Whether you are a sole trader, freelancer, entrepreneur or small business, branding is the key to building your business and creating an awareness of your product and services. Without branding your business properly, you are limiting your career opportunities and business growth.
Branding is about building a reputation that goes above and beyond, allowing you to market your business as a trustworthy, reputable, growing organisation.
Your brand is your promise to your customers, it stands you apart from your competition and allows to create your own image to show what you have to offer.
Simply ‘existing’ is not going to grow your business, you need to step out of the boat and promote your services – using your brand identity.
Here are a few tips to create your brand identity for you and your business…
Become an expert in your industry
Learn, learn, learn. Be knowledgeable about your industry and be aware of everything that is going on in your niche. This doesn’t have to be hard work; using Google alerts or using a platform like Feedly can keep fresh information coming in daily, giving you resources to be able to stay up to date. Education is key to show people that you mean business and you do know and understand your market.
Start networking – brand awareness
This doesn’t have to be completely online. Remember those business cards you’ve got stuffed away in a drawer? Keep them in your wallet and when you meet someone and get chatting about what you do, you’ll have a business card handy to be able to share your services.
Find a networking group, whether that be a physical group that you attend or an online Facebook group – start to build contacts around you where you can share your knowledge and talk about your business. People can learn from what you have to offer and if your industry knowledge is good – you’ll portray a good business image for those you come in contact with.
Build an online presence
It goes without saying that a modern business needs to be online, everyone who looks for a service or product more than likely will do a Google search for what they are looking for. Therefore, you need to be online.
Social media. Ensure that all your social media accounts show a professional, trustworthy image of your what you and your business are about. You may choose to separate your business and your personal profiles but be sure to keep your personal accounts professional too. If people know and search for your name rather than your business, you need to look like you can offer the service or product that you have promised. Remember that once on the internet, always on the internet! If you are serious about building a business and want to be seen as professional, your personal profiles need to show this image too.
Blogging is a great way to express yourself but it’s also a great way to get your voice heard. Blogging for your business is great for SEO and a way for your brand to seen. Incorporate your blog into your business branding and write as you want your business to be portrayed. Even blogging for personal enjoyment is great, just link back to your company to ensure that it gets seen by the right people.
If you want to blog outside of your business, use LinkedIn to create articles and get exposure to industry linked people. You can mention your business within your article or simply allow people to see your company through your profile. Either way, you are the voice of your business – make it be heard!
Don’t forget that branding is one of the most important aspects to any business, whether that be a big or small business.
On top of all the important points listed above, your brand is recognised by your logo. Your colour scheme, fonts, packaging and promotional material should all be recognised by your logo. Ensure that your business branding is professional and in line with your values and how you want your business to be seen. Then use your branding in everything you do.
People will soon notice you, your business will be recognised and the more you step out and push forward with growing your business, the more powerful your brand will become.
Be true to your branding, be true to what you believe and the rest will follow.
If you’d like advice on branding or would like to look at a strategy for your business, feel free to get in touch!