The corporate world and the entrepreneurial world are very different. While one is suppressing individuals to make them a valuable part of a well-maintained machine, the world of solopreneurs is more about self-development and growth.
Women often leave the corporate career in search of a purpose and their lost individuality. No wonder, when they hear about branding, they think it’s not for them, as it’s a part of their corporate past. Well, let’s find out, if branding is meant to be a part of only huge companies, or it can help a woman entrepreneur on the way to find herself?
First of all, let’s once again check the definition of a brand.
A brand is an image in the customer’s mind, created by a customer based on the experience of product/service, data from various information channels and the feedback of other users/customers
Being formed in customers’ minds, brands need to build a relationship with clients to sell more and to create new customers almost on autopilot.
Is that something different than that what every entrepreneur wants?
Does that mean that branding for corporates and solopreneur will be the same?
There’s a difference. While corporates just need to increase their audience and they use branding techniques almost blindly, solopreneurs and coaches are in the different boat. They want to find their passion, do what they love, find the purpose and make something that makes sense. Also, just like big corporates, they also want to make money, but their reasons are often different and more personal. Unlike big businesses, a solopreneur has a lot of emotional involvement in business. It’s a human to human business. And apart from the responsibility they always think…
- What if I am not able to make it?
- What if I am not able to make enough money to do what I love long enough?
- I don’t want to back to a corporate world, please, I don’t want it….
For those who start getting the first glimpse of freedom, ability to be with family, and be an owner of their time, those thoughts are a nightmare.
Surprisingly, branding can help you to move any business to a new level. But will solopreneurs allow well known valid methods to shape their business?
Let’s briefly see, why a coach a small business or a solopreneur need to start their branding?
What is this business for, what it does and who the customers? It also involves some research about the market before it’s operational. Competitors, trends, the size of the market.
I know you may repeat some things that you’ve heard “There is no competition” (These aren’t the Droids you’re looking for). But competition is the sign of demand. And it’s an important factor to research.
Since you know what you are doing and who the buyers are, you also know what the other propositions in the market available. You need to build an authority and positioning. In other words become a recognised expert in your industry. Talk about your values and what your brand stands for. Find content from the respected sources that prove your point. It’s easy to say but where and how to start?
Check this video.
Here’s when branding elements come into the picture and help people remember your brand and recognise it when you post a new valuable information. And if they like your brand, they may choose to follow you, that means they may subscribe or buy from you to deepen the experience with that what you offer.
If all is built right, your new clients will become loyal ambassadors of your brand and will recommend your services just because they love them. Guess what? That’s the time when your business starts growing on autopilot.
A brand is the image in customer’s mind, created by a customer based on the experience of product/service, data from various information channels and the feedback of other users/customers. Well-created branding helps you to create this image in customer’s mind.
→ First things first why branding is tough?
Because if you think that brand is a logo, you will end up recolouring a car that doesn’t work. Will a new colour make it work? No. because a brand is a system and you need to know how does it work to build a successful brand. Once you know the system, it’s not tough anymore.
→ Now when we know that branding is a system and it’s relatively easy to apply this system.
Let’s have a look at it. I divide the brand building into nine steps, that help me to be organised and build brands for my clients, step by step, and never miss anything. It takes a customer to a journey from idea to execution.
→ How is it fun?
You may ask when we know what do we do; there is no place to worry, you have a clear plan and ready to follow it. And here is the moment that you realise that create a brand for your own company it’s a creative and exciting process, the journey within that help you not only build your business but also allow you to grow personally and spiritually.
So now you can see how is easy and even fun and not as tough as you thought 🙂
Creating your brand online is a different exercise than if you do it offline. That’s why people who have a successful business offline often stack when they start online branding at the first time. So, how is it different?
→ The first whale for any brand is a creation of the authority.
And surely if you have an excellent reputation offline you may share some credibility, but quite often it’s not relevant for an online tribe. It’s a first step where many businesses fail. Inability to create a reason to believe in causes them lack of customers and a result they had to close.
