Branding. It’s all we seem to hear about lately. It seems like, all of a sudden, every other Instagram account out there belongs to a brand strategist, a brand expert, and a brand marketing guru.
Well, I am one of those brand development experts who just won’t shut up about the importance of building your brand.
And it’s not to annoy you, I promise. Building a strong brand is the single best thing you can do for your business.
Since starting my content marketing company in Miami last year, I’ve realized that there’s only one thing that really matters most when developing a marketing strategy for your business. Any business, large or small, startup or seasoned, needs to develop a brand identity before anything else – it’s what establishes a connection, after all. And connection is what converts to sales, loyal followers, and devoted customers.
Take, for example, Beyonce. If all she did was put out a few hits from time to time, make some random videos and stand demurely on stage while she belted out a few songs at a concert – would she be the Beyonce we know her to be? No way. Ever since Survivor, it was clear that this babe’s brand was to empower women to be strong. Every video, song, photoshoot and Instagram campaign that followed delivered an overwhelming message of “you got this, girl” while she shook that empowered ass all over the place, flashing a ring-less finger or reminding listeners that girls, do indeed, run the world.
So, who connects with Beyonce and buys into her brand’s message? Everyone in her target audience.
Every human looking for a dose of badass babe motivation in every country across the world. Her brand has been cultivated, established, procured, and executed in every way possible, with each deliberate move she makes. Her brand is female empowerment. Just like Tesla’s brand is environmentally conscious luxury, and Ford means good, old-fashioned American reliability. The thing that separates these world-dominating brands from everything else, though, is consistency and a fierce loyalty to their message. Because of this, they have each carved out and dominated their niche audience.
Now it’s time for you to do the same.
How can you brand yourself like Beyonce, and let the world know exactly what message it is you’re doling out with each Instagram post, blog post, and marketing campaign tied to your name?
1. Figure out what your brand is.
This takes time, a lot of mistakes, a whole lot of face-palm moments. You might start your business thinking your brand is being the best content writer known to mankind, when in fact, the proof shows that you’re mostly sought after for being a badass business consultant for other solopreneurs or start-ups. When I first started my business, I branded myself as a content writer for anyone and everyone who needed words to market their businesses. I mean, duh, I made the number one boo-boo all virgin entrepreneurs make: thinking that casting a wider net equals more money.
It didn’t take long before I realized that I was the best content writer for female entrepreneurs who needed a rebrand in their medical, legal, or real estate businesses simply because of the empowering attitude I bring to my marketing process. It also didn’t hurt that I had been publishing my own written work to inspire female professionals for a while before this. My brand was built for me, as most of you will find.
Do not start branding yourself and your business until you’ve really figured this part out, otherwise that whole consistency thing becomes seriously overlooked.
2. Figure out who you’re trying to target
Okay, so you’ve realized what your “thing” is and what you want to be branded as. This goes hand-in-hand with reaching your target market. For me, it was professional women who were way too busy to worry about marketing, and needed a professional to rely on. It wasn’t other creatives or Fortune-500 companies full of red tape and rules. Zero in on your specific target market, develop that avatar, and speak to it, and it only, with ALL that you do. Picking one audience, not twelve, will make you more successful, as counterproductive as that sounds. If Tesla built a car that everyone could afford, would it be as special and desired as it is today? Be one in a million, not one of a million.
Once you’ve got this figured out, it won’t be long before the message of your brand comes shining through with each move you make, and your brand message becomes clear.
3. Stay consistent
One trip to the gym does not a fit body make, and the same goes with your brand. To keep your brand healthy, strong, and sexy as ever – stay consistent. That means setting a plan to share your brand message with the world on a weekly, no, make that daily, basis. Screw it, do this twice a day.
No, you’re not being annoying, you’re making yourself known. Anyone who doesn’t care for your posts or marketing strategies are not in your target market anyway, so if they’re annoyed, they can unfollow you and your business will never know the difference. You need a strong marketing plan to ensure you have the best content marketing strategy for your brand, and to ensure that your in-your-face marketing efforts serve as click bait instead of a quick trip to the unsubscribe bin.
4. Speaking of the best content marketing strategy…
You’re not going to try to go it alone here, are you? A content marketing expert has done this all before, trust me, and knows just how to develop the best brand message for your business. Your brand will grow exponentially with the right marketing person on your side, helping to develop content that converts, implement strategies that leave your target market wanting more, and give your brand the boost it needs to make it to the top of everyone’s lists.
Beyonce wouldn’t rely on herself to produce her seriously branded videos, concerts, and photoshoots, would she? Didn’t think so.
Get your brand right, babes – it’ll be the best thing you ever do for your business.