I’m sure you’ve heard that when it comes to marketing your brand or business, “stories sell.” We all recognize the power of a good story. The emotional connection, the ability for a potential client to recognize a piece of themselves in what you do, and what they want a piece of their world to look like.
But even more powerful than when a business/brand tells their own story… is when someone becomes an advocate and tells that story FOR YOU.
Because it’s one thing if YOU think you’re awesome at what you do… but it’s a whole next level when others start speaking highly of what you do, and spreading the word. Because now you’ve tapped into THEIR inner circle, and all the friends, family, followers, and others they have trust + connections with.
Brand advocacy is the ultimate goal when it comes to marketing your business.
You WANT other people to shout your brand name from the rooftops… telling everyone they know + love about what you do. This is why business owners spend so much of their marketing dollars on branded merchandise like t-shirts, hats, pens, and more… because it’s an incredibly EASY way to share your brand… to get your name out there in front of more + more people. If someone is wearing a t-shirt with your name on it, it’s assumed that they like + trust your brand. They’ve become a brand advocate.
When someone becomes a brand advocate, you are directly tapping in to THEIR audience… friends, family, co-workers, acquaintances, online followers… spreading your brand’s story + message through them, in order to reach even more people. And since these people TRUST what that advocate has to say, they are that much more likely to like your brand, too.
But before you start thinking about stocking up on branded t-shirts and pens… know that there are OTHER ways to get your point across, without breaking the bank or feeling that you’re “buying” their love.
So let’s get back to the STORY part of things…
People are natural storytellers. When you get home after a long day + your spouse asks, “How was your day… anything interesting happen?” You’re NOT going to walk them through the mundane stuff. Instead, you share the stand-out stuff… like someone cutting you off in traffic, how you landed a new client, and an interesting article you read online and how it made you feel. These are stories from your day.
And in the online world, stories rule. Entertainment + connection is key.
Think about the last post you re-shared. Was it an inspiring quote, something that made you laugh out loud, or even an article you had a strong response to? If you had a positive response to something and shared a business’s or brand’s post tp your OWN Facebook timeline, Twitter profile, or Instagram profile, that’s BIG. Because in that moment you became a brand advocate, telling your own audience (who trusts you) that they should be interested in this business/brand, too. And this is how brand stories are spread… without the need for t-shirts or other tangibles.
But here’s the thing… you need to provide people with something they CAN easily share out.
One way to do this is to have social posts that DO connect with your intended target audience, so that people WANT to share them on their own channels.
Another way to do this is to have a “brand kit” or “media kit” readily available to others… usually consisting of your logo(s), relevant brand information, and on-brand PHOTOS! Because there are soooooo many people that are WANTING to share your brand’s message… so it’s up to you to ensure they HAVE something to share.
With having on-brand photos available, you are providing that important visual piece of your story which can easily be shared.
Case in point:
A recent client of mine, Hatchbacks Footwear, was recently featured on THE TODAY SHOW.
But how? And WHY?
They were featured on The Today Show because ONE INFLUENTIAL PERSON connected with their brand story.
This ONE PERSON was deeply touched, and decided to make Hatchbacks Footwear a part of THEIR story, too. This one person just happens to be Patti + Ricky founder Alexandra Connell, who’s creating fashionable clothes for people of all abilities. And Hatchbacks Footwear… designed as a shoe with special flexibility and velcro straps to more easily fit over leg braces… fit right in to their special offerings.
Below is their story as seen on The Today Show, featuring Hatchbacks Footwear and a few other fantastic companies:
But WHAT does this have to do with Hatchbacks Footwear actually getting featured on The Today Show?
Because they had something visually pleasing (brand photos) ready to go!
During the actual interview with Alexandra Connell, not only do you see a few of their actual shoes sitting on the table with other items, but TWO BRAND PHOTOS are featured in the slideshow, as well.
(Woot Woot! Give me a moment to celebrate… because that’s MY WORK that just got seen on The Today Show!!!)
But back to the STORY here… because out of ALL the brands that were sitting on that table in the background, and still others that didn’t even make it there… Hatchbacks Footwear even made it to the freakin slideshow… BECAUSE they had these on-brand photos ready to go!
And THAT’S perhaps the biggest takeaway here…
You need to be READY for others to become brand advocates, and make it EASY for them share your awesomeness.
So if you’re on the fence about whether or not you need to invest in custom brand photography, take the above as a lesson… sometimes it just takes ONE influential person to get your story out there. Be prepared.
Interested in discovering YOUR story, and what it might look like in photographs? Check out the personal brand + business photography services I provide, and let’s find out together.