The Importance of Exposure and Message Amplification for Your Personal Brand
Have you ever had that dream where you’re trying to shout but you can’t form the words, or can’t make your voice loud enough, and no one hears you?
That’s like having a personal brand without an exposure strategy.
To achieve your business goals, you need a plan and process to amplify the reach of your content and fill your marketing funnel to ultimately generate sustainable revenue.
From a marketing strategy perspective, exposure is the process of strategically extending your message. It allows you to leverage your expertise and the credibility of other influencers to reach existing communities, quickly accelerating your impact and income. Exposure is one of the four pillars of building a personal brand that will help you boost your personal brand from six to seven figures.
The Modern Marketing Funnel
Marketing fundamentals are rooted in the same psychological behaviors that have driven purchasing decisions for over 100 years (yes, at a time when, sadly, there was no Google and no Twitter). The marketing funnel that still stands today as a cornerstone in business management and marketing education was created by E. St. Elmo Lewis, in 1898. Lewis’ marketing funnel is still relevant, despite how much technology and media have changed in the past 120 plus years.
The marketing funnel is often depicted as an inverted pyramid, segmented vertically as follows:
Marketers often strategize how they reach and speak to prospects based on where they are in the lead nurturing process, or where they are in the marketing funnel. The funnel is therefore often segmented into:
- Top of Funnel, or TOFU (yes, pronounced like the vegetarian favorite)
- Middle of Funnel, or MOFU (rhymes with tofu)
- Bottom of Funnel, or BOFU (you get the pronunciation by now)
The Three Core Components of Exposure
For us here at PersonalBrand.com, we take the concept of the marketing funnel one step further by breaking it down into three core components of exposure: reach, nurture, and community.
Reach applies to the TOFU and prospects in the awareness phase of the buying cycle. Reach is about how you can distribute your value, get content out to the world, and impact as many people as possible to make a significant impact in people’s lives, and fill your business model with the right prospects and customers who are passionate about working with you.
Reach encompasses all the mechanisms you can leverage to communicate your message, including advertising, content marketing, affiliate marketing, earned media, interview marketing via podcasts, guest blogging, and YouTube channels just to name a few. Remember that the moment when a prospect first learns about your personal brand is only the beginning. That moment of engagement won’t mean enough unless your message piques the person’s interest and motivates them to act and further engage with your brand. Such deep engagement may include clicking on an ad, reading an article, or opting-in to an email newsletter—all actions that make the person a marketing qualified lead. At that critical point, it’s time to nurture them.
Nurture applies to MOFU and BOFU, the consideration and desire phases of the marketing funnel.
The nurture phase involves the pathway of taking people from prospect to customer.
Lead nurturing must be done with all those who are aware of your personal brand, are candidates for your products and services, and whom you want to motivate further to consume your content and make a purchase decision.
You may have heard the old marketing adage that it takes seven touchpoints with a prospect before someone makes a buying decision. This is still true, even though we have more communication channels and media formats available than ever before. What’s critical is showcasing your value before you ask a prospect to make a purchase. This strategy should be your focus during the nurture phase.
People in the nurturing phase of the marketing cycle have a problem or need and are actively searching for a product or solution to solve that need. These people need to be aware of your personal brand and must be continually exposed to your messaging and content so that when they are ready to buy, they remember and choose you.
To help you get started with lead nurturing, we’ve got five engagement hacks to help you grow your personal brand.
Community applies to customers after a sale and consists of the strategy of cultivating a tribe of raving fans who will further amplify your message and continually help add prospects to the top of your marketing funnel. It is one of the most often neglected components of building a personal brand. Nurturing your community and cultivating positive changes and accelerating sustainable growth is essential to building your personal brand.
Your community should be comprised of people who have consumed your paid content.
Even though these people have made a purchase, they are still extremely valuable, even beyond cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
Imagine what your personal brand would look like if everyone who came into your business became a raving fan and advocated for your products and services voluntarily among their personal networks?
What if every customer you acquired became part of a volunteer army of sales reps for your personal brand? This vision is the goal of the community phase of exposure.
Such a voluntary, mobilized sales army shouldn’t feel like a fantasy. Raving fans of your personal brand should be nurtured so that they can help serve as valuable components of your marketing and sales team by advocating your offering to their network of friends and followers. Once someone makes a purchase, you will want to move them into your community and help them to feel like they are now part of something larger than themselves.
Make sure you are building your business in a way so that being a part of your community is the end result for every customer that purchases a product or service.
Pathways to Exposure and Where to Begin
Understand that exposure must be iterative. Don’t expect to get it right on the first try. The most successful personal brands spend years cultivating their message, communication channels, and content strategy before they become household names.
Treat your exposure strategy like a lab in which you experiment with different approaches.
Just make sure you are taking what you learn about your audience from every attempt and adjust accordingly.
Work from BOFU to TOFU
When it comes to iterating on your marketing and exposure efforts, it’s important to start at BOFU with a purchase point and work your way back up to TOFU and to awareness activities. Otherwise, you’ll gain peoples’ attention without anything to sell to them. Start your exposure strategy by ensure that your money-generating mechanism is optimized to enable sales. If you only focus on research and getting more awareness and exposure, but your offers or conversion messaging is off-target in your nurturing sequence and not resonating with your customers, you won’t be seeing the sales results that you know you can achieve.
Too often, we’ve seen entrepreneurs in the growth phase of their personal brand placing too much focus on marketing automation, scaling, and trying to make money on autopilot.
You can’t go to market with marketing efforts—no matter how extensive your reach—unless your messaging is resonating with the right people at the right time.
You first need to ensure you understand your place in the market, your competitive differentiators, what your prospect wants, and have optimized a strategy for communicating what your products and services do for your customers in a powerful way. Creating videos, blogs, and social media posts is fun, but if your marketing funnel isn’t optimized to generate sales, you won’t see the results that you want. Make sure that you focus on your business model and your revenue-generating mechanism, optimize it, develop and test nurture sequences, and then spend time on the reach and awareness TOFU elements.
Put Reporting Mechanisms Into Place Early
To help you assess the effectiveness of your exposure strategy, ensure you have analytics mechanisms in place. You’ll want capabilities for measuring website traffic, social media link shares, click-through-rates, newsletter subscribers, and other engagement metrics. Understanding your most effective content pieces, messages, offers, and communication channels will be critical for optimizing your marketing funnel. All new content that you create and the strategy behind your continually evolving content calendar should be based on these analytics.
Keep in mind, however, that while you want analytics mechanisms in place early, you shouldn’t obsess over them much in the first year of your personal brand’s growth.
If you’re just starting out, you can’t possibly expect significant traffic or response rates.
Don’t worry if you only get five likes on a post, or ten reads on an article in your first year. Most importantly don’t give up on your goal of building a six- or seven-figure personal brand.
Just keep grinding. Remember that the one thing that the top YouTubers have in common is that they consistently create content. Focus on content consistency over intensity, and quality over quantity to achieve your goals. Messaging amplification and the creation of an impactful exposure strategy takes time. As long as you are following the tenets of reach, nurturing, and community, you will find success.
If you’d like to learn more about the elements of exposure, and how to amplify your reach, nurture prospects, and build a community, click here to sign up for our Income + Impact Accelerator course today.