10 simple ideas to improve your business brand (for entrepreneurs and small businesses)

#Task: Ask yourself the following questions (and write the answers down!):

– What do you wish for people to associate with your name/business?
– Is there a certain subject matter in which you want to be perceived as an expert?
– Are there general qualities you want linked to your brand?

The answers to these questions will help you as you are building your business brand. They will be the building blocks that you will use to develop and promote that brand.

Once you have answered these questions, look at the 10 Simple Ideas I have shared below on how you can improve your personal or business brand.

  1. Be authentic. If you’re authentic, unique and committed to what you do, it will show and people will be more easily sold on you and what you’re selling. The problem is most of the time we are so busy trying to do or sell what we think people will buy instead of doing/selling/promoting the things that we are truly passionate about.
  2. Create a blog. A blog with relevant insights and ideas can fuel your business brand. However, once you start a blog, you have to keep it up. So, create a consistent content schedule so fans and followers know when to expect content from you – this schedule will also save you time and allow you to be more creative.
  3. Define your audience. This is a very necessary first step. Make sure you have figured out who your target audience is and then cater to them. Who will be most interested in what you have to offer? Having too broad of an audience will make it difficult to really connect with, and meet the needs of, your audience.
  4. See the bigger picture. See the purpose in everything you share; every tweet you send, every status update you make, every picture you share contributes to your business brand.Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about the way you connect with others and your online community.
  5. Add value. We’ve all been there…someone in your network posts something mundane, ridiculous or inappropriate and you wonder what compelled them to do so? Find ways to add value to your audience by creating or curating content that’s in line with your business brand. Also, be a giver – give as much as you can, ask your connections if there’s anything you can do for them, ask a lot of questions and listen, tell people you’re excited to hear their stories & they’ll be glad to share them, make yourself available to your peers and organisations and give thanks to everyone for kinds acts of any kind.
  6. Add some meat to your social media profiles. If content is the fuel for your brand, social media is an engine. Take the time to plump up the details of your social media profiles including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure they’re consistently in line with your brand standards. Post updates regularly and don’t be afraid to re-post your older content for your new followers.
  7. Establish a look. Any memorable brand, your business brand included, should present itself consistently. Using a variety of logos, colors, and fonts will confuse your audience. Apply the standards you create to everything—your website, business cards, advertising, etc.
  8. Be Yourself. Don’t try to copy another person or business, learn from others but always be true to yourself and your vision for your business.
  9. Create an email list. Personal/Business branding in this day and age is largely online marketing. The most valuable asset an you could ever hope to have is an email list and not just any email list, a list of people who have raised their hands and said “market to me” or “keep me in the loop”.
  10. Tell your Brand story. Your story is who you are and what you do for others – how you add value to people’s lives, ease their troubles, meet their needs. A compelling brand story gives your audience a way to connect with you, one person to another and to view your business as what it is: a living, breathing entity run by real people offering real value.

Your story isn’t just what you tell people it’s also what they believe about you based on the signals your brand sends. The story is a complete picture made up of facts, feelings and interpretations, which means that part of your story isn’t even told by you. Everything you do, each element of your business or brand, from the colours and texture of your packaging and business cards, to the staff you hire is part of your brand story and every element should reflect the truth about your brand back to your audience.

– Brand Story (thestoryoftelling.com)

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