In an era where competition is tough and brand loyalty is wavering, to carve a niche for yourself as a personal brand, you want to build a loyal audience that is committed to your cause.
YES it’s tough. But NO!, it’s not cut in stone.
You want to build a fiercely loyal audience like Beyonce’s BeyHives, Justin Bieber’s Beliebers or a large tribe like Gary Vaynerchuk. Because this will be very strategic to your success as a brand.
Of course, you may not be as popular as these brands at the moment but, if you’re serious about building brand loyalty today, there are a lot of things you can learn from them.
Especially when it comes to brand strategy and how to position your brand to gain the recognition it deserves.
Does building an audience really matter for smaller brands?
Small or big, building a loyal audience is very powerful strategy for your brand no matter who you are.
You may think that you’re not planning to become a major celebrity or a globally known brand so you do not need brand loyalty from your audience but thing is, if you’re planning to build a substantial brand someday, you’re going to need a dedicated and loyal audience.
So, regardless of the size of your brand today, to make a dent in the online space, you’re going to need a number of raving fans who admire and believe in your brand. Fans who share your own sentiments and are excited to share and spread your message.
Now, the question is, are you ready to swell your fan base and build up a loyal audience for your personal brand today? In the following paragraphs. I’ll be sharing with you some of the most important tips that will swell your fan base as you build a tribe around your brand…
Start from Inside Out
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Every popular brand with a large fan base today are well known and followed because there’s something unique about them.
From Beyoncé to Oprah Winfrey to iPhone; these brands are recognized globally as iconic brands because there’s a unique value they have that’s appealing to their audience.
For starters, these brands did not become popular with a large following because they simply wanted to be famous. Before they got to where they are today, they had to carefully look within, to find the value they can offer in exchange for fame. And boy, they did.
So, to build a loyal audience for your brand, the first question you have to ask yourself is; “what unique value can I offer to make my audience choose me and stick their head out for me, above other brands“?
If you look around you’ll notice brands like Oprah offered incredible alternatives that inspired followers. Looking right in wards, Oprah uses her deprived background and supposed shortcomings to build a formidable brand that’s relatable to her audience.
The moment you find the right answers to your questions, then your journey to building a formidable brand has just started.
Identify your Audience
Before you embark on building a loyal audience you have to identify the kind of audience you want to attract.
Doing this will help to fine tune your brand in a way that will be easily appealing to them.
So, if you’re trying to attract a conservative religious audience with your brand for instance, the moment you have a clear idea about this, you can go ahead to create and fine tune your brand in a way that will appeal to them.
Same thing goes if you’re trying to attract a young, liberal, and urbane audience for your brand.
Each section of the audience you want to attract has their own peculiarities and the kind of things that appeal to them including language, tone, brand colors and brand storytelling styles.
The earlier you find out these things and create a brand that suits their profile, the easier it is for you to make inroads towards appealing to them.
Locate your Audience
To build a loyal audience for your brand, you need a platform where you can interact and engage with your audience from time to time.
Before you get started on building such platforms, find out, where does your target audience hangout online? Where can you find them? Is it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn?
In the social media age, there’s a good number of platforms with equally large number of audiences. You can’t possibly afford to target all of these platforms at the same time but you can start with looking up a platforms that has the largest number of your target audience.
Head over to this platform. Create a profile there and begin to work on building your content right from where they are gathered and where they can get to see you.
If your audience is on a specific social media platform, be sure that you do not just build a platform for yourself on that platform alone, go ahead, build a more permanent platform for your brand elsewhere.
Consider building your own website or blog if you are yet to have one and then gradually get your fans from the social media over to your own platforms.
Take on a Cause
As a brand that intends to build a loyal audience, you have to take on and stand up for a worthy cause that your audience can also identify with. This is part of what inspires admiration for top brands.
So, if you really plan to achieve this goal of building a tribe for your brand, you must ask yourself questions like; What do I stand for? What are part of my core values?
These are questions that’s helped brands like Beyoncé to take up a cause as an empowered female role model with a focus on uplifting black women and women in general. And quite frankly, this cause has endeared her to her millions fans around the world.
So, what cause would you take on or what personal brand traits will you rather project to your audience? This is what you’ll have to fix right here.
