What makes a strong brand?

Bill Bernbach once said — Word of mouth is the best medium of all.

A strong brand belongs to people. They want to communicate with it, build the relationship with it, they are eager to recommend it and be a part of its tribe.

Strongest brands always research what they customers want and what they need. They deliver the best possible result consistently. Frankly, over the years the word “brand” becomes the synonym of quality. Ever heard the phrase “branded product”. People are willing to believe to brands. Why? Because brands have a reputation and consistent delivery of the great customer experience. Strong brands always look ahead. Today’s target audience for them are children of their buyers.

Brands give more. If you research the most popular brands, you may find that many of them have some charity program. They lift up weak because now they are strong. And if you think that they do it just for a good publicity you are wrong. I worked with many huge brands that do their charity silently. They provide medical services in small villages. They build free education programs and help those in needs. And they never advertise it, so you have no idea about it. How do I know? We designed their reports for the partners who they want to involve in charity. So I know big brands are often busy with good deeds.

Strong brands are innovative. Once you build a brand, you can’t stop. Kodak and Nokia paid a huge price for being slow, so as many other once leading brands. Brands are constantly evolving. They create trends instead of following them. They keep an eye on new things and improve all so that their customers always feel happy that once upon a time they chose this brand.

How to set up a consistent and appealing brand that appeals to a large audience

To reach a wider audience, first you need to conquer the small. When you begin your business, you had to do a prep work. I wrote about it on the topic “How to Stand Out in a Crowded Market“. If you check your ideas with free resources and start selling, you probably have a business that works well by now.

Well” means three things:

  • People know what solution do you provide
  • They know how your solution is beneficial to them and how it transforms their lives
  • And they often buy.

That also means:

  • You know who is your Ideal Client
  • What are their Needs, Pain points, Dreams, Desires
  • You also have a step by step process to solve the problems they have

If all the points are in the place, let’s move towards a larger audience.

How to set up a consistent and appealing brand that appeals to a large audience

There are two ways to look at it:

Marketers will propose you to sell your products via ads. It’s a great option that can bring you money quickly. However, once another player who sells a better product appears in the market, you may find that people are going to buy from new players, not from you. The decisions to focus on product quality against the brand needs and vision affected many brands. Kodak chose to focus on film, while they were pioneers of digital cameras. Nokia shifted to smartphones quite too late and not very successfully. We all know what happened to them.

However, you may focus on your brand, create mission and vision and start building and authority around it.

Ex: Steve Jobs built Apple around his vision.

  • First, become an authority in your niche.
  • Second, increase awareness of your brand.
    If you want to know how to build a brand, you may like to join Brand + Photo School.

Brand awareness allows your prospects to see your leadership quality and accept them. Once they believe in you, they will want to learn from you or work with you.

Here is a little trick: Brand awareness comes from three aspects; authority, consistency and clarity. In other words, you have clarity on what you do and where you lead your tribe. Next, you create an authority around it. Then you spread awareness consistently.
To start, choose one media that suits your talent. If you like to create videos — choose Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, if you like to write — choose Twitter, Medium and Facebook, etc. Post one or two entry every week to your preferred media. Write guest posts. Participate relevant groups on LinkedIn and Facebook and help people out. Build your authority with help to your clients — share their results, testimonials and stories.

Along with this, you can start adding advertising. Facebook ads allow you to be in your customer’s timeline all the time so think about what you would like to share.

And one more moment: You need to engage with your clients. It doesn’t matter if you have 10K followers on Instagram or Twitter or in your group. If you do not engage with them, you will be alien to them. Connect with your audience individually, write your emails as if they are messages to your best friends. Genuinely care about them so that they can feel it.

All these methods will help you to build a brand that turns your buyers into brand ambassadors. If done right your clients will advertise you and as William Bernbach said: “Word of mouth is the best medium of all.”

How to Develop a strong brand for a coaching business?

Coaches are often underestimating the power of branding. Don’t take me wrong, not all coaches. The most successful ones know the importance of the brand and often talk about it. They also know that brand is evolving around customer’s experience and they plan it strategically.

