Don't panic

Right now, I’m reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy with my daughter. We’ve just reached The Restaurant at the End of the Universe  – but two nights ago Zaphod Beeblebrox entered the Total Perspective Vortex and he survived*.

Warning. If you don’t know the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy you might not enjoy this post…

It is in theory possible to extrapolate the whole of creation—every Galaxy, every sun, every planet, their orbits, their composition, and their economic and social history from, say, one small piece of fairy cake.”—The Guide[src]

So when I was scrolling through Instagram and discovered this post from Digital Connections Online about a funnel being a vortex – I loved it.

A funnel can drive sales but a vortex can make them flyI love that.  A vortex is clearly more exciting than a funnel

A vortex spins fast and pulls things into the empty centre. It’s quick. It pulls your prospects in.

Digital Connections Online writes about Awareness > Consideration > Conversion > Loyalty & Advocacy – go and read the post and follow on Instagram. Make your powerful vortex. Make your sales fly.

So how do you keep that vortex spinning?

A funnel is about attracting the right people (awareness) to the right offer (consideration) so that those people buy it (conversion) and finally they become raving fans (loyalty & advocacy) – whoop!

For me, this means chatting on social (hello!) having a freebie that people want (you can get that at the bottom of this post), getting to know people  and providing something that they need. Not all of the people that I spend time chatting with will buy from me – and I don’t expect them to! But who knows who they know? And it means I get to know some amaaaaazing people regardless so that’s a win right there. The people who convert need what I have. They have brand shame, they dislike how their brand is perceived or feel that it doesn’t convey the right things, maybe they’re bored of it, they bought it with the business or their business has changed – or they may have great visuals and NO IDEA what to do with them.  I can help, And when I do, they’ll already have been recommending me (thank you) and will keep doing so 🙂 Whoop!

Branding is so so crucial to the success of this.

You might not need to see TOTAL perspective  “the infinite suns, the infinite distances between them and yourself as an invisible dot on an invisible dot, infinitely small” to see where you fit in the universe – the universe may be too big for your target audience unless you’re planning on selling bananas on Betelgeuse, but SOME perspective can be very helpful. Perspective in relation to the market you do fit in. Where are you? Are you brand new? Do you fill a gap, serve a specific niche? Have you been around a while? Maybe you’re well respected and well known in your industry – or perhaps you’re quietly plodding along and need to figure out where you sit so you can sit on a bit more of it?

Step into your own SOME Perspective Vortex…

“To succeed in our overcommunicated society, a company must  create a position that takes into consideration not only a company’s own strengths and weaknesses but those of its competitors as well”

Positioning by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Are you an invisible dot on an invisible dot? Or are you really terrific and great? Or somewhere in between? And what are you going to do about it?

This book was written in 2001. Facebook was founded in 2004, Twitter in 2006 – Clubhouse has just started to make a real noise (quite literally) now in 2021 – how much MORE overcommunicated is our society now?!  Think about your positioning – what do you want to be known for? And how are you going to make that happen?

Grow your business,  increase your reputation  and brand, impact more people and get seen by the right people.

What do you STAND FOR ? What truly matters to you?

Your values are intrinsic to your brand. I wrote about them in a previous post (and probably every post before that too… so important.)

They are the things that make your business different. They should not be the obvious stuff. If you’re an accountant then professional or “good with numbers” will be taken as given, if you sell cakes then “perfect flavour” is expected, if you’re President of the Galaxy then you’d expect a moral compass not a starship thief… Those Assumed Brand Values are important –  but they don’t make you stand out… they make you then same. what can you say about your business that won’t be assumed? THIS is what needs to flow through all the things that you say and do.

You’re not going to attract all of the right people if you  don’t spend time figuring out who they are. Attract the wrong people and you’ll end up with a very empty vortex as they realise that they aren’t where they want to be – or, a bit like hitching a lift on a Vogon spaceship you’ll be desperate to get off yourself.

Who do you want to have step into your vortex – and have step out feeling more like Zaphod Beeblebrox than Trin Tragula’s wife? If they’re going to enter your funnel and become loyal advocates they need to survive it and LOVE it. So get clear on who these people are and that you can do to not only attract them in the first place, but to keep them excited in your funnel all the way through. This means figuring out what they care about, what bothers them, what their interests are, knowing them well enough to know that when the galactic economy crashes “it would save a lot of bother if we just slept through it” because “custom built planets are something of a luxury commodity”. Spend time working out who your ideal client is and you’ll be able to make sensible business decisions about how to find, connect with, attract and keep those perfect people who you want to work with or sell to.

Ensuring that those “right people” know who you are and step into your vortex because they want to is really important. This is where you need  to build brand awareness. Brand Awareness is why even though we own a Shark vaccuum cleaner we still call it a Hoover. Even when we’re using Bing on our phones we’ll say we’re going to Google something. Why we say we’re running out of Fairy Liquid even though we rarely buy it..  Brand Awareness is about getting your name out there. Becoming known. People who know who you are are more likely to jump in – and once they’re in, make sure that it’s powerful and keeps them going down the funnel to make that sale and rave about you!

How can you build brand awareness? Here’s some ideas:

  • It’s not about selling all the time (but do that too!) it’s about being personable, being you. Socialising as a business. Networking is great in real life when we can – but you can do so much of this online using social media, zoom or email. Pick up the phone.  Just have a chat.  Connect with people.
  • Entertain, educate, inform – create stuff that people can digest. Blog posts, videos, podcasts, lives, infographics, social posts, stories, reels – be helpful!
  • Tell stories. People LOVE stories. Wether it’s The Hitchhikers Guide (seriously if you haven’t read this before then go and fix that!) or something about your cat or what you had for lunch – people love stories. Kids love having books read to them – my sons English and Maths lessons are often based on stories – yesterday we had to teach Zog the numbers 1 – 20 because he’d written a letter. Stories grab us emotionally and stick with us better than facts. Use your testimonials and create real stories around them.
  • Run a challenge or create a campaign simply to raise awareness.
  • Collaborate with others. This is great because you both benefit from reaching new people through the others audience. Do interviews, guest posts, events, masterclasses – there’s so much you can do here!
  • Make your stuff sharable. If you do tell a great story or share a useful quote or offer an amazing freebie then make sure there are handy sharing buttons – and ask people to use them (please share this post😉 )
  • Sponsor something – an event, a football team, a YouTube channel, a Podcast – I often watch videos which are sponsored by suchandsuch and they get great awareness because often the YouTuber will spend time intoducing the viewer to the sponsor and waxing lyrical about how amazing they are!
  • Run ads. These can be for “things” or they could simply be to share the useful stuff you’re sharing for brand awareness. Or both. It’s about getting eyeballs on your brand to grow your brand.

So – how are you gonna create brand awareness so you can be the most important in the Universe and fill your powerful vortex?

*I know it was an electronically synthesized universe.

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