Once you build your brand and your following protect that with all your might.
Benji and Joel Madden of pop punk band Good Charlotte are such a good example of what NOT to do. In Australia they have been the front men for Kentucky Fried Chicken on recent TV ads! And then they moved straight on to endorse mobile phone company Vodafone.
I must say I was shocked. Not only is Benji a vegetarian and supports PETA, but both brothers are moving from endorsement to endorsement. “Selling out” in this sense is a no no for what their fan base believes in. Overnight they have gone from “cool” to flogging anything that pays them well whether they believe in it or not, leaving their Australian fans saying “America, take them back!” Why? They no longer feel they can look up to their idols.
Here is how to to develop brand consistency and maintain it over time to keep your customers loyal:
- Use the words and language your market uses
Using the same vocabulary as your target market is key to building trust and rapport. Decide what the voice of your brand will be and stick with it over time. Imagine selling to 25 year old women for 5 years and then waking up tomorrow wanting to sell to the 50 year old+ professional woman because you heard that was where the money was. You will put both people off very fast and end up losing your market who got you to where you are today.
- Be yourself or you won’t be trusted
What do you really stand for? What makes you YOU? Promoting yoga when you are a kickboxing fan makes you seem scattered and unsure. We all like our leaders, business owners, sales people, mentors and even parents confident and sure about who they are and what they believe in.
- Promote, sell or develop products you believe in
I am glad the affiliate marketing industry is changing online and people with databases are being more protective of what they promote to them. If you would not use the product yourself, and if you have not yet used it, then why sell it to your fans?
- Be honest
Stay away from false advertising or exaggerated promises when selling your products and services. Would you rather sell 100 units, have 20 people return them and complain publicly online or sell 50 with no refunds and have all 50 actively raving about you? Which one is more sustainable over time?
- Don’t copy others – Get ideas from others
Getting a pink website designed because you think your market likes pink and your competitor uses pink, then showing up dressed in black will only confuse them. If you like the layout, then implement certain elements. Make sure you make it something that really is a representation of your business.
- Don’t do anything out of character
People follow people who take a stand and build their life, actions and products around it. You can spend years building trust and credibility, but can destroy it in an instant.
I have worked with dozens and dozens of top speakers around the world and am reminded of them as I conclude this article. Very few of them actually DO what they SAY! I think that is the case with many business owners too. It can be very easy to say yes to things because they are thrown in front of you, other people are doing them and you are busy.
Before saying yes next time, ask the question “Will I be proud of this decision in 5 years and will my clients, fans and followers be grateful for me introducing it to them after they use it?”