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If you own a small business you may be intimidated by the branding process. It may be that your budget is very small and you are not sure how to go about it. Or you could just be damn busy hustling and have no time for this. Either way, it is kinda important.
The importance of branding a small business
Branding does your work for you. In the past, a company had to rely on spokespeople and campaigners in order to reach the masses. Digital marketing has changed this completely. According to Plunkett Research, the online branding and advertising industry are worth around $228.4 billion.
How does this affect the solopreneur though? Think of your favorite soda, your favorite coffee or your favorite running shoe. They are all specific brands. Why do you prefer that specific brand? You know what to expect from them. Most importantly, they tell a story. The value has long been established and now the brand is doing the work for the company. Your brand will do the marketing for you while you get on with the job. Small companies and entrepreneurs who are a one-man team might not have the knowledge and experience in creating a successful brand, but your quality of work will ensure your brand gets known. Big corporations have entire teams employed just for the purpose of keeping the brand relevant and exciting.
What is personal branding
Branding is much more than the logo on your shirt or the letterhead on your correspondence. It is how customers identify you. It makes you, you. How do you stand out from your competitors? Have you researched their sites? Does your brand stand out from theirs or is there an industry norm? It is well known that people review products online before deciding to make contact. Do you have content on your page that tells people who you are, what you do and what you stand for? Do you know how to use your brand effectively to land that client? If you have a strong personal brand, that brand carries over to your business. Think of Neil Patel. He has an amazing personal brand, he is even better known than any of his businesses. As a business owner, you have to put yourself out there. How do you want people to perceive you? How will your presence benefit a company, team or management? It takes time and effort to build a personal brand, the trick is to be consistent on all platforms. You can read more on personal branding here.
Branding has to be consistently applied
Your message has to be consistently delivered on all platforms. This means your shopfront, website, correspondence, team members all have to showcase your brand. Above all the brand speaks about your values. Do you have a presence in social media? Do you have a blog on your website? Is there content available about your service or product? On top of that, how will a prospective client know that you know what you are doing? You need testimonials and content to let people know they can trust you with their money. This is all part of branding your business. Your branding, the logo, and colors, and font must all be the same across all platforms. Use the same colors on all of your Pinterest boards. Similarly, use the same colors, font, and logos on all correspondence and all platforms online. Stacey Jackson talks about the importance of consistency in this post.
How to create a brand
First of all, keep it clean. No fancy hard to read fonts, furthermore, keep the colors the same. But that being said, it has to reflect YOU. Who are you? Make sure the content is in your tone, set guidelines for any outsourced work and make sure it all reflects you. Creating a brand does not have to be an intimidating or tedious job. If you don’t have the time to write content for your blog, hire a freelance writer who specializes in your industry. If you don’t know how to create a logo or you don’t have a big budget, hire a freelance graphic designer. You are sure to find someone within your price range. Even more importantly though, keep in mind that you will get what you pay for.
Above all, automate your social media posts. There are wonderful programmes out there to automate to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Try out Tailwind for Pinterest and let them manage your pinning schedule, it is super easy and very effective. If you don’t know much about social media you can even hire a social media manager. Ignoring social media will mean the business that could have come your way will now go to someone who is reachable online.
According to Forbes, e-mail remains popular among millennials as a way to communicate with over 205 billion emails sent every day. It is therefore important to get an e-mail list going. Get people to sign up for your newsletter. There you can share important information, new blog posts and special offers. It is a more personal way to interact with your clients and drives your brand right into the forefront of their minds.
Be proud of what you have created
Ultimately, wear your brand with pride! You have created this business by working your butt off. Your clients adore you and finally, your product sells and you are living the hustler’s dream. If you are confident in your product you will instill confidence in clients, which ultimately will lead to higher profits. If you believe that your brand can achieve big things, consequently, it will.