How to build your brand and make it stand out
In order to make your business brand stand out, you should strive to build expert credibility in your niche. Once your target market views you as an expert, they’ll be more likely to do business with you because they know that you know your stuff.
Researching your niche
Basically, your area of expertise is your niche. You’ll find that some niches are more profitable than others. When you decided to start your own business, you most likely researched your niche to make sure your business idea was feasible. While you’re building your brand and trying to make it stand out from competitors, you’ll need to do more research to find out what problems your target market may be facing. As you build your brand, your goal will be to show your target market how your product or service can help solve those problems.
Market research is essential when you’re trying to build a strong brand. In order to provide the best services to your target market, you need to know who your top competitors are, their USP’s, how much they charge and what makes them stand out. You can find most of this information online by visiting their websites and social media profiles and reading reviews left by their customers/clients. Find out what the customers/clients loved and hated and use that information to make your products and services better.
In the next section, we’ll talk about the best ways to present your brand in your marketing materials.
One of the most important words in business marketing and branding is CONSISTENCY. It’s essential that you be consistent when it comes to appearance and wording in your marketing materials to build your brand effectively.
When most people hear the word “branding” they immediately think about a logo. Your logo is just one part of your brand. The message you are trying to convey to your target market is also essential in creating an effective brand.
There are several parts to your brand and these individual pieces should come together to create a certain expectation from your target market:
• The name
• Color scheme
• Icon used (if any)
• Emotions conveyed
Let’s discuss each piece in more detail:
The name you choose for your business should be something related to the type of products or services you provide or, as a solopreneur, you could simply use your name. You could also go with something catchy like ‘Axe’, which is a strange name for a men’s fragrance. But it is memorable and fun.
This is when you really need to think about what type of emotions you want your brand to elicit from your target market. Once you have decided on what image you want to convey, write it down, and start working on your logo. Get several different designs to choose from your designers. If you’re on a tight budget, try a site like Fiverr.com. If you have some creative skills yourself, you could try designing it on your own using a site like Intro Champ Logo Design.
Pay close attention to the colors and fonts but also check to make sure the logo conveys the image you want and elicits the kind of emotions you want. Do you think the logo inspires trust and credibility? Does it convey your personality? Since you’ll be using this logo on everything, you also need to make sure it’s clear and easy to read. Make sure the font they used will look good on your website, as well as, your social media profiles.
The Slogan and USP
A great slogan can give a business instant recognition and make your message stick in your customers or clients minds. It will remind your customers of your product or service over and over.
In part one I told you that some customers or clients will choose to try a business service or product based on their unique sales proposition (USP). Your USP is important because it’s the easiest way to make your business stand out from your competitors. What can you offer your clients and customers that none of your competitors are offering?
Over time, as your business matures, you will start to consolidate your gains and grow your brand in strategic directions. In the next section, we’ll talk about how to increase the reach of your brand.
Increasing the reach of your brand
Launching a new business brand can be fun and exciting. Within a short period of time lots of great things are happening and you’re anxious about what the future holds for your new business. This is the most important time to build brand awareness.
Once you’ve built a considerable amount of brand awareness, it’s time to start working on ways to increase the reach of your brand. This is when consistency really comes into play. Your target market should see your brand message repeatedly. There are several free ways you can make sure brand message stays in front of your target market:
• Social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat. etc.)
• Video marketing
• PowerPoint presentations
• Guest blog posts
• Press releases
• Email marketing
Do a little bit every day and measure your success by testing and tracking the results of different techniques.
For example, if your target market is women between the ages of 30 and 45, Pinterest is probably the best place to test your graphics because women within that group make up nearly 85% of its users. If you’re looking to connect with more professionals, run your tests on Linkedin.
Though YouTube is known for having an audience consisting of mostly males, if you create your personalized channel and add the right keywords in the titles and descriptions of your videos, you could easily attract women who may be searching for great video content on topics that can help them be more productive or make their lives easier.
Any content you create should support your brand and clearly add to the overall image you want your brand to convey to your target market. Refer to the niche and market research you’ve done and create content and services that you know they are searching for. You can also use this info to create compelling sales pages and other written marketing materials.
Even though you are a solopreneur, you will eventually need some type of help managing your business. You may choose a freelance copywriter or a social media virtual assistant. Regardless of who you choose to hire, it’s crucial that they understand from the beginning exactly what you want your brand to represent to your target market. The copywriter will use this information when writing copy for your website and the virtual assistant will keep this in mind when creating posts for your social media profiles.
Create a story for your brand
I’m sure you’ve heard that every business owner needs an ‘elevator speech’ for their business. Your speech should tell what your business is and what you have to offer in 30 seconds or less. Practice it until it becomes like second nature to you. Test your speech on your friends and relatives and get their feedback.
Consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce and/or other local networking groups. Offer to teach a short class on a topic that’s hot in your niche and you’ll get exposure for your business and possibly sales from attendees. This is a great option especially if you’ve decided to brand yourself rather than your business (part one). Once you’ve built up your online reputation and credibility, you can write a book and once its published it on Kindle, you’ll be recognized as an expert and attract more prospects.
Your goal is to build your brand to point where you can walk into a room full of people in your same niche or industry and be instantly recognized.