A brand is a permanent voice or message that your company communicates to the public. A brand never changes. It should always be consistent and clear. Never go back on your statement, or views. A brand should be personable, and people are able to relate and sympathize. Having a personable voice allows you to build trust and brand yourself with the public. People will know you, trust you, and come to you, because of who you are.
Branding isn’t just promotional. Advertising campaigns come and go, depending on what is trendy at the time. But your brand is always your brand. Your message will always be the same; your attitude towards your potential customers will always be the same. And this is what you are proud of and is your brand.
Not only can you show your brand in the real world, you can also do it in the virtual world. You do this by:
o Having a website
o Telling the world your message
o Being Consistent
o Being Responsive
Let’s look at each of these individually.
You want to create a website because the internet is a vast market. It is not enough to just have a website on the internet; you need to brand yourself online. What does this mean? It means you need to build your website and promote it. You can’t just assume that traffic will come because you’ve built a website. No. Traffic comes from marketing yourself in the real and virtual world.
So first off, you want to build a website that is clean, clear, concise, but also personable. Maybe warm,(if your message is warm), and introduce yourself. Tell them who you are and what you are about. Let them build a trust with you. If people get a little background information about you, it’s surprising how far it goes. Have pictures of yourself, if not on the first page, somewhere. People relate to people. Too many websites are cold and just full of facts. People can’t relate to sites like that, and look for warm, responsive websites.
Okay, so now that you have your website built you need to tell the world a message. What is it? By now you should have some idea of what your brand is.
Are you known for marketing? Are you known for having the best customer service? Are you known for having the best chili sauce? Are you known for always having a smile? Are you known for always being ready with a joke? Are you an animal lover? Are you known for always telling the truth?
Whatever your brand is, (your message to the world), this is where you write what you want your potential customers, or readers, to know about you. Your website is where you tell the world about who you are and what you represent. Are you known for being quality publishers? Than tell the world, that’s your message!
Also be sure to show how your company, or you, is personable. You do this by showing what you are doing in the community, and what you care about. Volunteer, help out your neighborhood, you would be amazed what a difference this makes. It makes you feel good. But also be sure to tell the world about it.
So how do you tell the world? Easy, announce everything. Write articles, display them on your site, and post them everywhere. There are so many free places to submit articles too, it’s great advertising.
And press releases, too many people don’t use these. But only use press releases sites if you have serious, stuff to tell. They don’t want ads. Plaster your site everywhere. Go to forums that are in your market, and tell your message or information there. Keep in mind whatever you write might be there forever, so always be consistent and concise. Keep your message or your brand the same; don’t go back on your word. Never.
Your message will be documented everywhere, and you don’t want to be caught a liar. Always be consistent. And stand up for what you believe in, or what your message to the world is. People can relate to passion. My last tip on branding is to be responsive. People like people. Easy as that. No one likes to email someone, or call a company and get a recording, or worse no response. Make sure you respond to everyone, and in a timely manner.
If you post something in a forum, go back and check for a response on a weekly basis. Or if you get an email, be sure to answer that question within a 48 hour window (unless it’s just spam, than you delete it). And if you can give them a phone number that they can call and get a real person, fabulous! They will be shocked and will call again.
People will deal with a company or individual that they like and can identify with. Your customers will come back because they like your brand, they like what you are putting out to the world. You need to make sure you answer them back, good or bad. And by doing this, you are creating a relationship with these people. You are creating a brand identity.