Point #23 – Building Your Brand
Unfortunately, many people “start a business” without determining how sustainable it really is. By sustainable I mean: Will you be able to grow the business in such a way that it provides a comfortable lifestyle for you and your family over the long-term?
It is very easy to get excited about the online possibilities and be swayed by business opportunities. There are many promises of riches online. Unfortunately, the vast majority are not valid and will suck up your money and provide very little in return. Be very careful. You can literally spend thousands of dollars chasing the “golden goose.”
One way to ensure that your “business” can thrive is to develop a brand. Even if “you” are the brand because of the nature of your profession, such as a doctor, consultant, coach, etc., you still need to plan carefully how you want people to recognize your brand.
A personal brand can be developed in a number of ways. For example, consider the many different ways celebrities brand themselves and their work. It is easy to tell what audience they want to attract.
Even if you are in a traditionally “serious” profession, it does not mean you cannot have fun with your brand. Some good examples of this are the commercials you see on television for attorneys. One is “The Hammer” another “The Tiger” and yet another is “That Law Lady.”
The point is to establish yourself as the type of person who will attract the audience (followers/customers/clients) you want to attract. Be honest and authentic in the way you represent your business and the promises you make. Your branding should be at the core of everything you do with your marketing.
You should make those basic decisions (who you are, what you are selling, how you want others to see you and remember you) very early – before you plunge full speed ahead in your marketing, including social media platforms.
Everything you “put out there” is important and should send the same message – logos, banners and taglines. They all make a statement to the public about what your business can do for them. Your entire marketing effort will go a lot smoother once you firm up your brand.
In order to develop a clear picture of the audience you want to attract, go through the following exercise:
- Outline the characteristics of your ideal customer – be as specific as possible.
- Create 10-15 statements or phrases that describe why this customer would be attracted to your offers.
Now you have a starting point for building your marketing strategy. Good luck!