OK, so you’ve created your online personal brand. Now what? The next logical step after creating your marketing plan is to go forth and sell it.
Advertising and sales pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis is credited with the marketing acronym AIDA, which stands for attention, interest, desire and action. They are principals to which, according to his approach, advertising should conform.
The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader, so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it.
Let’s take a look at how to apply this strategy to your personal website.
The first step in the selling process has to be to get attention. This means crafting an appealing mantra and value proposition and also creating appealing headlines. Remember that the purpose of these headlines is to get the reader interested enough to keep reading.
If the headline does its job in generating attention, you need to sustain that interest. This can be done most effectively through storytelling. Turn your experience and skills into mini-stories in order to generate interest from your readers.
Attention and interest will only lead to desire when your story offers a solution to a problem the reader has. Be sure to frame your professional narrative in a way that illustrates how you can solve problems for people. Think about product marketing, for example. The most effective advertisements begin with a problem, offer a solution and then describe why their particular solution is best. For you professionally, this translates to:
- Describing a business problem you can solve.
- Offering a solution to that problem.
- Differentiating yourself with testimonials and/or unique skills
The final step in the sales process is getting someone to take action. Television pitchmen know this better than anyone: Virtually every infomercial ends with the words, “Here’s how to order.” There’s a reason for that. It’s a cue to the viewer that it’s time to take action, and they are given very clear instructions on what to do next.
You need to understand your goals and then tie an appropriate action to those goals. Do you want to get hired for an open position? Use a call to action that advises employers to “Download my resume.” Looking to establish yourself as a thought leader? Ask people to “Download my eBook.”
Don’t leave people wondering what they should do next. Tell them. You rarely get what you don’t ask for.
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