Towanna Freeman recently interviewed Branding Superstar Pam Perry, a branding message strategist and PR Coach who has achieved incredible success in working with non-profits, ministries, authors, and entrepreneurs. Pam Perry regularly contributes to both conventional and blog media, speaking, writing, consulting and coaching on successful branding in the social media age.
Pam is the CEO of Ministry Marketing Solutions and PamPerryPR.com, as well as the founder of Blacks in Advertising, Radio & Television and The Chocolate Pages Network. She has been instrumental in the success of such big ministries as TD Jakes and Cindy Trimm, as well as Kimberly Brooks, popular Christian author of “He’s Fine, But Is He Saved?”
Highlights of the Interview
- When discussing how someone can find the right publicist or brand coach to help their business reach the next level, Pam says you should find out who a coach has worked well with already, and see if those clients were similar to you in industry, vision, and background. Also, you should look for someone with similar backgrounds or values over which you can make a real connection, because you need someone who understands where you are coming from and can empathize with you. You have to find someone you LIKE, and can talk easily with, because you have to be able to open up to a publicist for them to do their job well.
- Pam suggests to entrepreneurs eager for instant success to take a step back, start small, and grow through education and experience. She says you should build your platform organically, define your brand, and decide what you want to stand for and how you will embody it – before getting out into the spotlight. Too many people allow their publicists to put them into situations they are not yet ready for, which can backfire. You need to first learn the industry inside out, get your image just right, perfect your public speaking skills, and gain confidence in your expertise and ability, so that when you get into the spotlight you are ready to shine.
- It is easier in today’s digitally-connected world to market yourself, but an online presence can backfire and actually hurt your brand if you don’t know what you are doing. You may be excellent at the service you provide, but if your website is sub-par – with bad grammar, unclear concepts, or lack of information, for example – people visiting your site will conclude with the first look that you do not know what you are doing. It is also important to remember that if you provide a service, most of your business will come from referrals from happy clients. You should not put out a brand message online that you cannot support in your actual work.
- A book is much like today’s business card. You should not write a book expecting to sell it as your main source of income. Instead, be prepared to give your book away, to get your brand out there, garner interest in your message, and show your expertise in your field. Put calls to action in your book, so that it works to pull people to your website. Pam Pam suggests that within your book you offer a free consultation. Getting your readers to speak to you personally is a great business door opener.
- Make industry connections face to face first, before trying to take your brand online. Networking is key. You have to know such things as where to go, what conferences to attend, and where to position yourself to speak. Make a list of organizations you want to connect with, and offer to speak for free. Then, leverage those speaking engagements, by publishing Press Releases, recording yourself at events and posting online, providing physical marketing materials to your audience, and so on. This helps to get the media and your target audience to see you as an authority in your field and help you to make networking connections with others related to your industry. It also garners 3rd party endorsements when a media story surfaces about your speaking engagement – giving more credibility to your brand message.
- If you want your brand to have a successful online presence, the main thing you have to do is a blog, with remarkable, knowledgeable, interesting content that others will want to engage with and share. Know what your target audience is looking for, answer their questions, become the go-to person for their interests on your blog – THEN share your blog across social media, with links back to your website. This gets your audience to depend on you for advice, as the goto person for the coaching they are looking for.
Pam will be connecting with people weekly on her “Branding Superstar University” on Google Hangouts. Starting this fall, the audience will be introduced to different marketing techniques Pam uses herself, to see how those techniques might work for them. To learn more about Pam Perry and Branding Superstar University, visit her website at www.pamperrypr.com.