I meet a lot of unhappy small businesses owners. They have a website, maybe a blog and more often than not a social media presence. So why are they so unhappy? It's because they are trying to market their business and nothing is working. When you’re a small business, it’s up to you to persuade people to buy what you’re selling. I know you hear this a lot but I will say it again — the only effective way to market your small business is by branding.
If you are unhappy about trying to market your small business (because nothing you are doing is working), than do yourself and your business a favor and read-on.
Today having a successful business requires having a brand strategy. It creates your differentiation, and makes you compelling. Creating a brand strategy will save you time and money by helping you to avoid business and marketing mistakes. As it will be the umbrella of your creative marketing strategy, forming your brand attributes along with the brand promise and that becomes the blue print for all your marketing: logo, website, social media, and advertising - creating a happier user experience that will tie your customers to you!
Clarify your brand (your business is your brand)
Clarifying your brand is the key element to a thriving business, delivering a consistent, unique value to your customers. Remember people are looking for answers to solve their problems. Are you sending a clear message about what you do and how you can help?
Look very carefully at your own business (and the marketplace around you), and ask yourself these questions:
• Do you have a target market?
• Do you provide the solution to what your target market wants or needs?
• What is your offer?
• What makes you different?
• What is your ‘personality’?
• Is there a gap in the market you can fill?
• How can you stand out more?
Branding is not all about you!
Yes, you read that right, branding is not about you. It’s about serving others. It's about delivering a promise. Make it your goal, to show the value you offer and make sure you can deliver on it.
Make sure your audience has a consistent brand experience:
Customers no longer separate a brands service or product from their marketing—In this era of engagement, branding and marketing is your company. So your marketing will only work for you when your uniqueness, and coordinated messages are delivered in a smooth, seamless and powerful experience—and the only way to get that is by branding. Have I said that before too? Yes, indeed- because it’s worth repeating).
If you’re in doubt about whether you demonstrate a consistent brand experience, take a look at your website and all your social media channels side by side. Would someone be confused if they went from your website to your social media channels or vice versa. Are you using consistent images, colors, fonts, design and a consistent tone in your communications? See if there's a disconnect. (be honest with yourself here), Are any changes you need to make? If so, make them quickly, because confused potential customers don't stick around.
Continue using social media to build your brand:
Sadly, most of you are not using social media to best benefit your brand. And because you are not seeing results, you stop. What's worse then not having a social media presence? -having one with nothing of value on it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: Are you sharing tips and strategies that can best to your market? Are using tailored hashtags? Are you posting consistently? Are you generating original, timely content? Are you connecting with your target audience, or just selling to them? Worse yet; Are you simply not showing up socially at all? By not recognizing the value of social media for small businesses today, you are limiting your online authority and seriously hindering your ability to get your message out there. Do you have a message?
If you need help, get help.
It is usually very helpful to get an outside perspective, so consider working with branding studio for both your strategy and/or the implementation to create a visual identity that is strong, clean and simple and works across all your company’s communications.
- Happy Branding!