related to your topic. Collect this information in one file, either by copy pasting it or screenshots. You will work with it later

Books they buy from Amazon.

The books relevant to your theme also have some comments below. Check what people say about solutions. What excited them and what disappointed them. You can use both to improve your business and add some features to your product.

Blogs they read.

Bloggers often touch the themes which are relevant to your product.Check the comments. These comments themselves are a fruitful field for blogging. People often ask for the solution. Keep in mind the way how they ask for it. What types of keywords they choose. What tone of the voice they use and what answers satisfied them.

Quora.com

Quora has thousands of questions relevant to your client’s pains and fears. Check the conversations. The questions as well the answers may work just like magic. You can create hundreds of topics in hours.

Twitter

Check for groups and lists first. You may find good collections of influencers or leaders who talk about your solutions or problems. Twitter search may also help in this situations.

Other Groups

LinkedIn and Google also have groups, and some of them are super active. You can look for your data there as well.

Famous Youtube channels

The leaders and influencers often have their Youtube channel. Check them out, they have probably spoke about this already. There can be some decent comments in there. Same works with podcasts.

If you have a huge list of followers

Do the survey. People who follow you already have a reason to be with you. Even if they didn’t buy from you, they quite probably like to read what you write or watch your video. Ask them.

And the cherry on the pie.

If you already have clients, (and I always recommend to build the brand only after you have clients) ask them. The real customers already have a reason; they know why they buy your product. More than that, they can recommend you how to improve it.

Re-branding — a plastic surgery for your Brand.

When my clients ask when to start to brand their company, I always ask them if they have already made any sales. Many new entrepreneurs want to invest in perfect logo colours and a site even before they have an idea about what they will sell. They believe in success (which is amazing), but they don’t have any sales. In such a situation they quite probably will end up investing even more on rebranding.

Let me also add a small remark. When we talk about rebranding a personal brand, it’s a very different story, because you do not change what you are. An alteration of few details here and there, will not make you another person. You are what you are. In business branding, the situation is different as you can change anything you want. But first, let’s talk if you need to change it at all.

There are many reasons for rebranding.

  • Brand doesn’t reflect your personality.
  • The brand look is outdated.
  • The company was sold. And so much more.

All reasons are good, but let’s look at the pros and cons. The great part is that you will have all fresh new brand. The bad part is that your customers will have to change the image in their mind, they will need to rearrange all ideas about how your brand looks, feels, and behaves. It’s an additional stress for the buyer and guess what, yes, they choose not to take a complex path. They throw the old image from their mind, and they may decide to trust you again, or they may decide to forget about you, it’s up to them. As the result, rebranding costs devaluation of the brand and reduction of customers.

To make these issues less harmful for the brand, marketers use brand positioning statement in a smart way. As you know, you have three core elements of the brand positioning statement. The market where the brand operates, the target audience and the point of difference. So marketers choose to change only one element at a time. That means that clients will have their habitual connection to your brand, and they need to adjust to just one element.

For instance, if you sell “innovative personal computers for creative people”, you may change only one aspect to — “luxury personal computers for creative people” or “innovative computing devices for creative people” or “innovative personal computers for office workers”. In all these options only one aspect has been changed, and the two others remain constant.

But what when you just want new colours and fonts. Some time ago I was writing about the main elements which the customer remembers about your brand. Those are colours, fonts and the treatment of the images. If you change it, all clients will stop recognising you. That means you need to double the effort to advertise your business with its new brand. You will not only spend money but a lot of time, almost as if you started all over again.

So before you jump into rebranding think about three things.

  • Do you have enough of time and money to perform the transition from the old to a new brand?
  • Do you have an important reason why you are doing it so that customers can accept the change flawlessly?
  • How can you do it with minimal changes and maximum benefits?

If you have the answers and the strategy, go for it. The brand is an evolving entity, and we need to help it grow and change as much as we can.

You need to become your brand

Listen the audio from the class.

Your brand becomes a lifestyle for your workers
Did you ever meet unhealthy fitness instructor or a financial adviser with massive debts?

To be a brand, you must become your brand.

That has nothing to do with “no makeup”, “crumpled dress”, and “I love kittens so let’s put them be on my business card”. Your brand must serve its purpose and satisfy your clients. It’s you who has to adjust to your business idea and become your brand. When you know who you are going to work with, your core values and the Brand message, you will know who you need to become.
It doesn’t mean that you have to force yourself to become something you don’t like. It’s more about becoming a better self. After all, branding is a lot about leadership, and I would not consider personal branding outside of business branding. They are different, but if you can make them work together it’s for good.

So if you promote healthy food or a healthy lifestyle — eat healthily and exercise. If you talk about creativity — be creative and inspire people. If you give financial, advice — make some money before. Once you reflect your brand, people start trusting you because they see that you did it, and that means they can do it too.

So what are these keys for a successful branding? Let’s see from point one.

  1. Let your business make a profit, focus on sales. Once you get a steady income, start to build your brand.
  2. Know your customer’s needs, pains, dreams, and desires. They are the fundamental data of your brand
  3. Be different than competitors. Make Unique Selling Proposition. Decide on Operation, Quality, Price Balance. And Show Brand Values.
  4. Create a brand. Be consistent, share information regularly. Create a special Brand message and translate it through all information channels
  5. Become your brand. Let your personal Brand and business brand be in sync. Believe in your brand values and Build the confidence and trust.

 

Check All Audio Series:

  1. When to start your business branding?
  2. Does your brand know its customers?
  3. Is your brand different?
  4. Your customers need to know what your brand all about
  5.  You need to become your brand

Branding Q and A. Is branding really have to be boring?

Recently I received the question: What do you recommend for creative people like me who get bored and want to switch things up too often?

I think It’s a very good question. This “creative bug” bites every entrepreneur on the beginning.

Creative people.

All top artist and top writers/authors have their own unique and recognisable style. Technically it’s the style which makes their art popular and brings them money. Are they creative? They are. So desire to change or switch things in the business communication mean that there are some other questions and there is something deep is not defined yet in the brand. Branding is much deeper than the all visual communication elements. They just express the idea, cause, promise but also make brand memorable.

We create the visual elements for the brand to achieve several things.

The thing number one is to be memorable. People can remember a limited amount of stuff, and they do not want to overcrowd they head with chaos. They do not see your communication that often as you do. So they didn’t have a chance to get bored with it. At the same time, you need to give them an opportunity to recognise you and remember you, or at least identify you in a fast moving timeline. Here is where repetition and consistency play their role. While creating a brand book branding specialists do understand this “creative bug” issue and try to add a particular type of flexibility to it. The more flexible it is, the most difficult to work with it (check out PwC flexible logo and layout in the newest brand book).

The social media communication is different from the other channels.

It allows you to be more open and communicative. The reason is that you can be here more often than in a newspaper, for example. So here is a recommendation for social media communication.
Four things you need to keep same.

  • Colours a single one or the colour combination (most recognisable element).
  •  Fonts (You can define 2-4 and stick to them. Not that easy as it sounds).
  • Composition, stick to one repeatable composition elements, so people can see that’s it’s your communication.
  • Design / Photography treatment choose 2-3 styles from more official to more casual. Even though it sounds restrictive, it gives you a lot of space to be creative.

And in conclusion, we do create a brand to create and environment for our customers so they will feel comfortable and will be happy to associate themselves with your brand. Eventually, when you brand become recognisable, customers will know what your brand do and what your brand stands for, you can show them a deeper & wider picture. It’s like in a relationship, so let them love your brand first.

 

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