When you’re in the early stages of building your personal brand, it’s similar to throwing darts until you hit the bullseye, as you’re going to try a bunch of new ideas until you come across the one that works. If I’ve learned anything from building a personal brand, it’s this one: Give people a “taste sample” of what you have to offer. I’m sure we’ve all seen tables at Costco or food fairs, where food samples were being distributed. When you really think about it, food samples are given to consumers to introduce their taste buds to a new flavor. These food samples are used as bait to get consumers to buy the packaged food products.
With that, entrepreneurs should study the food sample concept and somehow incorporate it into their branding strategy. For example, if you’re an author, start a blog that’s related to your book and/or offer a free example to readers who subscribe to your blog/newsletter. Give readers and potential buyers a “taste” of your writing style and what you wrote about in the book. Put yourself in the shoes of the food buyer: Would you buy food without tasting a sample beforehand? Probably not. The same idea applies to entrepreneurs and their products.
Another example: Demo trials of paid apps. Usually, software developers offer a free demo to users. Again, they’re giving their potential buyers a “taste” of their software/app. They can’t expect potential buyers to pay for an app they’ve never used. Depending on the app and the value it presents to the user, the user may very well decide to not buy the app because they’re not willing to risk to their hard earned cash, even if it’s only 99 cents…
Now, none of the examples mentioned above are revolutionary, as they currently exist. However, many entrepreneurs, sometimes, don’t see the connection between offering something of value for free and the product/service they’re trying to sell. They’ve come across blogs, free app demos, etc. but take it for face value; they fail to see the big picture. They believe blogs and app demos exist to generate ad revenue. They believe that they’re standalone products, which that’s not the case. In reality, however, their purpose is to turn potential potential buyers into paying customers. In the business world, that’s referred to as “developing leads.” Don’t worry about the fancy terminology, though.
I can’t emphasize enough on the importance of this concept. If this is new to you, you’re not alone. I was in the same “boat” last year, as I didn’t offer a free sample or something valuable to potential buyers of my book. As a matter of fact, I hadn’t even started my blog! Therefore, don’t see it as a mistake on your part, as being an entrepreneur is a forever learning experience.
In essence, figure out what you can offer and how you can build value to potential buyers to try your product/service to turn them into paying customers. When they see value in your product/service and realize you have their best interest in mind, you will be able to earn their patronage – It’s that simple! Waiting is the toughest part, however, because it takes a very, very long time to build a brand. Make sure you’re in it for the long haul!