I recently wrote an article on the differences between a business and a brand. Today I want to talk you through the initial steps that you can take to 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. There are however steps that you can take initially in order to build a brand that sets you apart from others in your field. I go into some of these steps below.
1. Get clear on your story
The first is to get clear on your story. 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 come out of the other side stronger. You now want to help others to learn from your mistakes.
2. Define your USP
The second part of building an online brand is to know what makes you different. What sets you apart from others in your industry. Yes, your story will set you apart but what is it about your business that sets you apart? I set myself apart from other branding designers by utilising my marketing expertise to help increase my clients visibility.
3. Create a brand message
Next, you want to have a clear brand message. A brand message is something that I go into more in this post, however, in short, a brand message is a clear and concise statement that explains what you do, who you do it for and why or how you do it.
For example, my brand message is:
I help online business owners transform their business into a brand by defining their brand, increasing their visibility and growing their audience.
The first bit is the who, the second is the what and the final part is the how.
You want to make sure that your brand message is integrated in all that you do. Your website copy, your social media posts, emails to your email list etc… Ensure it’s consistent across the board.
4. Know your audience
Before you build and market your brand, you need to know who you are talking to. Too many business owners create content without knowing enough about their ideal clients and what their pain points are. As a result, their messaging comes across as unclear and this will confuse your audience.
5. Firm up your offerings
As tempting as it is, you can’t be everything to everyone. It just doesn’t work. By trying to appeal to everyone, you end up appealing to no-one. Once you know who your ideal clients are and their pain points, come up with a signature offering that solves it for them.
In my case, my signature offering is The Flourish Experience. I created Flourish because too many of my branding clients were launching their brand identities to the world and then nothing was happening. Their ideal clients weren’t flocking to them. The reason for this was not because of the brand identity I had created, but because they didn’t have a marketing strategy and visibility plan in place to grow their audience and increase their visibility.
In addition to Flourish, I also have two other offerings, 1:1 Brand and Marketing Coaching and Brand Clarity Calls. These allow me to help businesses who are not quite ready to invest in a complete rebrand but who still want to work with me on their brand and marketing strategy.
These five steps are just the start of building a successful online brand, however, by taking these steps you are setting a great foundation for the future of your brand.