This week at the FETC Conference in Miami Florida, I had the opportunity to meet and reconnect with hundreds of amazing educators and educational technology companies. The time spent here interacting with all of these amazing entities has made me realize a few important things about Building Your EDU Brand.
In this episode of the Jeff Bradbury Show, we take a look at 10 Expert Tips To Help You Build Your EDU Brand. Some of these things seem pretty easy. Some of the items on the list might have you puzzled. After speaking with several great educators at the conference this week, it is certain that everyone has gone through these steps and mastered many if not all of them.
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The TeacherCast 90-Day Email Marketing Challenge
At this moment, I'm guessing you might fit into one of these categories:
- You have a great idea that you would like to get noticed by the educational community
- You are looking to build a distinguishable brand for yourself to get noticed by edtech companies, professional learning conferences, or perhaps … employers.
- You are looking to take your current website, blog, podcast, book, and/or social media strategy to the next level
In this challenge, you are going to learn:
- How to find and target your Avatar to grow your email list.
- The importance of having a great looking website and how to build the one that attracts eyes on your brand and grows your email list.
- How to grow a successful Social Media strategy that gets you noticed and grows your email list.
- How to create a branded professional slide deck for your next conference that grows your email list.
- How to fight the war on the inbox and what it means for your unopened emails.
- How to improve your email open rates so that the work you put into your emails gets noticed clicked on.
- and much more …
Reflections From Our Previous Episode
Episode 2: 5 Rules of Personal and Professional Brands
- By Hyper-Focused
- Be Authentic
- Have a Story
- Be Consistent
- Live Your Brand
10 Expert Tips To Help You Build Your EDU Brand
Identify Your Target Audience … EARLY
For so many educators, they create content just to create content and then all of a sudden they call themselves a business owner and entrepreneur. This is almost completely backward from what happens in the non-edu world.
In business, you spend months trying to figure out a pain point. Then you try to come up with a cost-effective solution to solve that pain point. Then you learn everything about who has those pain points and you do everything that you can to attract them to your solution. Sounds pretty easy???
Successful companies identify who their target market is first and THEN create the solutions.
Be An Expert In The Industry
Have you ever listened to a speaker or heard a podcast where someone was “trying” to sound like an expert but you had your doubts? In this age of quick and easy Google search, anyone can read a blog post and become an expert … so what set's you apart?
When creating an identifiable EDU Brand, it's important that you also establish your credibility or authority in the subject. This not only helps people identify with you but gives people a reason to follow what you are preaching on your platforms.
Create Content Worth Coming Back To
Everyone can create content. But how many times have you clicked on a link and looked at something for 2 seconds only to agree never to visit the website again?
No matter the topic, strive to come up with valuable content that answers the questions your avatar has in a way that entices them to either stay on your site searching for more answers or click on the next post or tweet that they see.
Create Value Around Your Content
Once you know what type of content you need to create, you should take the time to ask what you can do to create value for your content.
For example, you might create free content in the form of ebooks, or PDF's that can serve as lead-magnets for gaining email subscribers.
Leverage Your PLN To Evangelize For You
Do you have a blog or a podcast? Inviting your inner circle to be a guest on your show or guest blog for you is a great way of not just spreading your platform to others, but it gives you the opportunity to have your guests promote your work.
Focus Your Message Where Your Avatar Is … Don’t Chase Your Target Audience
Once you know who your avatar is and what answers they are seeking, the next step is to figure out what pool they are swimming in. It only makes sense to ask your avatar which social media platforms they are on so you can create an online strategy to attract attention to yourself. No need to play on a platform that nobody is swimming in.
Spread Your Message Near and Far
I have the opportunity to meet and work with amazing edtech companies and I always ask them the same question year after year … “Are you going to ISTE?”
You'd be surprised at how many companies say NO.
ISTE is the largest edtech conference in the United States and for some reason, the company doesn't see value in being where all the action is.
Very odd… right?
If you are looking to Build Your EDU Brand you should be thinking both locally and nationally when it comes to speaking and marketing. Edcamp's are wonderful and they are all over the place these days. Conferences such as ISTE and FETC draw large crowds but you also have amazing conferences such as NCCE and CUE to check out as well.
Have a Mentor
What is the number one thing that all successful people have in common?
They all have someone they can talk to. This might be a spouse, a best friend, a religious figure, or family member but they all have someone they can speak openly to about their journey.
What else do they have in common? They have professional mentors. A Professional mentor is someone who has gone on the journey ahead of you and can help you travel the road that you are. They might give advice. They might let you fall so that you can learn to pick yourself up. No matter what the situation may be … if you are going to be creating content, you should reach out to someone who has done the deed before and seek advice … even when you don't think you need it. It's always good to talk and strategize for that all-important gut check.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Failure
Let's face it … nothing is perfect. You are going to have moments of success and you are going to have moments of failure. My personal suggestion to you is to embrace them both and celebrate them both. Most important … LEARN from them both.
Remember the definition of the word FAIL: First Attempt In Learning.
Include Your Family
No EDU Brand is built without the support of the people who love you the most. One of the most difficult parts of Building your EDU Brand is coming to grips with the fact that so much of your energy will be spent working the business instead of cuddling up next to those you care about.
When you include those around you into your journey the rewards are even greater than you can ever imagine.
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