You’ve started your own business, and you’re working on promoting it. Have you considered your brand? Perhaps you’ve read about brands. Maybe you’ve already created your own. It doesn’t matter what your enterprise is, your business and your personal brands are important to your sales.
I don’t profess to be an expert in any form of marketing. However, as I promote my books, I’ve come to realize the importance of establishing my brand. After much research, I’ve developed 12 simple dos and don’ts to share with you.
What is a brand, really?
A brand is your known identity of your company. The American Marketing Association Dictionary has this definition: ‘A type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.’ It’s the symbol, the design, the business name, a sound (if you have one), and most importantly, it’s your promise to your buyers. Brands produce emotions in customers, which leads to sales.
There’s a wealth of information on the internet on how to develop brands. This article covers just a small part.
Developing Your Business Brand:
- Tagline (your catchphrase or slogan) – what you want to be known for. An example is Disney: ‘fun family entertainment’.
DO – keep it short, 3 to 4 words
DON’T – complicate a simple description.
DO – be creative
DON’T – copy from someone else
DO – have an emotional appeal
DON’T – be unprofessional. You want to establish trust and loyalty.
- Professional Website (your online identity – who are you, your biography and experiences)
DO – have a simple, well-designed, professional landing page.
DON’T – make the page complicated or difficult to navigate.
DO – dedicate this page to you and your products.
DON’T – use it for your blog. Set that up on a separate page.
DO – have a Call to Action. Set up a form for your customers’ information, comments, email addresses.
DON’T – ignore the page once you’ve set it up. Respond quickly to any inquiries.
DO – have a store, if possible, or a link to your store where people can see your products and purchase without having to chase your business down on the internet.
DON’T – have too many links to your other internet pages or clutter the page. Keep it simple is a good motto for your landing page.
- Email Signature (a block of text at the end of your email that defines you or has your contact information)
DO – set up a creative email signature with a link to your products.
DON’T – copy someone else’s signature. Don’t plagiarize. Be unique.
- Business Cards
DO – have business cards with your pertinent information and use them.
Get creative. Leave them on public transportation and in restaurants.
Include them in your shipments. Have them ready to give out at any
DON’T – forget your email address, your website and a link to where your products can be purchased on your business cards.
- Social Media Constant Online Presence
DO- socialize online. Find people in the same line of work and potential buyers. Participate. If the group you’re in isn’t working for you, find one that does.
DON’T – spam in groups.
DO – be where customers can see you. Be active and consistent.
DON’T – join every internet site you find.
- Professional Photo
DO – have a photo that represents you and your style.
DON’T – use a selfie. If you’re going to have a friend or family member
take your photo, at least get some guidance from professional photographers.
DO – be professional.
DON’T – be doing something odd to attract attention. Potential customers are looking for professionals that they can trust.
- Share Your Expertise
DO – post your knowledge of the products or services you’re selling. It shows potential buyers who you really are, and that’s important to them.
DON’T – start a ‘how to’ article that isn’t really a how to, it’s only to promote your products.
- Logo (your brand symbol)
DO – develop your logo and make it unique to you. Be creative.
DON’T – copy someone else’s Logo or a major brand’s Logo.
DO – keep it simple, have it state your mission and your promise. Remember Disney’s example above. You want it to be something people will remember. Another example is McDonald’s Golden Arches.
DON’T – use too many colors in the design (three is a good amount) or make it too wordy.
- Email Lists
DO – develop an email list. Be sure those people want to receive business emails from you.
DON’T – add people randomly.
DO – remember to include your business name, your email address, and your email signature. Have an ‘unsubscribe’ available.
DON’T – overwhelm people with too many emails or bombard them with ‘buy my product.’
Developing Your Personal Brand
Whether you want to develop a personal brand or not, if you’re making a
presence on the internet or in your hometown, you’re developing your personal brand.
10.Your Reputation and Your Unique Story
DO – stay professional and positive. Establish your image.
DON’T – be negative or use stunts or bizarre pictures.
DO – tell people about you and why you have your business.
DON’T – only ask others to buy your products. If they don’t know you, why should they buy from you? What’s unique about you?
11.Social Media Biography
DO – build your biography on sites that you join.
DON’T – forget to update your information or add new products.
DO – be ready to change and grow as your business changes and grows.
DON’T – be afraid or stubborn about changing if what you’re doing isn’t working.
If you take anything from this article, remember that your brand, personal or business, is your promise to your customer. Let that guide you in developing your brand.