Here we go again – talking about brands. Many businesses when they hear that word (brand) simply zone out thinking—“That’s only for the big guys—wouldn’t matter to my business.” Or even worse they think, “Well I did that early on in biz so it’s done.” But believe me, it does matter and you do need to continually review your branding message. Whether you have a mom and pop shop on the corner of 5th and Maine in small town USA, a one person entrepreneur business, or a multi-million dollar corporation in downtown New York, your brand matters and you need to continually be reviewing it.
So what is your brand? Entrepreneur Magazine defines it as: “Your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.” So bottom line – it’s the image that people relate to your company.
So now that you know what your brand is, how can you grow your brand? Here are some tips we think will help. Take the time to review each one closely and spend time to take actionable steps to achieve them. Knowing what to do is one thing, but actually doing it is when the magic happens.
Marketing Your Brand – These Tips Rock!
Be Clear On Your Brand – Before you can promote your brand, you need to make sure you understand it fully. This is the biggest problem most businesses face. They might have hired someone to “brand them” or even when they did it themselves, they truly aren’t connecting personally with their brand. This is your business and your message. What do you want people to know? Make sure you make that crystal clear. Clarity is so important. You want to be able to clearly define it for the different types of products or clients you work with.
Write down your brand messaging. What are the key points clients need to know about your brand. Pick 5. The most important, absolutely they need to know points. Now say you have multiple products or services, are you sending an entirely different message for each product? Why? You don’t want to. You don’t want your brand message to be all over the place and doing off in a zillion different directions. Most will buy multiple products or services from you and if they are branded well, they will immediately feel the connection and open their wallets to all. Go back and review and make the changes needed.
Here a Brand – There a Brand – Everywhere a Brand Brand –Yes, your brand is everywhere and everywhere it is, it needs to be similar. You know the basics – your newsletter, website, blog, facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. should all have your unique colors, logos, etc., so people recognize you quickly. But it is so much more. Think too about the media you get. When you get interviewed or send out articles, is the message the same. Do you convey the key points (back to tip 2) effectively and confidentially? If not, what can you do to change that ASAP? Now do it!
Be Proud of Your Brand – Now I don’t mean shouting from the rooftops I love my brand and I’m not afraid to say it. But you need to stand behind it 150%. That confidence stands out in all you do. From answering the phone and talking with potential clients, to website copy, social media updates, and all your marketing, have that confidence that you and your business are the best. Not only does it help get those clients, but it builds loyalty among your existing clients. They are proud to tell others about you, because they too believe in you. Of course that absolutely means that you have to be the best and have the best, but you already hopefully have that covered. If not, stop what you are doing right now and fix it!
Get Out There So People See Your Brand – Always market. And we mean always, even when you have a full client base or sales are banging! You always want to be front and center in front of your clients. Many make the mistake of getting busy, stop marketing and then once they need clients or sales again they come out like gangbusters. How much easier would it have been if you had been consistent throughout?
Use a paid program such as Cision in order to find the right places and editors to pitch to. It’s expensive, but worth every penny. You can let others know you are the expert by getting featured in TV, radio, newspapers, blogs, etc.
Market for the type of client you are seeking – Now we recommend always doing different types of marketing. However, your main marketing efforts should be focused clearly on where that potential client is. For example, if your product is perfect for seniors, it might not be the best idea to spend all your time, effort as well as money on Facebook. They just might not be there.
See how easy it is to grow your brand. Let’s recap … Have a great product or service. Know your product or service well and the clients most interested. Keep a consistent message throughout and market like there’s no tomorrow. And remember if you ever need help, you can hire someone experienced to walk you through it all.