Businesses and individuals believe they are building their brand the most effective way, but is that true? Ask yourself, “what is your brand?” Quick answer; your brand is what Google says it is. Another way to look at it is your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.
Why is this statement true? In today’s social world you do not have total control of your brand. People can post comments, write articles, blog, tweet or post their experiences. Are they accurate or greatly exaggerated? Unfortunately, it does not matter because people tend to believe what they read. A great example is the US election. How many stories were fake news, exaggerated, or outright lies that people believed? You work vigorously building your brand, and it can be damaged in a heartbeat.
Building your brand does not happen overnight. Have patience, be consistent and ready to work your ass off. Growing your brand is not a 9-5 job, but enjoy the ride because it is a lot of fun. Below are a few things to keep in mind.
Nothing is more important in business than being authentic. You are your brand, and your brand is you. Honesty and integrity should be the cornerstone of your brand. Share your knowledge to build trust.
Get a domain name and email set up. Nothing is more unprofessional than handing out a business card with gmail.com at the end of your email. It is very simple to set up a website. Do not go crazy with too much information because people tend to lose interest after reading a paragraph. Keep the information short and to the point.
Design a logo using the correct colors and keep it simple. If you are not comfortable, hire someone to design it. There are many companies that can help you, but Logo Design Guru is one I recommend. If you want to design it yourself, use your network and people that will give you honest feedback. Make sure it is front and center in all marketing.
Set up accounts on all social media platforms. Post relevant articles, updates on your business and any successes you have. Be active and post two to four articles a week. Post at different times of the day and week. You don’t need to be on all platforms, just where your clients are. To find where your clients are you need to do your homework. When starting from scratch try all the platforms and track the analytics. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest are the top platforms for B2B and B2C. Promote your product through ads. This allows to you target the correct markets and you will get the best bang for your buck.
Content is King and 80% should be original. This includes video, blogs and posts on your platforms. Take your own photos/videos and use an app to edit them (some of the apps I use are Spark, WordSwag, Splice and VideoLeap). Many are scared to make videos or write blogs, but you shouldn’t be. Vulnerability is the foundation of courage, you can’t have courage without putting yourself out there. Step outside your comfort zone and share your knowledge. You will stumble and make mistakes, but not to worry, being authentic is what people want.
It is the key to your success. Join business groups, attend seminars, go to conferences or set up meet and greets. Use LinkedIn to reach out to old friends, colleagues, and associates. Use your hobbies as an opportunity to network. The more people you network with, the greater chance of success you have.
It does not mean going back to school; it means attending educational seminars. I love to see how people speak, interact and hopefully learn something new. ALWAYS BE LEARNING.
Businesses need to get noticed, and unfortunately, marketing usually gets lost in the day-to-day grind, and most don’t have time to dedicate to it. Hiring a consultant is a great investment and a cost-effective way to see if you need a full-time marketing person. Or, if they do an excellent job you don’t change a thing. Focus on what you’re good at and bring in an expert to promote your brand on your behalf.