What makes a brand magnetic? Think about the brands you’re familiar with and attracted to. Consider how they make you feel and what you think when you see them. How do they influence your choosing and buying behaviors? Chances are they portray a certain image that engages something important for you – a sense of connectedness or pride.
As a small business owner or solo-professional, you can take this theory and run with it to develop your own brand. An ideal branding strategy results in a connection to customers and clients who you are most anxious to serve and who are magnetically attracted to what you have to offer
What’s your personality?
Most small business owners need look no further than their own personality in beginning the building of an effective brand. Are you a straight shooter? Then brand your business that way. If you’re fun loving, then develop a brand around that. Or, if you’re a serious sort, start there.
Branding your business around your personality makes it much easier to send a consistent and solid brand message. And you’ll be working with people you can easily communicate with and relate to. Building your brand around how you naturally show up in the world is much easier than trying to build a brand that isn’t you – and your customers will feel and value that connection.
Build your brand around your customers’ needs and wants.
Speaking of customers, the foundation of your brand is built around you – but your brand strategy should always focus on the needs and wants of your customers. Your customers are not buying your products and services, they are buying a solution to a problem or need. As I read recently, no one buys the shovel; they buy the hole.
When you can market your brand through the results your customers realize – in effect, closing the gap between what they want and what they have – you can be more confident that you will not be selling, your customers will be buying.
Make a clear connection between your brand and your ideal customers. Consider the feeling and brand image your customers need in order to experience a sense of trust and connection – with you and your business.
Visualization of a Brand.
Embrace colors and images that support your personality and the brand voice that will attract the attention of your customers throughout your marketing content. It is critical to be consistent when presenting them. Neuroscience tells us that every time we see an image, our brains search memory banks for previous visions and perceptions related to that image – previous feelings, interactions, experiences, reactions, thoughts, etc. Every interaction with your brand is a marketing “touch” added to those memory banks.
The consistency of the brand helps generate stronger neural pathways about your company in the memories of your prospects and customers. For the same reason, use your logo, colors and graphics consistently throughout your web content, marketing materials and communications. Create a theme and an image you want to portray and stick to it so prospects and customers can begin to recognize you and connect that recognition to the positive perception your brand helps create.
Get online and participate in the world wide web. The more your audience sees you, the more powerful your brand becomes. Experts say that people need at least seven exposures to a brand before they remember it and take action. This means you need to be interacting regularly with your prospects and customers to make sure they know you. However, that number depends on many factors, including the strength of competitor branding, how many options your prospects have to get the results you offer, and how well you get in front of your ideal client base at the moment they need what you offer. Use social media to facilitate the process.
Social media, as a component of your overall strategy, helps create brand awareness by generating potentially positive interactions with thousands of prospects. Use social media to show-up with your brand, whether it be via Facebook, Twitter, You-Tube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Know the questions prospects will ask, then answer them through posts, pictures, infographics, videos, webinars, blogs, and other avenues online.
Depending on the products or services you provide, consider putting yourself out there in the world of networking as well. If you are seeking a local client base, check out chambers of commerce, networking organizations, volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, and other community groups. You can participant in local events or hold events of your own. Explore as many options as possible.
Focus on what your brand does best.
If you try to be all things to all people, you’ll end up being nothing to everyone. Who has the problem being solved by your services or products? The easiest way to get in front of your ideal audience is to know as much about them as possible. Do your homework and create an ideal client profile. Know what problem your offerings solve for your customers, and why those offerings are the best possible option for your prospects.
This is your Unique Selling Proposition. Differentiate your brand around your strengths and your personality. Determine what your brand stands for, and deliver on your promises. Building a brand takes time, focus, and consistency. Decide what your message and your brand is going to be. Make sure it fits your personality and target audience. Work consistently at cultivating your brand in everything you do.
Be active online, participate in social networking and media. Communicate your brand in messages and activities, get involved locally, and focus on giving your audience what they want. That is a magnetic brand and a way to be in the Business Of Sustainable Success, like a boss!
Doreen Petty Coaching, Inc., Coaching the BOSS™, content used under license, © Claire Communications