But if you type coach in Google search, you will find that there are 95,90,00,000 results in 1.14 seconds. A Coach doesn’t need a formal training (common belief). So as demand for coaches raises thousands of newbies joining the industry. To stand out in such an oversaturated market, you need a brand.

Products are coming and going. If you will look at any industry anything that was popular in 1980 is no longer trendy. Every industry evolves, the world is changing rapidly.

Don't be outdated business

But if you look at a history of the brands you may find that many of them which were popular in the 1980’s are still on the horse.

So how to develop a strong brand for a coaching business?

A brand is an image in customer’s mind. All your communication, testimonials, product experience influence your prospects. If you manage to build a loyal tribe around your brand values, they are going to promote you better than any paid ads. To achieve it, you need to define what your brand stands for. Be clear about your brand values, promises, and mission.

Deliver what your clients want and desire the most. But always give it via the prism of your brand. So that your customers always have a clear association in their mind: “Brand X → doing X → and stands for X”, and I share those values.

Consider that you build a brand for a next 20-40 years. Branding is an investment in a successful future of your business. Knowing how brand work from inside out is crucial. You will need the knowledge to hire right talents, to deliver the core message to your customers and build a thriving business confidently.

Would you like to build a successful brand? Join Brand + Photo school.

Also, remember that brand doesn’t start with a logo and website. To build an established brand you need to do a lot of pre-work. You will need to research about ideas, target audience, competitors… You will need to clarify your core message, brand positioning and more. I usually use a 9 step system to create brands for my VIP clients, and logo is at step 6 😉

In conclusion

A strong brand for a coaching business means connection and clarity. If people know exactly what you deliver, if they see results from the other customers, if they hear a lot of good things about you, they will care. Build a relationship between your brand and your customers so that eventually you will be able to work on the business, not in business.

How to brief your remote creative team if you are a coach or online entrepreneur?

When you grow your business, you will need to delegate and brief your team. Obviously, as an entrepreneur, you can’t do everything by yourself.

But here is the mistake that majority of entrepreneurs do.
They hire a designer, a VA, a copywriter, some tech people, advertising coach, business coach, and few other people and then wonder why nothing moves forward despite all this hiring? They don’t really know what they do. If they hire newbies they don’t know how to direct them. If they hire professionals they interfere in the process and never receive good results. The obvious solution is to learn!

There are many reasons why your business stuck.
One is the absence of the holistic picture about your brand. To grow your business, you need to build a brand that communicates your core values. You need to create an idea around your business that prospects can relate to. But how to do it you may ask.

Well, there are three ways:

  • First, hire a brand agency who will do everything for you, including hiring people on your behalf.
  • Second, hire a brand expert who will also supervise your creative team so that you can have a consistent, cohesive brand, that always delivers your core message.
  • Third, become the Creative Director of your business. You are going to create an idea that you want to see in your client’s mind and you are going to brief your team to follow your brand. Is that even possible? If you like to turn your business into a brand, there is no better place to learn than Brand + Photo School!

When you brief your team, you need to have an idea what your customers suppose to feel when they see your ads, visit your site or spot your post in their timeline. You’ll need to learn how to create design, copy and tech to hire the right talent (If you don’t know how things work you will never know who to hire). You don’t need to become a best photographer or designer yourself, all you need is to get an idea how to explain and achieve what you want.

How to brief your creative team

Raise your standards, look for the top players in a market and try to deliver at that level. As a team leader, you will need to inspire your team and explain to them what your brand is all about and who is it for. Apart from the creative part, there is a tech and branding that you need to learn to see through the perspectives that your business has in a nearby future. Download this simple tech brief!

In conclusion:

Create a holistic picture in your mind first. Design a Customer’s’ Journey so that they will see a very cohesive, consistent brand across all media. Build a connection with people and always emphasise on the core message and values of your brand. See your brand through the eyes of your prospects and always deliver what they need through what they want.
Sounds complicated? Well, you always can choose option one 🙂

Is your target audience going to ignore your brand?

Imagine that you spend thousand of dollars for designers, copywriters, and website developers. And you believe that you built your brand. You got a deluxe logo, bright colours that your designer recommended, fancy copy from a super expensive writer. But after having all this… You hear crickets. Sounds familiar?

