I'm not one for marketing tricks or hacks, but there's one thing I do think is universally powerful when it comes to marketing your brand: you. You—owner, founder, CEO, decision-maker extraordinaire—and your leadership staff showing face and connecting with your clients can have more impact than you might imagine.
I'm a long-time entrepreneur and the founder and owner of the luxury fragrance company, Anuket Luxury Apothecary. I am in the business of self care—a very personal part of someone's life. And that's part of why I make sure my personal story is deeply connected to my business, and I share it freely across our platforms.
I know this type of connection works for me. Here's how to make it work for you.
Know, like, and trust
If you haven't heard of the "know, like, and trust" phrase when it comes to marketing, you're going to want to hold onto it. I've found it to be the easiest way to measure all of my marketing strategies. Whatever strategy you're using, ask yourself three questions:
Will this help current or future customers get to know me and my business better?
Will this show them likable or relatable aspects of me and the way we do business?
Will this help to establish or grow trust among my community?
Think of any relationship you might build in your personal life. It probably won't be a very long or healthy one if you don't get to know the person well, enjoy their company, and trust that they're a good human, right? Know, like, and trust. Even with digital marketing, the objective is still to create connections with other humans. The more your customers feel that they know you, your heart, the values of the business, and the way they matter to you and influence the success of your business, the easier it will be to get them to support, share, and return.
Now more than ever, small businesses are being held accountable for their practices, beliefs, and the ways they show up for their clients and the larger communities around them. And I love this. For one thing, I believe people deserve to know who and what they're supporting. But also, I think it swings the door wide open for your business. It's what encourages and allows me to be so open with my customers about causes that I believe in, and I make it known that my community is inclusive, compassionate, and dedicated to upholding our values. I'm not concerned about the few that may turn away because I know that I'm creating a welcoming space for customers that share our values.
Where and how should you show up?
Of course, you can't be everywhere all the time, so be sure you've done your research into how to pick the right marketing channels for your business. My marketing team and I focus on Instagram, Pinterest, email, and our blog.
Our weekly blog goes up first since it's our longest form of content and can easily be broken down and turned into dozens of pins, Instagram posts, and excerpts for our bi-weekly email blast. Of course, each platform has its own objective, and we cater our content to each one, but it's ok to repurpose the core content.
Our blog is really personal. We use it to answer questions about myself and the business candidly, introduce our leadership team, and reflect on the growth and changes in our business. We also focus on all the ways that community support has helped us get to where we are today.
Here's an example of part of a blog post I wrote called "The Wanderluster's Guide to Tulum, Mexico," where I talk about a recent trip I took.
And yes, at the end of each article, we have a CTA inviting readers to opt in to our other platforms, but the main goal is to make sure our visitors feel a connection with the business—and with me.
Pinterest is great for highlighting your products and generating traffic, of course, but we also use it to help our followers understand more about our business. Here's an example of how we link to our blog post about the name behind our business.
Instagram is shoppable, so it's easy to focus on that aspect. But we also use the platform to showcase behind-the-scenes stories and topics I'm personally passionate about.
You can also use an IGTV or Instagram Live segment to answer questions or chat live with viewers—you can't get much more personal than that.
You can start small even on social. To help, here are three workflows that can help you automate your Instagram for Business account so you can focus on the more personal parts of marketing.
Emails are special because you know you're only speaking to people who have specifically requested the communication. Plus, like our blog, it's media that we actually own (vs. relying on the distribution algorithms of social media).
Because we know our email readers are already a bit more connected with us, we use this channel to express our appreciation for our community, provide them with sneak peeks and first-to-know information, and sometimes just to pop in with a personal thank-you—from me.
Even confirmation emails or product promotions can have that personal touch. I promise you: receiving a personalized email from the founder of a company after your first order is much more impactful than a generic thank-you pop-up after checkout followed by an electronic receipt. Think of all the touchpoints where you can show up for your brand—and then show up.
As you start to collect more emails, here are 4 ways to automate your email marketing for better communication.
How will you know that it's working?
Of course, the most important return we all want to see is an increase in revenue. But there are other important indicators to watch for as you begin to foster a relationship with your community.
Look for increased social media engagement. This can include comments on posts, interactions in stories, and—a big one—people sharing your content on their own pages to their networks. When your community begins to help you tell your story, you know that connection is real.
You may see an increased number of reviews as people feel compelled to positively support a business that has grown close to their heart. Reviews are important, so this is a huge help to your business's growth.
Keep your eyes out for a growth in email subscribers. Assuming you've optimized your website and social media accounts to capture new emails, creating a personal connection with your audience will make them want you in the most intimate of all their communication channels: their inbox.
When you boldly share yourself, your heart, and your values through your business, you'll find that a connected, excited community will begin to grow and thrive. The sense of belonging will help you have loyal customers who want to support you and your business.
This was a guest post from Ashlee Dozier, founder of Anuket Luxury Apothecary. Want to follow along with Anuket Luxury Apothecary's journey? Make sure you're hanging out with them on Pinterest, Instagram, and their blog for new and exciting content. And don't forget to subscribe to their emails so that you get all of their first-to-know updates on sales, launches, events, and more. Want to see your work on the Zapier blog? Read our guidelines, and get in touch.