Personal Branding 101: What’s the Best Channel to Reach Your Market?

Social media.

Network TV.

The Wall Street Journal.

What do each of these have in common? Each one of them is an effective channel by which a business owner can reach his or her audience.

So which is best?

The answer to that question depends on a number of variables—including the nature of your marketing message and your target market. Today, I’m going to evaluate several common branding and marketing channels in an effort to help you focus on the channels that will produce the best results.

Book publishing. Publishing a book on your area of expertise is one of most powerful ways to boost your credibility. Once you’ve become a published author, you have created the perception of yourself as an “expert” in the minds of your audience. This approach is very effective for business owners who are pursuing high-end clientele—because these customers are typically looking for “the best” and are willing to pay a premium for it!

Social media. Social media allows for real-time interaction with your audience. It’s a great way to connect with younger audiences, particularly, but don’t discount the power of platforms like Facebook for reaching middle-aged consumers as well. Utilize your social media presence to provide valuable information and advice that builds your credibility and continues to establish yourself as an expert.

TV appearances. When you see someone on TV, you assume that they must be an expert… right? It’s just the way that we are wired. The bright lights of TV have the power to turn you into a celebrity within your market—so if your goal is to position yourself above the competition in your market, it’s a valuable channel to utilize!

Articles in newspapers & magazines. Publishing in leading publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal provides a credibility boost, just like writing a book or appearing on TV. In addition, appearing in a major newspaper or magazine establishes you as a thought leader in your industry. It also communicates that you are current and up-to-date with the latest developments in your industry.

Billboards. If your target market is consolidated into a relatively small geographic area, a well-branded billboard can be a great way to generate exposure. Billboards can be very effective for local businesses such as a dental practice, doctor’s office, or law firm. If you pursue this advertising channel, make sure that the brand you communicate is consistent with your website, your social media presence, and any other channels you utilize. For many potential customers, your billboard will be the first time they are exposed to you—and if their next point of contact doesn’t meet the expectation that your billboard set, they will be disappointed.

In today’s digital world, there are more channels than ever for connecting with your audience. However, pursuing a branding channel simply because it is available is a bad idea. Take the time to evaluate the channels that are available to you, in order to determine which will be the best fit for your message and your audience. I’d be glad to help you with this process!