Building your business brand is important because it helps ensure that you are bringing to your audience just the right feelings that you want them to have – feelings that help them trust you, feel as if they know you, and like you. And then enough of all that to make them want to act on your calls to action, like you, buy from you, follow you, share your offers, and become a fan of your brand by promoting you too.
Creating a consistent brand can do all that and more. Let’s get into the guide.
Analyze Your Audience
You must know exactly who your audience is. Create an audience persona (or many) based on where they are in their buying cycle and your product or service funnel. You may come out with several different personas with which to market to. But, through it all, you need to ensure that the brand you create works for them all.
Analyze Your Business
If you already have a business, look at your existing customers for answers. Use software or a survey to ask them what they think of your brand. Ask them for advice and what they’d do differently or better if they could pick. This is always a great way to change branding or implement branding moving forward. If you don’t have a business yet, focus on who you want to serve, why you want to serve them, and how you’ll do it so you can find them and survey them.
Build Trust with Valuable Content
Once you have a branding idea, its important to ensure that it translates to the content you share with your audience. It needs to be very consistent. If you say that soy is bad for you, all the content you share or promote should say the same thing. If you promote forgiveness, you must demonstrate forgiveness. If you don’t live up to your branding, people will notice – especially in the content you publish on your online and offline real estate, as well as in the guest posts or guest content that you publish.
Show Your Expertise
The more ways you can demonstrate your expertise through the content you publish, the places you go, and the people you associate with, the better. If you win awards, go speak, attend an event, or interview someone important, promote it as if it’s your very best and most expensive product that you want your audience to get.
Provide Social Proof
What this essentially means is that you have followers, commenters, and believers who are willing to provide testimonials, reviews, and referrals. This can take time to build up but if you make asking for this information part of your process, it’ll become easier over time. Put it in your autoresponders for happy customers, and make it part of your follow-up when you meet someone to get them to tell you want they think. Then, if it’s good, ask if you can quote them. Most people are happy to do it.
Engage with Your Audience
Don’t make your communication with your audience one way on any platform. Don’t use no-reply email addresses, and don’t ignore comments on social media, your blog, or anywhere. Try to respond to every question or comment with at least a “like” or a thank you. You’ll get even more communication and engagement when they know you’re going to respond.
Build a Community
One thing that’s important above all else online is engagement, and a good way to build that is to set up a community. You can do that via social media groups, but you can also build a stand-alone community using forum software (eg. Ning.com). Whatever you pick, this should happen when you have a good following already so that you have enough people there to make it worthwhile for you.
Be Consistent Everywhere
This is super-important because if you have a different headshot on every platform, different colours, different logos, and different ideas, it’s going to be hard to create a cohesive brand. Ensure that you are consistent with your words, the type of images you use, the colours, and your voice. All of it is important. Create style guides to help yourself but also others if you bring on others to work with you.
Cross-Market Your Platforms and Profiles
Remember to cross-promote everything with each platform. On your website, ensure that there are links to your social platforms; on social platforms, put links to other platforms and your website. Tell people to follow you, like you, and participate with you, wherever you are each time on every platform.
Finally, don’t stop. Whenever you start something new, make sure it fits in with your brand’s identity and goals. Ensure that it’s something your audience will want to buy, engage with, or consume. The more you focus your branding, the more you’ll be able to create just the right products and services for your audience just when they want and need them.