Create Valuable Content
An audience is an audience because they are interacting with your brand or content. Without content you have no audience because there’s nothing to feed their appetite.
So, to create a loyal audience, you have to consistently give them content that appeals to them; that kind of content that keeps them coming back to you, again and again.
Without this, it is very difficult to create and keep a loyal audience.
Now, one thing you have to know when it comes to creating an audience is that you must create the kind of content that truly appeals to your audience. The very kind of content they can relate with. This is what keeps your super star celebrities and their fandoms, relatable content.
So, to get started here, get over to find out what works with your audience. You might not get to identify this on a single day. But you can check out what others in your niche are doing as regards content.
Also, to understand the kind of content your audience will love research your audience to identify the kind of brands they follow, the kind of content they consume and how such content is created (whether written, video or audio content).
As soon as your findings are completed, you can then work on finding ways to model this kind of content while keeping your own distinct brand identity.
Consistency is one of the hallmarks of a successful branding.
From posting consistently to consistency in voice and branding style, to build a loyal audience maintain a certain level of uniformity that’s easily noticeable throughout your content.
Use a uniform brand colors and voice. A lot of the times some brands make the mistake of changing their brand colors, brand tone of voice etc when they post content on different voice. Sometimes, this goes as far as using different display pictures for different platforms.
This is not right. It doesn’t matter that you’re building a personal brand, maintaining a certain level of consistency with your brand across all platforms is very important and it will be very useful to you.
That said, your consistency should also extend to content building. The more good and consistent content you create, the more people get to see and engage with your brand; the less content you create, the less attention you get. This is what happens out there.
If you want to create a loyal audience, you have to be committed to creating content consistently. And you don’t just have to create content, you have to create good and relevant content consistently.
Not only will this be helpful in keeping your brand relevant, it will also be very helpful for your search optimization either on the social media or with your websites and blog.
Use Brand Storytelling
Over the years, globally recognized brands like Oprah Winfrey have been built around engaging and relatable storytelling. If you want to build a loyal audience for your brand, this is one strategy you have to keep close to your heart.
Remember, your brand story is unique to you. It identifies your struggles, enhances your victories and humanifies your brand. This is part of the story you want to share with your audience.
From time to time you need to chip in your personal brand story through your content. Take your audience through your own journey and make them feel like they are a part of that journey.
Doing this will make you more relatable and your brand more authentic before your audience. It will also boost your Know, like and trust factors across board.
As part of your brand story, engage in sharing your social proofs. It boosts your credibility within your audience. At intervals, showcase your achievements and the major feats you’ve achieved. It goes a long way to validate your integrity as a brand.
Become a Thought Leader
One thing that identifies strong brands is the fact that they are always recognized as the top expert in their niche or industry.
This is one thing that drives their huge number of following. So, while planning to build a loyal following for your brand, make thought leadership a part of your strategy.
Don’t get comfortable being one of the leading brands, go all out to take steps that will solidify your leadership in the niche.
From creating a larger than life brand, writing books, getting your opinion on trending niche topics, collaborating with major brands in the niche, there’s more than a handful of things you can do to get recognized as an industry leader in your niche. Don’t leave any stone unturned.
This is not a popular strategy but it’s been one of the strategies used by controversial political figures and leaders like former President Donald Trump, Mr. Vladmir Putin among others.
Going extreme or controversial sometimes can become a double edged sword. It can get you a lot of criticism on the one hand while getting you a handful of raving fans on the other hand.
You want to be very cautious while taking on this strategy but as a brand do not be scared to air your audacious opinion on controversial topics that matter to your audience.
Building a very loyal audience for your brand is far beyond sharing sentiments. It’s about building a committed relationship that is earned and nurtured over time.
While building your loyal fan base, be sure to identify with your audience from time to time. Show them that you truly care and value their love and loyalty for your brand and they will reciprocate same energy.
Remember that building a loyal audience is not a race but it’s a marathon. That’s why there’s always a need to be very intentional about the whole process. And yes, our team can help you to get started on how to build a formidable audience for your brand, if you reach out to us here.
So now, it’s over to you! When it comes to building a loyal audience for your brand, what can you say is your biggest struggle? Send in your comments below.