Today, I spoke to Maria Elena Duron, Maria is a chief buzz officer, speaker and coach. She is skilled in making networks “work” and harnessing the power of word of mouth. She’s a featured business coach on her affiliate CBS and ABC stations along with hosting teleseminars with Your Brand Plan and the IT Coaches. As a featured columnist in the Personal Branding Magazine and the National NetWorker, she focuses on connecting your brand to your critical connections. You can share your greatest personal marketing challenge in the buzz bash contest to win a strategic 5-point personalized plan to create buzz for you.
Mohammed: Poisoning the minds of people could start from one dissatisfied customer. How can business owners use positive word of mouth to produce a stream of referrals? and how can someone handle negative WOM communication especially if its not true?
Maria: When someone you “know, like and trust” recommends someone that weighs heavier that input from someone who is not a trusted contact. That is why for positive word of mouth, you must do a great job making sure your message is portable, you do something outstanding that it warrants a recommendation and you make referring you not just easy but fun too! You cannot just be ‘good’ at what you do and you cannot just provide good customer service, that’s to be expected and is not remarkable. Doing something that is memorable and worth talking about, helps generate positive word of mouth and you borrow from the credibility of the person speaking on your behalf which elevates your credibility in the eyes of their contacts.
Continuously nurturing positive word of mouth is the best defense against negative word of mouth. When people have a chance to sample your character and competence and see it’s not inline with any negative word of mouth they’ve heard, then they’ll realize that it was either someone disgruntled or an isolated incident and will give you the chance to show your true brand. Third party testimonials are so important in building that foundation of positive word of mouth. So, focus on compelling others to speak positively on your behalf.
Mohammed: I read your post recently: How Your Personal Brand Handles Multiple Hats, How can we keep multiples hats projected to one personal brand especially we are going to wear more hats as social media is expanding exponentially?
Maria: While the audience might be different, the core values and promise of value is still the same. Find out what your unique promise of value is and how you deliver it to each and every audience you interact with. Better yet – find out what each group or audience of each ‘hat’ thinks makes you unique and look for trends. That will help you determine the perception of your brand that is already out there.
Mohammed: Does social media and social networks shortcut the path to be expertise in a niche? What are the main steps to have your voice heard on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks?
Maria: It does for certain target audience only because it is word of mouth on steroids. Social media is merely a communication tool. And, the nature of it is to be brief soundbites that come often and frequently. Because of the shortened message, word of mouth becomes more ‘portable’ which means it can reach more people. Reach and frequency of connecting and hearing from you help fast-pace your voice being heard and gives multiple samplings of your character and competence.
Brand Word: Spend the time it takes to understand what makes you unique right now. Understand what the perception is, too. It’s only in knowing that can you move forward in managing your personal brand. While you’re doing that, become better at your skills of engagement and being to identify who you need to nurture and establish connections with.
Spotlight: Maria Elena Duron | chief buzz officer, speaker and coach helps you compel others to speak positively on your behalf, online and face-to-face. Do you know what your personal brand it? Take the personal brand audit for free! http://tinyurl.com/brandaudit Use access code: MALT