Your Brand And The “Stages” You Build

by Paul Castain on August 22, 2011

One of the things that I’ve done (quite intentionally) is build stages where I can demonstrate the Castain brand.

My strategy was to begin with my blog and have all my other efforts point to it in a way that wasn’t over the top “look at my blog”.

With my blog at the center, I started my Linkedin Group (Sales Playbook) in March 2009. The purpose of the Linkedin group was and still is to have sales and sales related discussions.

The other purpose of my group is to allow me to keep my finger on the pulse of the sales community. I can see what the hot topics are, get a feel for trends and even bounce some of my own ideas off the group.

There’s another really selfish part of this . . . I was tired of not being heard in the other groups because of the high volume of non sales related, infomercial type “discussions” that were bumping my legit discussions out of everyone’s line of sight.

The best part of this “stage” that I built is that I now share it with 24,000 other aspiring rock stars!

From there, I went after Twitter full throttle. My Twitter strategy is simple. Demonstrate value through tips, links to articles, links to my blog posts, retweeting relevant content from others and playing matchmaker to people I can introduce to my entire network.

My biggest “AHA” was that I truly did not understand or “get” Twitter for the longest time. I mean how the hell can you have a meaningful exchange in 140 characters or less? I have Twitter to thank for hitting me over the head one day and giving me complete clarity in that “Nobody cares what Castain ‘gets’ . . . they care that I show up where they want to engage” PERIOD! Note: That philosophy carries over to all the platforms.

I now share that stage with over 20,000 people and have a substantial amount of web traffic and conversions to clients to show for it.

About a year ago I started both a Sales Playbook hashtag #salesplaybook as well as another account that would serve as a compliment to the Linkedin group . . . @salesplaybookli

Once I saw the light with Twitter, I realized it was time to simply apply the same amount of effort to Facebook.

In December 2010 I created the Sales Playbook Fan Page and found that if I asked questions that could be answered easily and quickly, I was able to create a higher level of engagement.

I also share my blog posts on my Fan Page and try to post either a few hours earlier or later than when I post on the other platforms. No sense in punishing my followers by hitting them with identical content at identical times. I see no value in that “same content at the same time but different platform” approach.

I now share my Facebook stage with over 1,000 aspiring rock stars!

Google+ I’m still figuring this one out. My strategy isn’t where it needs to be yet but I can see it complimenting something I’m launching late fall so time will tell.

The Sales Playbook Podcast is another stage that I’ve chosen to build. My reason for this is that some people learn better by listening than they do by seeing and there’s something else too . . .

It was time for my courtship with my readers to go to another level. For the last few years you’ve been reading my words, now you can listen to my voice and (hopefully) get to know me better through yet one more of your senses.

A few final points about the “stages” I’ve built:

1)   I’m happy to share those stages with others and consider “community” to be vital to the success of the performances on those stages.

2)   I kept showing up on those stages (even when it seemed like nobody else wanted to show up) Note: Please circle this one because I see way too many people either giving up or just showing up so sporadically that it has the same result as giving up. Remember that naked Native American that came to Wayne in Wayne’s World in a dream? What did he tell Wayne? “You build that stage and they will come” My vision came to me in the form of a naked elderly man who did squat thrusts and that’s about all I want to say about that for now. Seriously . . . you have to keep showing up . . . EVEN WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE NO ONE IS LISTENING!

3)   I Personally Work Crowd Control In The Audience: This is actually a whole other blog post but for now you need to understand something that I’m a complete lunatic about . . . Protecting The Culture! If someone launches a verbal assault on one of my audience members, you will see my fat ass jump over the crowd and take them out.

OK so now that I’ve really bent your ear on this one, please feel free to tell us about your “stages” and how we can take the party from here over to your place.

If you found value in this blog post and my approach to personal branding, this is one of several topics I will be teaching at my Playbook For A Competitive Edge training event . . . Click Here To Save $200

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