Easy Ways to Build Your Brand
When starting any business, you’re going to hear a great deal about branding. You’ll hear about personal branding as well as business branding, but aren’t likely to get much information about what it all means. Personal branding is who you are and what you have to offer. When you’re building a personal brand you’re marketing yourself and your career as a brand.
- Personal branding is based on the idea that success comes from ‘self-packaging’, and it’s an ongoing process to establish & maintain a prescribed image or impression of you & your work.
- Business branding is the thing that gives you an edge over your competition. Business branding is essentially your promise to your customers and potential customers. It’s who you are, want to be, and who people perceive you to be.
Consistent, strategic branding practices will provide you with a strong brand identity, whether it’s personal or professional.
Part of Kristina Schake’s role as former Comms Officer for First Lady Michelle Obama was to build Obama’s personal brand. What we might think of as moments captured were actually carefully crafted opportunities to re-inforce Michelles’ image (brand) as kind, caring & wildly in love with the President.
Apple Mac is renowned for it’s clean, minimal design. Their brand promise is all about delivering exceptional quality & user experience. Over the years their products have shifted from desktop to mobile but their promise has remained consistent.
Which one should you focus on? It depends on your goals & your brand promise. If you want to be able to expand and build a sustainable living, your business brand is the way to go. If you focus on your personal brand you’ll reach a point where outsourcing can look or feel inauthentic, and as you expand and scale your business you’ll need to grow. You can’t do it all. Keep in mind that using your personal name can be problematic should you decide to sell your business … though that is not something that can’t be brought into your over-all strategy.
7 Simple Ways to Boost Your Brand That You Can Do Today:
- Get a DomainThis is professionalism 101. Having your own space on the internet will make your website look more legitimate, professional, and trustworthy. Giving yourself a matching email address will also help boost your credibility. hello@Yourbusinessname.com is infinitely more professional than Yourbusinessname@gmail.com. If you want to hook your domain email address to your gmail account we have a written tutorial on how to do just that.
- Be ConsistentIf you have social media, write blog posts, or do anything else to promote your business, be consistent. Every thing you create and share is a representation of you and what you have to offer. If you want people to have faith in what you offer them professionally, teach them they can trust what you share.
- Create a mood board and style guideMood boards are relatively new. They convey the truest essence of your brand. The mood board gets to the heart of how we want to make our clients feel. The style guide is the set of rules you compile which determine how to represent your brand in marketing materials. Together a mood board and style guide will ensure you have a consistent, memorable brand identity and presence.
- Become an authority in your field
You have the skills and knowledge it takes to be a stand out in your field. Use your experience and resources to advocate for and educate your clients. That might look like creating and sharing educational tools or your own site or for other publications.
- Repeat your message again and againPeople remember what they hear all the time. It’s why people around the world know the slogans of giants like McDonalds and Taco Bill. Though you may be a designer, VA or something else entirely, learn from these fast food powerhouses by sharing your brand message repeatedly. The public will learn and trust what you consistently share.
- Be reliable and have great customer service
Helping your customers is always good business practice, but when you reliably support your clients and communicate well, they will eagerly support you. What you DO is what you will ultimately be known for, so be sure it’s something positive!
- Make regular contact with customers“Out of sight, out of mind” is a very real concept. If you want to stay on the forefront of your clients’ mind, be sure you are reaching out regularly. Whether it is your mailing list or direct individualised contact, have regular interactions with your clients.