Firms spend a lot of time marketing their business, and while a large marketing budget certainly can help you get new clients, there’s a shortcut if you want to build your brand: third-party authority.
If you don’t know how to build your brand, don’t worry – the tips below will help.
But, first, what do we mean by third-party authority? Essentially, this is a term that we’re using to describe someone that is relevant and important in your industry or niche. For example, if you’re trying to improve branding within the accounting industry, you may want to leverage the following third-party platforms:
- Insightful Accountant
- CPA Practice Advisor
Of course, you must choose the authority that best matches your business.
Roughly 77% of consumers buy from brands that share their values. It’s crucial that you choose the proper third-party entities that align with the values that you hold.
Where to Find Organizations to Help Build Your Brand
If you want to find organizations or influencers to help build your brand, you need to know where they’re located. Therefore, it’s crucial to spend a lot of time vetting these third parties to find the right fit for your firm.
A few places that you can look are:
- Facebook groups
- Social media
You’ll want to take your time to find the entities that you think align with your business and can help you grow your brand.
Over the last 5 years, B2B markets have consistently stated that brand awareness is their top goal.
Once you identify potential authorities that can help you grow your brand and firm, it’s time to add them into a master database.
Create a Database of Who You Want to Approach
You don’t want to approach everyone. Instead, you need to be systematic when choosing the third-party that you approach. When you find the right fit for your brand, you should create a database (an Excel file or Google Sheet is just fine) with the following information:
- Business Name
- Contact Information
- Reach (Web Visitors, Subscribers, Followers, Podcast Downloads, etc.)
- Social Channels/Website
- Benefits they offer
- The value you can offer them/their audience
Most of these points are self-explanatory, but we do want to elaborate on some of them. You’ll want to log the social channels and websites of the organization or influencer so that you can examine the benefits they offer and the benefits you can offer.
The benefits you can offer to the audience are vital because you must provide value. And value can be explaining new tax codes, offering unique insights or something similar.
After you’ve added quite a few points of contact, it’s time for the potentially scary part: approaching them.
Approaching Third-Party Entities The Right Way
Authorities and influencers receive a lot of spam messages and emails from people that want to use their audience to build their brand. Your first point of contact needs to start with what you’re offering their audience.
You want to position the contact as what you can do to help their audience in some way.
An excellent way to think about it is instead of asking for a favor, offer a favor. For example, you can provide expert insight to the AICPA on starting your firm as:
- A minority
- Someone with a disability
Oftentimes, your unique story is of great value to the authority’s audience.
We’re going to share a few examples of how to approach these entities the right way.
But, keep in mind, you’ll need to tweak this approach and the language used below based on the audience and your industry. Unfortunately, the examples below won’t work for everything: influencers, journals, podcasts, etc.
Examples of Breaking the Ice the Right Way
- Hey Katie, I was just reading through your blog and found your article on branding for accounting firms. I’ve mastered a similar approach with influencer marketing that I think your audience would love. Here is what I could share with them A, B, C… Do you think your audience would be interested in this? If so, I’d love to see how we can collaborate.
- Hi Jeff, I loved your recent blog post on doing your own accounting. I run an accounting technology firm that helps small businesses set up their own accounting systems and would like to be on your podcast to explain this process step-by-step. Here’s some content I’ve created around it already. If you think your audience would find this helpful, let’s talk further!
If you notice from the examples above, you start with what you can do and don’t just ask for a favor. Also, by mentioning a specific blog post or podcast, it shows that you’re not mass mailing hundreds of contacts in hopes of building your brand.
You can also choose a slightly longer approach, such as commenting on blogs, social media posts and others. When you take this approach, you’re working to become familiar with the organization before contacting them.
Results and Benefits of the Third-Party Brand Building Approach
Consistent branding can increase revenue by 33%. While this approach to marketing takes a lot of time, it’s one of the best methods to build your brand. A few of the key benefits you’ll enjoy are:
- You and your brand will be thrust in front of a large audience faster
- Improve your brand awareness and trust
- Boost your content strategy
- Offer amazing value to a large audience
Over time, you’ll also expand your network and build partnerships that can really help jumpstart your branding. You’re an expert in your field, and don’t be afraid to share the value that you can offer the authorities in your industry.
A lot of time and effort goes into building a brand, and when you’re able to go in front of a large audience, it’s a lot faster to improve your branding efforts.
Third-party authority is something that we’re using a lot to help expand the reach of our clients. When you take the time to learn how to build your brand, you’ll be on your way to creating a business that will be a long-term success.
There’s a reason that so many marketers are focusing on branding – it works.
If you follow the tips we’ve outlined above, we’re confident that you’ll jumpstart your branding efforts with the help of third-party authorities.
Do you need some help with your third-party branding?