In today’s episode, I want to talk to you about how to build a brand, not just a business.
The difference between just building a business and then building a brand for your business is that your brand is what is going to ensure your business is successful and can stand the test of time.
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The difference between a business and a brand
Before we go into the ways in which you can build a brand, not just a business, let’s first look at the differences between a business and a brand.
There’s a lot of talk about building a business and building a brand like they’re one and the same. And while these guys are most definitely in a relationship, married even, they’re also two very different beings.
You can’t build a brand without first building a business.
So what is a business?
Your business is the products and services that you offer. It’s your business model. A business has one goal and one goal only, to make money.
Without a business, there’s nothing to brand which is why before you can create a brand, you need to get clear on your business model. So how do you do that?
You need to figure out what you want to sell. That may sound simple, after all, you’ve decided to build a business around something you’re good at. Something you’re passionate about. So that’s it right. You simply create products or services around that.
First I would recommend asking yourself these questions.
- Is there a need for what you have to offer?
- How quickly do you need to make money?
Is there a need for what you have to offer?
Let’s look at the first question – in order for your business to be a success, you first need to figure out if there is demand for your offer. So how do you do this?
1. Look at whether others are doing it
The most simple way to do this is to see who else is doing it. Do some competitor research to see how many businesses are doing similar things to what you want to do. Look at what they are offering.
If there aren’t many people doing what you want to do, that doesn’t mean you don’t have a viable business model, it just means that not many people have thought of it yet. If this is the case, then you’ll want to do some market research.
2. Do your market research
This can be a little tricky to do when you’re first starting out but as an online business owner, whether you’re looking to sell services, coaching or digital products, there are most definitely ways to do so.
The best way to do market research in the early stages of your business is via Facebook groups. Facebook groups are a goldmine of information full of people who you want to work with. Check out some relevant Facebook groups and do some digging. See what questions people are asking. See what services people are looking for.
How quickly do you need to make money?
Once you’ve established that there is a need for what you want to offer, you then need to ask yourself how quickly you want to make money.
Is this something that needs to bring in a full time income pretty quickly? Are you happy for it to go slower because you have that flexibility of say another job for example.
If you’re looking to bring in a full time income fast and you want to sell low-cost digital products but you don’t have an audience yet, then you may need to rethink your business model.
The fastest way to bring revenue into your business is via 1:1 services. These typically demand higher price points meaning you can earn money a lot faster than if you were to sell low-cost offerings.
Once you’ve established your business model, you can then get to work on building your brand.
What is a brand?
I go into this in a lot more detail in episode two of this podcast but to summarise, your brand is the emotional connection with your audience. Your brand is what enables you to sell your products and services. Your brand has personality.
Your brand is what makes your business unique. It’s what sets you apart from all those other businesses out there who do what you do. Your brand is what enables you to make money in your business.
When you have a flourishing online brand, you don’t have competition. Competition is only an issue when your business is the same as all the others out there and you’re not building an emotional connection with your audience.
Having a unique brand eliminates the need to compete solely on price. If your audience feels a stronger connection with your brand over that of your ‘competition’ then they will buy from you, no doubt about it even if what you’re selling is more expensive.
A vast majority of people will buy based on emotion. They will decide to buy because it feels like the right fit so the better you are at making an emotional connection with your audience, the easier you’ll find it to close sales.
People don’t just choose businesses to work with or to buy from anymore. They buy from brands that they have a personal connection with.
So in summary…
So to summarise the difference between a business and a brand.
Your business is the products and services that you offer. It’s your business model.
Your brand provides an emotional connection to its audience. A brand has personality.
How to build a brand, not just a business
So now we know the differences between a business and a brand, let’s dive into how you can build a brand, not just a business.
Building a brand is not something that happens overnight. It’s something that evolves over time and will continue to evolve as your business grows. As I said earlier, your brand is the emotional connection that your audience have with you and your business.
Your job is to influence their connection. You do this through a process called branding. Again, I go into what branding is in a lot more detail in episode two so if you haven’t already, I’d definitely recommend listening to that episode after you’ve listened to this one. But let’s look at some ways in which you can build a brand that sets you apart from others in your field.
1. Know Your Why
The first step to building a brand is knowing your why. Why does your business exist? What purpose do you want your business to serve?
Knowing your WHY in business is what is going to keep you motivated when things get difficult. Your WHY is the reason for the existence of your business in the first place. When nothing seems to be going your way and you feel like giving up, coming back to your WHY can be extremely powerful. When you wonder why you decided to start your own business instead of opting for the ‘safe’ corporate salary, it’s important to remember your WHY. This is what is going to pick you up, remind you of the dreams and goals you have for your business and your life and keep you moving forwards.
2. Define Your USP
The next step to building a flourishing online brand is to know what makes you different. What sets you apart from others in your industry. It can be tricky to think of how you are different when there are so many other similar businesses out there and it might not be something that comes to you instantly.
It wasn’t until about 18-months into my business that I really felt like I had a USP. and that was that I set myself apart from other branding designers by utilising my marketing expertise to help increase my clients visibility. Now I no longer offer custom design but by blending my brand strategy and design experience with my marketing experience, I help businesses to build brands.
3. Create Stories
Stories give a brand personality. Your story is what makes you different. Your story will provide an emotional connection with your audience.
You might be thinking, but I haven’t got a story. Believe me, we all have a story. The best way to start to build your story is to think about your why. Why are you in business? More often than not, it’s because you have been where your ideal clients are now. You’ve been through what they are going through and you’ve learnt from that experience. You now want to help others to learn from your mistakes.
Stories aren’t just about you though, they are about your ideal clients. If you haven’t already, then I recommend reading Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller. It’s a great book that will help change your way of thinking when it comes to creating stories for your brand.
4. Build a Consistent Online Presence
Consistency is key when it comes to building a brand. From ensuring your visual presence is consistent across all of your platforms, to the words that you write to the experience that you create to how you show up. Being consistent is the fastest way to build the all important know, like trust factor
5. Just be you
As a small business owner, you are the face of your brand and it’s you that will help build connections with your audience. By being yourself and letting your own personality shine through, you will attract people that want to work with you.
I hope you enjoyed this episode talking about the difference between a business and a brand and also how you can build a brand, not just a business.
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