You’ve spent years building your brand. You’ve earned a small following of fans and your voice is stronger than ever. Now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and go before a live audience. This is the place of epic exposure. This is, The Internet.

As a dedicated digital marketer and fan of “The Voice”, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between contestants and our clients. I’m not talking about #text101 campaigns or social media strategies; I’m talking about the journey. If you’re looking to achieve online super-stardom, set the stage for success with these 6 powerful lessons from The Voice!

#1. Understand the Venue

While the online market comes with unlimited exposure and opportunity, it’s muddled in a maze of endless information and constant change. It’s a breeding ground for new shiny things – trends, tools, platforms, rules, and cover your ears …competitors! Navigating through this noise to glean vital insights is now a way of life for digital marketers, making it harder to compete in this space. Before you blast out a Request for Proposal; before you write that job description for a new Social Media Specialist; before you start a GoToMeeting with that digital expert who confounds you with complicated Google-conquering techniques; take a deep breath, visualize Carson Daly and tell us about yourself.

# 2. Tell your Story

Who are you? Where are you from? Why are you here? What makes your brand unique? Who are you trying to reach? What are your goals? If you haven’t answered these questions, all strategies, tactics and efforts put forth are simply shots in the dark – which is a risky waste of time and money.

You’ve earned this opportunity to tell your story and introduce your brand – take it! Relive the successes and failures that got you to this point. Reinforce your purpose and hopes for the future. Motivate yourself to follow through, and inspire your audience to get behind you.

#3. Audition!

We all want to skip to the part where we found our way to making beautiful music together. In fact, online marketers do it all the time. But the danger in this goes way beyond being two steps behind the next shiny thing. Imagine if “The Voice” contestants just had to warble out their name to get coaches to turn. As much as every contestant dreams of that moment, they need it to be a moment of truth. The audition marks their place amongst competitors in the eyes of their audience, and the beginning of the journey.

An online evaluation is your audition. An evaluation presents your online brand as it relates to your unique industries, products, services, audiences and goals (see lesson #2). Leveraging several online sources and proprietary tools, an effective evaluation looks at and measures the following:

  • Brand Authority
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Web Analytics
  • Site Mechanics
  • Online Advertising
  • Conversion Path

These results will tell you which platforms and strategies are needed to align your website with your business goals. They also provide a baseline of metrics to measure against as you implement strategies.

#4. Pick Your Partner → #5. Pick Your Plan

Behind every great brand is a great marketer! Like contestants choosing between voice coaches, hiring the right digital marketing partner is imperative. At this point your contenders have given your brand their vote of confidence. Chairs have been turned, plans have been pitched and you’re forced to make the tough decision. The good news is that you’ve learned from the aforementioned lessons, so you know what you need. Now, just like a contestant, you can choose the right digital partner by assessing the following:

  • Applicable knowledge and experience: A country contestant would have to favor Blake Shelton in this category – no matter how much they love Gwen Stefani. Keep this in mind as you’re choosing your digital partner. Know who you are and move towards development, not transformation.
  • Proposed plans and pricing alignment: You know you’ll get the most out of Paid Advertising so drop the partner whose proposal is going over your budget with some fancy website design.
  • Metrics and accountability: With an established baseline and set goal, favor the partner that did the math and showed data to support their plan. Their plan should also include a commitment to provide results using these same metrics ongoing.
  • Interpretation of vision and brand: This is where Gwen could win over that same country-branded contestant if she was able to make a more profound connection. A partner is an extension of your brand. It’s important that they share in your vision and, ideally, enthusiasm.
  • Resources required to adjust and adapt: There are a lot of things to consider here. A contestant can’t pick a coach whose team is already full, and neither should you. If an agency has a huge backlog, deadlines get pushed and there’s an obvious negative impact on your brand. You need to know that your partner has the ability to effectively manage your online brand, and the resources available to monitor results and adapt to changes as needed.

Understanding these criteria will allow you to successfully hire a partner and with it a plan. Now it’s time to put that plan into action.

#6 Trust the Process & Perform. Evaluate. Adjust. Repeat.

Finally, it’s go time! Keep in mind that this is the first of a succession of steps you’ll have to take to get to your goal. It’s an ongoing process of performing, evaluating and adjusting to achieve online stardom. And you are not alone. You have your partner and your plan working for you, and a proven system in place to measure your progress and adjust accordingly. So clear your voice and let it go. This is “The Process”, “This is YOUR Voice” – believe in it!

Thinking about building your online brand? We’d love to hear from you, Contact us about a site evaluation today!