→ The second whale is to raise awareness.
How much publicity do you apply to your offline business? None or little? In the online world, you and your company must be visible and memorable. Without visibility, you can’t expand your biz. The only business where you can succeed by being invisible, it’s if you are a 007 agent. And if you are not the one, then please create a strategy on how to show up.
→ The third whale Is to be different.
The point of differentiation and point of parity put you in a position when you have whatever everybody else have in your market segment and also you have something extra that gives you a chance to overrun your competitors. (And yes competition is a sign of demand, and that means abundance)
Let’s conclude. Authority + Awareness + Difference.
These three whales are the core needs of any brand, and later I will share with you how to achieve all these. Subscribe to be sure that you do not miss it.
So how do you make your brand memorable? The truth is, your customers do not have time to read long posts, remember every glittery point, illegible fonts and thousands of pictures which you re-post from the other sites. If you want to build your brand and make it memorable, the first rule is to remove all that is not necessary!
Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.
~ Jason Hartman
Three visual elements are needed to be consistent:
- Your colours (not necessary one colour)
- Your fonts (not necessary one font)
- Your visual treatment (unique style for your photos and design)
Check my video from the group where I was talking about it 🙂
But let’s go deeper!
I want to talk about the relationship between your brand and your customers, that you’re building in your content. We were talking about your target audience and about whom you have been writing for, recently. But when you just know the demographics and talk to women between 34 to 45, you may also want to address some aspects of their life that the demographics alone are not enough to cover.
Now is the time when we need to talk about your brand values. The goal of this series is to create an understanding of what brand consistency is, why, and how it works for your business. Your brand must have values which are close to your heart, but also reflect the values of your ideal clients. Define what you. It’s not easy, especially if I tell you that you need to reduce all that fun to just three values.
Here is the task. Define your business in three words.
- What does it?
- What is it that you can’t?
- What do your clients value in life and whom you want to?
Your values will attract the right tribe to your brand.
For example, my values are Excellence, Freedom and Creativity.
The excellence is all about the quality I provide – the best possible quality, under the given circumstances. That’s why I often “fight” with my clients for their brand. Freedom is my “why” and my value. But I know the rules, and that gives me an understanding on how to break them. Creativity is defined by what I do in the creative approach to the visual execution, design, photography, to brand personality and brand creation. My values are not only related and define what I do; they also define how do I do it. Obviously, I prefer to work with clients who love quality and respect creative freedom.
In conclusion, you need to define three values which will work for your biz and your customers.
Describe your brand in three words. Now think — what can you do to make customers remember what your brand is. For example, if one of the is “excellence”, what will you do? Surely, your will work in the best way you can, and then customers will say that “they are an excellent company”. Use this word in your communication in such a way that the clients remember it and use it when they spread the word about your brand.
Share your brand words in the comments below!
Social Media is a whole new world. Even in the darkest time when it seems that marketers almost destroyed it with unnecessary ads, it remains a brilliant place to connect with like-minded people around the globe. And here is the key word “connect”. When we first try to apply Social Media Branding as entrepreneurs, we often want to scream about our offers. “Hey, hire me! I’m an opportunity! Use my brains! Use my experience! I can help!”, and for overwhelmed readers, you sound just like the other door to door seller.
They don’t want you, even if you are brilliant. And of course you are brilliant, but what to do next?
Here are six ways to attract your clients on autopilot. You will never need to promote yourself in a sleazy way ever again.
Tell a Story
What do you love to do apart from your business? Do you have some stories from your life that have made you laugh or cry?
Here is an example:
My creative story started when I was four, with a short newspaper note “The art exhibition was very successful, children from all around Ukraine were giving their art projects. The average age of participants was between 6 to 12. Also, the 4-year-old E. Voyevoda took his part in an exhibition.” I was always upset that they called me a boy, but there was no way back. My creative career had been decided then.
