7 Steps To Building Your Brand
A little while ago I was asked to set out a system for building and maintaining a brand. I thought it might be useful to share the response I gave so that others could use the ideas.
We all know that if it’s to be successful and credible then your personal or small business branding needs to be consistent. That’s why you need a clear system which includes everything you need to do both before you start building your brand as well as routine tasks will need to continue to do.
1. Be Clear From The Outset
Start by sitting down and writing your brand’s vision. It needs to be as short and concise as possible. It should include who you are, what you do, and your commitment to your target audience. It may be that you don’t use this statement in your business or personal literatuure. What you are doing here is getting it clear for yourself. What is it that you want people to remember you for? What is your unique position in your business or market?
2. What Are Your Natural Strengths?
Your natural strengths are what in effect drive your personal brand. These strengths will shine through in everything that you do. What are you naturally good at without even having to try? Work out and write down what those strengths and think about (and again write down) ways you can make them work for you. When you are clear about what it is that you naturally do well, you won’t feel the need to be constantly telling everyone because it will shine through your interactions with others and will be real.
3. Deciding On Your Tools
Key to successful branding is ensuring that you get your message in front of the people who need to hear it. With the internet we have lots of ways for doing this. Included in these are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, your own blog, article directories, forums, press release sites, podcasts directories, and many more beside. Take some time to investigate and decide which you’re going to use as part of your branding toolkit. This is something you should also devote time to on an onging basis to keep up to date with new sites or avenues that might be appropriate for your market.
4. Create Your Design
All aspects and features of your brand design need to be consistent. Sit down and work out which fonts, colours, phrases and images you are going to use that will embody your brand. Have a good headshot taken of you that reflects the image you want to convey. Choose images and templates that you will use consistently to promote you or your small business. If you are looking for inspiration why not take a look at some sites and profiles of people and businesses which have strong brands to help you brainstorm some ideas.
5. Set a Schedule
Look at the regular branding tasks and schedule time for them. Make a decision as to how much time you are going to devote to them on a daily basis. You may be wondering what tasks you need to do each day? To work it out go back to your branding statement from earlier and then think about how can you achieve and maintain that? Keep asking yourself ‘how’ until you come up with specific actionable concrete tasks that you can then work on.
6. Listening To People
You should learn about your audience by becoming active on social media sites and subscribing to blogs in your industry. Look at what people are sharing, bookmarking and talking about. The more you know about your audience, the easier you will find it to tailor your offer to them. You also need to monitor what is being said about you across the web. You can do this through something like Google Alerts or if like me you have an account with Sprout Social you can set up web alerts to see what people are saying about you.
7. Monitor Your Results
You need to monitor everything that you do and the results you are getting. If as a result of monitoring you discover that some of your daily tasks aren’t getting you any results, drop them and focus on something else. Think about doing some split testing with your offers to see which version people prefer and keep testing until you have clear results.
Finally, if there is one thing we can be certain of it is change! Things are constantly changing in the online world, so make sure that you devote time to searching out new ideas, strategies and tools for you to use. Stay consistent but also stay creative!