The Reluctant Marketers’ Guide to Building Brand Awareness

building brand awareness

When it comes to building brand awareness, there are two types of business owners we work with.

The first are the marketing enthusiasts.

They love marketing. They love posting, and engaging, and checking their analytics and blogging and photography. Their Instagram gif game is on point!

These types account for probably 5% of our clients.

The rest would rather die.

We call these the reluctant ones. 

The ones that know they need to market, will market under pressure, but would rather not.

Want to know a little secret? We’re reluctant marketers too. The only thing we enjoy less is doing our bookkeeping. 

But building brand awareness without marketing is pointless. That’s why we’ve come up with these simple marketing guidelines we live by that makes marketing fun and enjoyable.

We work through this system while strategizing with all of our clients, and now you can get in on the action.

If You Really Don’t Want to Market but Building Brand Awareness is Important to You, Just Read This Section

Just hire it out.

If you dislike marketing with every core of your being and would rather work on the parts of your business you find fun, you need a team.

You can have someone do all the photography, all the ads, all the posting, all the management, and all the engaging for you. Trust us- there are people out there that love doing this!

Even if you just hire one or two freelancers to start, it’s one less thing you dislike about running your business so you can focus on the happy bits.

But if you don’t have the funds to get the help you need, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and market your business yourself.

Building brand awareness and getting people interested in your products and services won’t happen without marketing.

Don’t Have the Money to Hire a Team? Read On!

The Reluctant Marketers’ Greatest Enemy to Building Brand Awareness

If there is a way to market your business that you hate, don’t do it.

Even if it’s the biggest craze of the year.

Even if everyone else is doing it.

Even if your business coach tells you you need to be on [insert the dreaded platform of your choice here].

We dislike Facebook on a cellular level. Everything about that platform is vile to us.

I’ve had more people pick fights and throw their hate at me than any other place on the internet (probably because I’m not on Twitter). I believe it’s where the bitter go to let the world know how bitter they are about life by telling others how they need to live theirs.

Some people thrive on Facebook and can’t get enough. It’s just not for us.

I even had a Facebook group at one point. And while it was great building a community, it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t keep up with the number of DMs sent to my personal inbox (people on Facebook don’t care about your personal boundaries) and every so often competitors would venture into the group to pick fights. It ended up being gross, gave me endless anxiety, and I just couldn’t do it anymore.

So if there’s a way you don’t want to market your business, just don’t. You’re not going to find a magic pill to make you love it. You’ll always dread it and think of it as a chore.

The Reluctant Marketers’ Happy Place for Building Brand Awareness

The reluctant marketer will always thrive when they’re excited about what they’re creating and how they put that content out into the world.

Do yourself a favor and set a timer for 20 minutes. 

Grab a pen and paper and jot down everything about your brand and what you provide that you’re excited about sharing with the world.

This list is your marketing sweet spot. Once you match content you’re excited about with a marketing channel you can get behind, building brand awareness won’t just be easier, it’ll be fun.

Building Brand Awareness Starts with Content

All that content you brainstormed? It’s time to make it happen!

It can be videos, blogs, podcasts, infographics, photography- the possibilities are endless.

And the foundation to any content plan is your website.

Before you even think about getting this content onto a social channel, get it onto your website.

I feel like I shouldn’t have to keep saying that you don’t own a social channel, so you have no real control over your content, but it bears repeating.

Want up-level your content strategy on your website and not stress over the social media rat race? Check out this blog post all on blogging strategies that work.

Choose Your Content Marketing Channels Wisely

If you’re a reluctant marketer, building brand awareness can be a huge energy drain.

You might be an introvert, like us, so you’ll need to be especially careful to choose channels that won’t drain your energy.

Want more marketing tips for introverts? Check out this post on more marketing tips for introverts.

Or maybe you’re reluctant to market because you just haven’t seen the growth you’ve wanted and you’re impatient.

There’s also the burnout that comes from trying to be everything on every channel, and when you can’t be perfect at it all, you give up (perfectionism spoils the party again).

So when picking the channels that you’ll focus on, use these simple guidelines:

  1. Eliminate any channels you hate/just don’t want to do
  2. Focus on channels that don’t drain your energy
  3. Focus on the channels you can keep up with
  4. Focus on longevity over short-term gains

Building Brand Awareness Through Search Marketing

We’re talking about Google, Pinterest, and YouTube. Here it’s all about ranking in search results and not being social every damn day.

Ranking on any platform takes time, quality content, and a bit of keyword research.

But when done correctly, building brand awareness is on autopilot.

Someone searches up what they’re looking for, you have a killer blogging strategy, and viola. You’ve built brand awareness from a piece of content you created months or years ago.

If you really hate marketing but are going all in with the content on your website, search engines are your love language of marketing.

Building Brand Awareness Through Social Media Marketing

This is where the marketing can get tricky for our reluctant marketers.

Because it’s so noisy and we lose control of our content. Sometimes platforms go down, hashtags don’t work, and mind games are played.

So do reluctant marketers need to have a social media presence?

The Reluctant Marketer & Twitter

Noise, noise, noise.

There’s a reason it’s called Twitter.

Unless you like being on social media often and actively and love giving out your opinions, Twitter isn’t going to be your jam. Let’s quickly move on.

The Reluctant Marketer & Facebook

No lie- every client we have that hates marketing hates Facebook. 

Maybe it’s the negativity and vileness of the platform. People can be toxic.

Or maybe it’s the pay-to-play strings attached to having a Facebook business account.

But then there are Facebook Groups. Some reluctant marketers love building a community because it’s part of the ethos of their brand. Just make sure you have the energy to keep up with activity and are ready to deal with vile people joining your group and ruining the party (if you’re an introvert, groups may drain you).

You can also consider moving your community off of Facebook and onto Slack or Mighty Networks if you love the idea of building brand awareness through a community but you hate Facebook.

The Reluctant Marketer & Instagram

Of all the social media channels, our reluctant marketing clients choose Instagram, hands down.

We love it.

For a minute.

And then we remember that we need to post fresh content (as in not the same photo) on a regular basis (like daily) for it to be worth our while.

I say we, because this is completely us.

But our business just can’t keep up with it in the way we want.

So it’s not our main squeeze when it comes to marketing (that would be search marketing).

It became a chore and building brand awareness was slow going month to month. We weren’t gaining any momentum like we can on search platforms.

In order for us to build a stronger Instagram presence we need to go all in, and we just can’t right now. But it’s next on our list when we have more time. We’re not going to neglect the content on our website to post on Instagram.

Are you fiddling with Instagram when you feel like it, but not going all in? Are you posting the same images over and over? It might be time to reevaluate your social media strategy.

The same can be said for all social media marketing- if you are just fiddling because you have a few extra minutes in your day, that’s not a social media strategy. That’s not how brands market their business.

Building Brand Awareness Shouldn’t Be a Chore

Whether you’re a one-person operation or have a handful of employees, if you don’t have a dedicated marketing/content department, you’re going to have to market your business yourself. And the best way to do that is to stick to creating content that gets you excited, getting it onto your website, and being selective with which channels you decide to build a brand presence. Easy and exciting- that should be your marketing goal.

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