Whether you like it or not, as a small business owner you have a brand. It's the way your customers feel about your business. The way you interact with them. The language you use over the phone, on your website, in your emails.
Even if you're not a marketing 'guru' one of the best things you can do for your business is learn more about how to boost your brand presence and stand your business out in a crowded market.
So today, I want to give you a couple of quick tips that helped me sort through the blur in my head about what my 'brand' stood for and how WE was different. Working through this short exercise helped me understand 'yes I am different and this is why'- and then form some key statements and messages that I was able to share to build community and a strong, values based presence online.
So let's crack into it!
Step 1: Know Thy Competitors
Understand your competition and you're on your way to understanding what makes you different from them. Write down your top three closest competitors and consider their positioning. Consider their pricing, who are they talking to? Who is their target market? What core messages are they sending? What is their brand personality? Are they traditional? Modern? Hip? Serious? What different and unique offerings or skills do they bring to the table?
Then, reflecting on those answers, consider the unique values, skill set and personality that you bring to your business. How you can differentiate yourself from your competitors? Ask yourself, instead of being like (x) I will be like (x).
Step 2: Know Thy Industry
What don't you like about your industry? What goes on in your industry that you don't agree with or feel passionate about changing?
Often in any industry there are aspects that need improvement. If you feel passionately about making change in that area, then consider bringing this in as one of your core brand messages.
Showing people you care about making positive change and contributing to a better community is a great way of building brand loyalty. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. So if you can position yourself as a person in your industry who cares about making critical change, you've giving your customers a great reason to choose you over your competition.
Step 3: Know Thy Core Messages & Values
I mentioned this above, but once you've gone through this tutorial try to finish up by coining 3-5 short key brand messages. These messages will be your guidance going forward for everything you do in your business- from deciding what to post on social media to understanding how to offer ongoing value to your customers.
Print your brand messages and values off and put them above your desk so you see them every day! They are the passion or 'heart' behind your business and they will help you keep going when the going gets tough (which let's face it, we all know it does!).
And hey, if you need more help with your branding, head over and join us in the WE VIP Members Club because this month we're talking all things branding for your business with the help of the wonderful Tonia Hill from Crisp Graphics.
Covering a number of topics this in depth Masterclass will help you further refine your brand AND build on that message through your online messaging and design. Topics include:
- What is branding
- 6 reasons to invest in branding
- Define your target audience
- Give your business a persona
- Creating a brand moodboard
- Colour psychology – how colour influences buyers
- How to put together a colour scheme
- What your font choices say about your business
- How to choose a great font pair
And if you're in the mood for some in person coaching, why not join Tonia at her next upcoming Brand Foundations Workshop and bang out some real progress with help from our resident branding expert!