I know that many marketers use this picture to prove that you do not need a good designer or suitable website. But if you hear crickets there could only be two reasons:

One, there are some crickets around…

Second, you didn’t do the pre-work. A brand is often called a promise. It means you are willing to give something to your customers. A transformation that will make their life easier and better. To find out who is your target audience and what do they need, you need to do a lot of research. And if the word research scares you, here is a quick lifehack:

Find some big and successful brands who also work with your target audience. When we say a brand is an image in customer’s mind, it’s not entirely correct. A brand is one of the images in customer’s mind. Your clients’ reality is formed by many brands, by TV, by the Internet, by family and colleagues, and by thousands of other things. So check out brands that your customer already uses.

I hear what you say. How do I know what do they use? Follow the lead!

Is your target audience going to ignore your brand?

Let me give you an example.

Your target audience watches Disney, uses iPhone, drinks Starbucks, wears Levi’s. These brands already pre-formated your prospects’ minds. Replace these brands with those which are relevant to your tribe (your people maybe fans of Andy Warhol or Japanese sci-fi), that you suppose to know.

But even if you take this basic list, that I gave you, and go to the Disney Youtube channel you will find that they are featuring “Girl Power”, “Success”, “Heroes” and “Smart is New Sexy” concepts. They do it because it works. Check what works for other big brands, you will find “storytelling”, “being close to a customer”, “relevance”, “cause”, check more.

Now, find what transformation your client needs, wrap it in one of this successful concepts and deliver it in such a way that your customer wants it. To do it, you will need to learn how to become a Creative Director in your business. Check Brand + Photo School if you are ready.

In conclusion, your brand is not a logo or website. It’s a promise to deliver a transformation that your client desire dearly. Give your customers a solution and confident leadership, and they will never ignore your brand.

7 secrets on how to create a brand awareness using social media

Brand awareness is a major component of any branding. People need to know about your business to form an opinion and be engaged to work with you. But the main mistake that I see all the time is inconsistent widely spread communication that leads nowhere. So how can you make a difference for your coaching business? Here are a few ways.

1. Choose your title and make sure that it gives crystal clear clarity about what you do.

To create brand awareness, use a couple of keywords that describe what you do. (If you are an expert in mindset, add it to a title, if you teach about money, use this word, etc. The simpler, the better). Make sure that the words that you use are familiar to your prospects. For example, I say that I’m an expert in Branding & Visual communication, the key word is branding, but I attracted a lot of marketing professionals because the term Visual Communication is not a common phrase. So you can use some words to appeal or repeal some prospects.

2. Narrow your topics.

I know you want to share what did you eat for breakfast, it may be outstanding for a nutrition coach. But if you are a business coach, your message near your food photo has to be related to business, not to the taste of the food. You aim to create a “brand awareness” not just any awareness.

3. Start guest posting to relevant resources.

If you find it difficult to find blogs that are matched to your topic, post to public resources such as Medium or LinkedIn. Share your posts on Twitter because many serious online resources will ask you to show your LinkedIn and Twitter when they want to identify your professionalism to decide if they willing to work with you.

4. Find a social media that suits your skills and conquer it.

  • Are you good in writing? Do blogging, use Twitter and Facebook.
  • If you are good in video — use Youtube, Vimeo, and Facebook live.
  • Maybe you feel uncomfortable in front of a camera, but a good speaker — use Soundcloud, create a podcast.
  • Are you creating stunning pictures? Use Instagram, and so on.

Most of the social media channels have many followers so to create brand awareness you can start with any of them.

5. Make sure you know what you offer.

And it’s evident for people what you do, how it transforms their lives and how they can get it.

6. Don’t be scared to sell, and if you don’t want to be sleazy, use the power of storytelling.

Share your passion with people, let them see that you love what you do. Once they build a connection with you, it’s easier to sell.

7. Be very consistent in your posting.

Even when you send emails to your list, make sure you send them once or twice a week. People like comfort and when they know when to expect your next post or email they feel better about it. The less stress, the more trust.

If you want to create a brand and learn a power of storytelling via Instagram or how to make a right light for your video and much more, become a member of Brand + Photo School.