We work with amazing people everyday from brands to influencers and everything in between. We lovingly call them our #CookItCrew and today were checking in with our Brand Strategist, Anna Fatlowitz. We asked and she told us 5 things we didn’t know about her!
I was born in Thailand and lived there until I was two. I’ve been lucky enough to go back a few times, and experience things outside of a tourist lense. I’m finally going back as an adult later this year and can’t wait!
Because I grew up eating a ton of authentic Isaan (northeast region) Thai food, I am seriously so picky. Pad Thai is actually one of my least favorite dishes, and there are about two places in NYC I actually approve of: Somtum Der and Jaiya.
For some reason I’ve never liked sweets, so I always skip dessert unless other people want it. I’ve even asked to replace the dessert course on prix fixe menus!
My favorite cuisine is Japanese, from sushi to soba to kaiseki and everything in between. I think I started eating sushi around age five. My first omakase definitely changed my life.
I’m obsessed with dogs and getting a dog. I probably follow 100+ dog accounts on Instagram.
At CookIt, we talk about “story” all the time. As consultants working to help you define your brand, crafting your story is our first step. Without that key piece, you are rudderless in a vast ocean of competition.
The good news is that, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, you always had the answer. Finding your story is the process of seeing that it was there all along.
Crazy talk, right? Don’t just take our word for it, try it. Follow this road, and let us know how it goes.
Picture your readers.
Who are they? What’s important to them? What’s really hard for them? What keeps them up at night? Once you feel like you know these things about your audience, go to the next step.
How can you help them?
Within your area of expertise, how can you help them? How can you solve a problem for them? What do you have to offer them that others don’t? Answer those questions, and go to the next step.
What is it about you that qualifies you to be the authority your reader needs? Is it education? Life experiences? Values? Find that answer, and you will better understand your role in the story we’re writing. And then…
What’s so important?
Once you have a better understanding of who you’re talking to, how you’re helping them, and what it is about you that they trust and value, it’s much easier to grasp the importance of what you do. It may sound simple — it may be that they look to you for inspiration, for the motivation they need to stick to their goals. But that’s big for them. And that’s where you’ll find your story, and your opportunity!
When it comes right down to it, there’s really only one thing you need to know about creating a successful brand: You need to know who you’re doing it for. We like to call this your Target Audience.
Without a strong sense of who your reader is, and what their problems (or “pain points”) are, it’s hard to know who you are. The trick is to understand your value through the lens of your reader, delivering content that both informs and inspires them.
But how do you find your Target Audience? Here’s how we like to do it!
4 TIPS FOR FINDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
1. Check out your competitive set
Get to know the brands and blogs that share content similar to yours. Who are their readers, and how are they helping those individuals solve their problems?
Determine what makes you unique
How are you different from the brands in your competitive set? Can you create a niche for yourself and envision an audience that needs you and your unique skills/perspective?
Get to know your current readers
Study, stalk and talk to your loyal fans, the ones who subscribe to your emails and follow you on your social networks. What do they love about you? What do they ask you for more of?
Create a persona
Combining characteristics of your loyal fans with those of your potential readers (those who will appreciate you for what makes you unique!), draw up a profile of your target reader, including the kinds of details that help you identify why she needs you!
We’re not big on marketing speak, but there is one term we use a lot: Gap Analysis. To us, it’s a really useful technique for identifying the gap between your competitive set (basically, those influencers who create content similar to yours and appeal to an audience like yours) and your brand. There is something unique about you, and once you zero on that characteristic, it will help you see the “gap” in the marketplace. And that gap is yours to fill!
But how do you find that unique characteristic, that thing that will become the DNA of your brand? Here are a few tips to put you on that path to discovery:
Analyze your current brand position
What are you?
Who do you it for?
What do you do?
Why is it important?
Analyze your competition
Who are they?
What do they do?
Who do they do it for?
What are they doing right/wrong?
Identify your opportunity
What is unique about you?
What can your offer your readers that no one else can?
How can your unique characteristic inform your content?
How can your unique characteristic help your reader?
Choosing a social media management tool is like choosing which dessert you should grab from your favorite bakery. It’s an important decision! Do you go for the chewy, chocolate chip cookie or the sugary cinnamon bun?
The truth is it depends on what works for you and your social media strategy. It can depend on your budget, your goals, or what organization method you prefer. To help make your decision, we’ve put together the pros and cons of 5 social media management platforms so that the only important decision you’ll have to make today will be the sweet one!
Easy-to-use web interface making it easier to manage social media profiles in multiple streams from a single dashboard
Offers flexibility with regard to pricing, as free plans and premium plans are available
Depending on the plan you can manage up to 50 social profiles
Can schedule on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, LinkedIn, WordPress, Instagram, WordPress and Youtube
Doesn’t support scheduling on Pinterest
When posting new content to Facebook via Hootsuite, those posts do not track the likes, shares, and comments that you received in Facebook’s Insights analytical data for that post. The likes, comments and shares do exist when viewing from the front end Wall and Feeds, but the “credit” for getting them is not recorded in any way by Insights
Scheduler Calendar only displays copy in calendar and not full images, so you can’t see clearly how your calendar will look
Does not have a format where you can upload photos for your content calendar, making it more difficult to plan and organize your calendar
Plans & Pricing:
Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial.
Free – up to 3 profiles
Pro – $19/month up to 10 social profiles (1 user)
Team – $99/month per user (1-5 users) up to 20 social profiles + additional features
Business – $499/month per user (5-10 users) up to 50 social profiles + additional features
Allows team members to monitor clients’ social media mentions, engage with brand advocates, schedule content in advance, and utilize reporting tools to inform future strategies
Assign and track tasks for team members
Compare different profiles and customize date range of social media reports
Export reports to PDF or Excel
Constantly upgrading and adding new features to enhance experience
Discovery feature to find new people to follow or engage with
Ability to tag brands
No free plan and on the pricier side
No ability to “save” a particular column to track or monitor a trending topic
Can’t like a Facebook post or plus a Google+ comment
Plans & Pricing:
SproutSocial offers a 30-day free trial for all of its plans.
Standard– $59/user per month for up to 2 social profiles
Premium – $99/user per month for up to 10 social profiles + added features like advanced reporting
Corporate – $149/user for up 15 social profiles + added features like advanced permissions and custom branding
Enterprise–$249/user for up to 20 social profiles
Finding the right social media management tool is just as important as choosing the right pastry on a Saturday morning. Which one will you choose? Tell us in the comments below which one of these tools you’ve come to love!