Do you think people will immediately buy from me just by hearing this story? No. But they will remember that I’m related to something creative from the early childhood, and as I’m a specialist in branding and visual communication, it works for me.
What story leads clients to your brand?
Share some Value
Give some tips and ideas. My personal recommendation is not to share what everyone shares. Look at your experience and before you recommend something try it. This way your content always will be original. We all have experiences that are unique and valuable. When you hear from the biggest names in the industry like Gary Vee or Oprah or Marie Forleo, did you notice what they share? More important, how they share.
The value combined with your unique charm is the best way to a Powerful Personal Brand.
It’s a valuable advice with a powerful flavour of personal experience. You have something valuable to share that no one else has but you. The real experience that you have makes much more sense than the one you just looked in from the book. Usually, the valuable posts are the main reason why people choose to work with you.
- First, they know what you do.
- Second, they see that you are passionate about it.
- Third, they see that you have a solution for their problem.
What are your unique powers that can inspire your readers and spice up your posts?
Share Content that Inspires you
Follow influencers and all people who inspire you. This type of content is very powerful if you want to establish your authority fast. When you comment on somebody’s else’s opinion, there are several ways. One, you agree, and you have a few more points to support the topic. Otherwise, you entirely disagree, and you have substantial evidence that your position is correct unlike the one in the topic. The third way, you just share the resource, then add to it or tell why you also use it.
In this situation, you put your name along with big names. If customers like your opinion around the content and the topic they will put you in a similar position in their mind. If you do it consistently, then you gain authority faster than ever.
Who are your favourite public figures?
Connect with people by giving genuine comments
This is a crucial skill for Social Media Branding. We do not build numbers here, but a community. If you comment and put attention on what people do, they will answer. Try to know people better, ask questions and give answers. Avoid general automatic looking comments such as “Wow. You’re Rock. Well done. Great…”.
Make such comments that people want to reply. Tweet It!
Consider commenting as another way to provide value. Don’t be shy to start a conversation even if no one answers you today; you’ll build your tribe eventually.
In 2008 I generated massive traffic to my then blog just by commenting on similar blog posts online. So comments are compelling, and while we can’t call them an autopilot technique, they are an investment in your brand success.
What type of comments do you like to receive?
Nothing sells better than a realistic feedback. Collect testimonials, ask for video testimonials whenever possible. Share customer’s’ words as it is without editing so that they sound more believable and honest. I asked many people if they believed the testimonials online. And people mostly say “maybe, but not really”. We all can take testimonials from our neighbourhood, you see. But video testimonials and testimonials in Facebook comments are far more powerful. They are public, and people allow you to post them to your channels. It’s difficult to pretend on video, that’s why if you can share a customer’s feedback, make it real. The testimonial may not convert your prospects to buyers but will give them a reason to believe, even if they’re still not convinced to 100%.
Which testimonials do you like to read – the realistic and raw ones or those that are polished to perfection?
Show how your product is created
Instead of saying “Hey, buy my product”, tell the story about its benefits. Make a video on how it was created, show details, describe it in a yummy storytelling way so that people get involved in the process and fall in love with your product. Professional videos about the product creation is always a good way to share with clients what you do. Check out the biggest brands, masters of Social Media Branding, like Dior by Fashion Channel or Louis Vuitton by CNN or Prada handmade collection.
You can share so much through such video, a mood, your brand values such as attention to details, your lifestyle, and more. If you can’t make a video, use Instagram and share your story via beautiful photos. Hands of the Master, smile, final touches. Let your client’s know now how much you respect them and how much you add into it.
You may ask “Where is autopilot?”
Well, here is the huge difference when customers come to you, and you request them to buy. When they’ve already made their decision, they’re just confirming with you; there is no need to convince them or ask. They already know you and want to work with you. And that’s the way how Social Media Branding wins customers’ hearts.