I like to think of promotion as a form of storytelling. You've got a unique story to tell about your product or service. Moreover, as a storyteller you are unique, and that makes your business unique.
However, you need to have answers to the following questions:
How do you get that message across?
How do you inspire trust in potential clients?
How do you nurture your business, and then proudly share it with the world?
Tell Your Story
Decide what story you want to tell. When you engage the world with your story, you engage your customers. In today's world, the subtext of authentic promotion is subtle, social, and psychological.
The first thing you can do is refine your core message. Your teaching brand is niche and should be immediately identifiable so as to become visible and compelling across various channels.
To achieve this, you would need five basic things, including:
1. Logo & favicon
2. Website and blog
3. Strong business network and communities
4. Content creation and sharing
5. Compelling action plan
Some of these may seem obvious at first, but environments and tools are useless if you don't know what to do with them. Allow me to explain how you can become a charismatic champion of your brand with user-friendly tools & techniques.
1. Logo & favicon
What is a logo?
Okay, we think we know what logos are, but do we have any idea of the psychology, art, design principles, and subliminal influence embedded in these images?
You may be just a teacher or some plain old service provider, but to have a powerful logo, you must also be an artist and influencer. Think about your service, the heart of your brand, your own particular working philosophy, the mission statement of your company, and then experiment with translating all of these things into a bold, compelling image.
What is a favicon?
A favicon or favourites icon is an icon associated with a particular website, typically displayed in the address bar of a browser or next to the site’s name in a user's list of bookmarks. They are sized at 16×16 pixels, yet as I always say, little things can make a big difference. The favicon shows up next to your website URL or on your open tab label in your browser when people are on your website.
Favicons are important because they allow you to display your brand, make it memorable, and build up trust in your service. A Favicon should be the scaled-down version of your actual logo, or represent some aspect of it. It needs to be very simple and clear so as to stand out, even though it has tiny dimensions. Here is a tool to help you create a favicon. Here is a related article with more information on favicons.
This tiny icon that lives in your address bar represents your story to the world, who you are, what you offer, and how your brand can make a difference.
2. Website and blog
The home page of your website reflects the heart of your business. It should be clutter-free, represent the colours and personality of your brand, and, most importantly, be unambiguous. Simplicity rules. Don't worry about intricate design or too many special effects. Too much information dazzles the minds of those visiting your website.
WizIQ Online Academy is a super-easy way to create a website for your teaching brand. The best part is that this solution is designed around educators. Regardless of the size of your teaching business, you can build a strong online presence with Online Academy from the very outset. It allows you to build your own online academy within minutes, choose its unique web address, and customize your academy with your logo and content. It’s an exclusive space which can be accessed by you and your learners. You can create and deliver online courses and live classes and even reach out to over 4 million learners who use WizIQ globally. You can even collaborate with over 400,000 educators on WizIQ. Online Academy has everything you need to deliver live, self-paced and blended learning. In other words, it’s a one-stop solution that enables you to carry out your teaching activities and promote your teaching brand.
In addition, a blog highlights the brand identity. The importance of a blog cannot be stressed enough. It reveals professionalism and personality, helping you engage potential clients. It also keeps your brand creative and relevant. Ideally, people will follow your blog because it's interesting and informative. Avoid jargon and get personal. This is how your work gets shared. Integrate your blog with Facebook and Twitter feeds to make your digital footprint dynamic.
3. Building strong business network and communities
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3. Building strong business network and communities
Using Social Media: Facebook & Twitter
This is an ongoing process and many books have been written on this. Many brands miss the point when it comes to social networking. They may invest time in building up a big Facebook page, but fail to engage the audience. Hard selling is old. Hard-hitting is old. Macho tactics in the socially intelligent world of cyberspace make your brand aggressive, Neanderthal, and absurdly irrelevant. If you want to annihilate your own brand and become a non-entity in your field, do it the ''hard'' way.
Soft selling and soft skills are the some of the prized assets of an emotionally intelligent marketer. The softer, feminine side is powerful and it sells big time.
Most businesses agree that Twitter is the place to be. The same principles of engagement apply, although different social networking sites have different personalities. When you get Facebook and Twitter working together to promote your brand, then the magic happens.
Facebook is best for brand storytelling as your posts can be long, multimedia makes it more visual, and video rules.Twitter has totally different dynamics. It's an adrenalin-filled funnel of 140 characters, and is powered by its own constraints. On the contrary, Facebook is the platform for sharing cutting-edge stories, whereas Twitter defines the cutting-edge itself. Together they are invincible for your business.
YouTube is a powerful force for marketing your work and brand. You can create your own YouTube Channel, make interesting videos around lessons, and add them to your channel. This will allow people to subscribe to your channel and get regular content updates from you, thereby building a community of subscribers on YouTube.
You can even share these videos on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to have a link to your website in the video so that viewers can visit your website for more information. When they do this, they will see your home page, your lesson packages, subscribe to your newsletter or even purchase a product or service.
When you attract fans, friends, and followers through compelling multimedia content, your brand becomes a much-loved brand. Maybe, we should even forget about the concept of ''popular brand''. A popular brand may be a shallow brand; here today, gone tomorrow. A brand that's loved is a brand that lasts.
4. Content Creation and Sharing
Here are some powerful tools and techniques for content creation and sharing:
a. Images & Memes
On Facebook and increasingly on Twitter, brands that share inspiring messages via image, embedded text & inspiring quotes, get their messages spread far and wide. Memes are images with embedded text, logos, URL, and other crucial bits of information. According to Mashable, here are the best 6 tools for creating memes.
A fantastic tool for creating social media images, memes, Facebook covers, and Instagram posts is Canva. I love it because it sizes everything for you so you don't waste time getting headers to fit into your Facebook page and more. A new Canva for work solution is also coming out.
Here is a sample image promoting an online course on WizIQ:
b. Flyers, Posters and Stories
You can create flyers, and posters using Tackk, and Smore, in addition to creating stories of your brand using Storify and Goanimate. Moreover, Scoopit is a useful content sharing platform that helps you get your message or story to the outside world.
A really unique tool that I use and love is WizIQ Recordor, which turns your ordinary PowerPoint presentations into amazing videos. It works as an add-in with Microsoft PowerPoint and allows you to record and add live video and audio or narration to your presentation before converting it into an mp4 video, which can be easily played and shared. Think of these videos as synchronized audio-visual presentations, which can be quite helpful in promoting your brand.
Another presentation tool is Prezi which is beautiful, user-friendly, laterally-designed and goes beyond regular presentations. It can be embedded into blogs, social networks, and YouTube. It's widely used in business presentations, online courses, and multimedia design.
Microsoft PowerPoint is good because it works in the online classroom and you can spread your work on SlideShare. To promote yourself widely, you've got to share some of your work freely. Although some people say that PowerPoint is boring or passe, it's not so much the tool as your imagination that counts.
5. A Compelling Action Plan
This is where the bigger picture comes in. If you over spend time on some social networks or fail to measure your own impact, a lot of work may seem lost or pointless. Your action plan involves weaving the influence of your social media activities, content, and creations into the story of your brand.
Your promotional content should follow a coherent and uniform brand template that is recognizable across the board, but never boring. Moreover, you need to carefully work out the right times to post your messages, know how to time your posts across diverse channels, and choose the right words for your messages. All these things need to be aligned with your core brand message and audience.
Finally, the greater your understanding of the various tools, techniques, and platforms, the greater your ability to lead and influence your audience online and promote your teaching brand. These were just five categories of ideas in the vast world of business and social media marketing. There's always more and it's always exciting.