If You Build it, They Will Come — Part 2 | #MyFridayStory №225
I couldn’t endure another day of handing someone else the purse strings to my life.
So, after over 25 years of corporate life, on Leap Year’s day, 29 February 2016, I resigned from the corporate grind and founded Leap First Marketing Agency.
To market your product or service successfully, you must show up consistently and frequently — always delivering on your brand’s promise. The less schizophrenic your brand appears, the better. Reducing the noise and clutter around your brand message — being single-minded — lets you stand out above the competition.
If you must always be on your best behaviour, best be authentic.
The word, “authentic” may be overused and losing its gravitas. Being authentic — personally and as a brand — what you say and do is from the heart. Authenticity creates likeability and thus credibility. We’re drawn to people and brands that resonate with us — we feel an affinity to them on an emotional level. When we fall in love with a brand, it’s an emotional connection that lies far deeper than a item of clothing or a logo.
At the time of resigning in 2016, I had about 6000 LinkedIn connections. I had seen the value of LinkedIn as a business tool through casual engagement with the platform. The ability to open business conversations with virtually anyone is almost frictionless.
I had been using LinkedIn since 2009. In that time, I tested all the free features and used the Sales Navigator paid version for about a year. I stayed up to date on the latest tips, tricks, and traps to get the best out of the program. I used it for recruiting candidates for positions, networking with like-minded folks and consuming and sharing interesting and relevant content.
Seth Godin has published a daily blog, every day, for over 20 years, without missing a day. In his blogs, he shares nuggets of wisdom gained over years of being in the trenches as an entrepreneur. It was a strategic decision to be consistent, authentic, and relevant to his audience. It was single-minded then and still is over 20 years later.
I am a big fan of motivation and inspiration. The world could do with more of both and less of breaking down and belittling. I love writing about lessons and experiences that inspire and motivate. I’m also a sucker for a good motivational or inspirational quote.
On Friday 13 October 2017, I published the first #MyFridayStory on LinkedIn. I also started publishing a daily quote from someone famous. As folks engaged with the articles or the quotes, I responded in person to open conversations.
The traction was low for almost 3 years. No more than 100 views per article. But, for Leap First, the same four pillars remained at the core of how we behaved.
I sent a personal note to people that engaged with my content asking them to connect. I thanked them once connected and shared why and how I use LinkedIn. I also shared the latest #MyFridayStory.
The one thing I knew I wanted more than anything, is a sexy brand. I turned to a top agency friend, the genius behind the Leap First Corporate Identity and Leaping Man. Having a brand identity that speaks to your culture and personality is half the battle won. Being authentic is easy when there’s no need for a façade.
Having something to say — having an opinion — might seem simple. But to say it in a way that people can understand and relate to takes careful crafting of the message. Marketing is all about shifting people’s behaviour from comfortable to riskier. That is a huge paradigm shift. When you only have a few seconds of someone’s attention, every word counts. Using short-punchy quotes consumed in a few seconds and a 3-minute article every Friday, the drip-drip effect was set in motion.
I created a #MyFridayStory Group on LinkedIn and invited folks to follow the weekly post. That was in April 2018. Today the group has 3700 members. 2 months ago, I published the first LinkedIn Newsletter of #MyFridayStory. Today, there are 12 000 subscribers. I keep my connections under 30 000 so that I can speak to someone via direct message. Today there are 44 000 followers, most of whom I’ve spoken to.
My profile ranks in the top 1% worldwide and has for over 5 years.
After more than 5-years of showing up each day, remaining authentic and single-minded, the Leap First brand message is starting to become a reality.
If you build it, they will come.
As Seth ends his lecture, he concludes: “It always feels too soon to leap. But you must. Because that’s the moment between you and remarkable. I hope this helps you return to that edge. And then, to leap.”
Have an awesome weekend and please be generous! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