If I asked you what you could do to be more successful as an entrepreneur or small business owner, you would probably list off things like advertise or network more, improve your website or marketing materials and close more sales, right?
Would your answer include personal branding? It should, because it absolutely impacts your success.
First, it's important to clarify we aren't just talking about big brands. It's the personalities that represent them that help these companies create a brand.
Why Branding is Important
When you purposely create a brand representation for your business, you're incorporating several factors, including:
• How others see you
• What sets you apart (your USP)
• Your values
• Your expertise
• Your personality
• How you represent yourself in person and online
If done correctly and consistently this builds trust, loyalty, leads and sales.
Why else should you care?
• Research from Nielsen shows that only 33% of buyers trust messages from a company while almost 90% of customers trust recommendations from someone they know.
• 53% percent of vendors have lost orders based on information found or not found about them online. (Source: Kredible)
• 77% of all discussions on social media are folks seeking advice, information or help. This is much easier to answer and interact as an individual as opposed to a company. (Source: Mention)
How to Incorporate Branding into Your Marketing
Firstly, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you need to know your target audience. These are the people you want to appeal to and have on your side.
Let's say you're a career coach who is trading the corporate world for entrepreneurship. Your target audience may be other professionals who are leaving corporations to fly solo. From your marketing materials to how you present yourself on social media, you always want to keep them in mind.
Here are 3 other ways to create a successful brand and stand out from the competition:
1. Share Your Expertise
You want to be an expert in your field. Stay on top of the latest news and trends, understand who your competitors are and attend events. Use what you know and learn to educate, inspire and mentor others whenever and however you can.
The more visible you are the more people will associate your face with your product or service and trust what you're selling.
2. Choose the Right Platforms
First, having a website is important! With any of your online marketing efforts, your goal should be to drive traffic back to a website that represents your brand positioning well. If your website falls short of this, your target audience will not resonate with your business and will leave.
Next, find out where the people in your target audience spend their time.
Let's say that career coach I mentioned earlier targets professional women between the ages of 35 and 55. If research shows her target audience uses Facebook much more than Instagram, she should focus a large chunk of her efforts on creating Live videos and stories as well as participate in targeted Groups on Facebook.
3. Be Yourself... to a Certain Extent
Don't be afraid to show your personality and use your own voice when creating and sharing content or meeting people.
However, be cautious about sharing content that is political, religious or some other topic best avoided at dinner parties-unless it is part of your persona and/or mission and values.
It's also important to always be honest as the face of your organization, as vegan influencer Yovana Mendoza Ayres is finding out. She was recently filmed eating fish in Bali, which caused a huge uproar among her plant-based fans and followers.
You can't neglect your personal brand if you want to grow your leads, sales, loyalty and reputation.
It's not a nice-to-have, it's a must-have. People no longer look to big businesses to tell them what to buy; they want to see a face and personality that represents the product or service.
If you want to stand out from the competition, you need to an effective strategy. From your logo to your website to your social media presence, find the expertise to help you market yourself and your organization today and in the future.
Susan Friesen, founder of the award-winning web development and digital marketing firm eVision Media, is a Web Specialist, Business & Marketing Consultant, and Social Media Advisor. She works with entrepreneurs who struggle with having the lack of knowledge, skill and support needed to create their online business presence.
As a result of working with Susan and her team, clients feel confident and relieved knowing their online marketing is in trustworthy and caring hands so they can focus on building their business with peace of mind at having a perfect support system in place to guide them every step of the way.
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