Don’t outsource your personality

socialIf you’re thinking about using social media as a possible means of boostrapping your marketing costs, whatever you do, don’t outsource your personality!

The people who make up your company – whether it’s just you or a small team – are the personality of the company. There’s been some interesting discussion this year about whether or not it’s okay to outsource your business blog.

Mitch Joel errs on the negative, whilst Mark Schaefer is more open to bringing in outside writers to communicate for you. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to their discussion on the ghost blogging debate, it’s definitely one to check out.

Or then there’s this guy…

Whatever you decide is right for you, it’s imperative that you generate a strong sense of authenticity and trust through your online communications. Here are a few suggestions as to how you can do this:

1) Post regular video content

Gini Dietrich is a pro when it comes to the weekly video. I’ve written elsewhere about how you can learn a lot from the conversational way she engages with her audience. There’s nothing better than putting your face in front of the camera and talking directly to stakeholders or potential prospects.

2) Start a podcast

I’ve talked about podcasting as a valuable marcom tool for your business here at the SMB Collective quite recently; however, if you’re new to the site you should be aware that like video, audio is a great way of communicating with your audience, showing clearly who you are and what your expertise is.

This strategy is especially suited to consultants because you can demonstrate pedagogical skills as you help your audience. Andy White, the UK’s podcast answer man, is a prime example of someone who excels at teaching you to podcast with clear, concise commentary. This kind of approach can be adopted by many consulting businesses.

3) Book a time with potential clients and visit them

Although the focus of Jontus Media is online marketing and communications, we find that it’s imperative to approach companies in person. Not everyone finds you on the Net, and again with businesses looking to do business with people, the personal touch will suit some prospects much better than others. For example, many businesses don’t realise what the Net can do for them. We find that by meeting them in person we can help them understand just how useful the Net can be.

4) Remember: Be Yourself

It’s ultimately all about finding a way to show yourself. Don’t always turn to other companies to help you communicate your message. As a small business it’s likely that your budget is extremely tight so why not consider what you can do in terms of showing your prospects who you really are.