by Sonya Matejko
All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. – Tom Peters
Back in the Mad Men era promoting a brand was much different. While many of the key techniques and rules still apply, it’s now a larger and more socially adept market to consider. We now have to work a little harder to make sure our voices are heard and make our brand sound out louder than our competitors.
You might have the best product or service in the world, but it may still fail unless you find a way to make sure that the world knows about it. There are tried and true techniques, and there are new methods showing up every day in this technological revolution.
Everything is changing, in the world, in marketing, and in entrepreneurship. While it’s hard to keep up, it’s also an exciting part of history to be able to make a name for yourself in. It’s both a blessing and a curse that the possibilities are endless, and soon “endless” will expand further than we ever knew possible.
For now, there are 10 crucial things you need to promote your brand from the get-go:
1. Product/Service. First things first, you need to have a brand to sell. What’s your shtick? What’s your unique selling point? What is it that you have that someone else needs or wants?
2. Networking. Once you kick-start your brand you need to start networking like no other. Go meet with people who could be potential partners, supporters, and even adversaries to grasp and understand the competition.
3. Brand Identity. Picking your logo is integral to promoting your brand because this will be what customers will think of when they think of you. Make sure everything from your tags to your business cards aligns with the brand voice.
4. Business Plan. You’ll need to put marketing, operations, and finances out on the table. Without this key piece that leads you towards your business goals, you won’t be able to effectively operate much less promote your brand.
5. Advertise. Make your brand known, whether you use traditional media, the digital space, or try guerilla marketing tactics. Or simply hire someone to do all of that for you.
6. Website. Your brand needs a digital home. Make it informative, utilitarian, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing. Squarespace and WordPress are good go-to, but don’t forget that “Content Is King.”
7. Social Media. There are countless reasons why your brand needs to be on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Snapchat. This one’s a no-brainer in today’s social world.
8. Word of Mouth. According to recent statistics, 74% of consumers said WOM was the key influencer in their purchasing decisions. Give them something worthwhile to talk about.
9. Develop Authentic Relationships. This goes for relationships with your customers, any affiliate marketing, or companies you can partner with to grow your business.
10. Perfect Your Personal Brand. This article goes into great (and inspirational) detail about how “one of the most important aspects of business is personal branding.”
Are you ready to make a name for yourself?
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. – Seth Godin