Today Marketing is story telling. Creating a personal brand strategy is first and foremost about knowing what your story is and how you’re going to tell it. If you are an entrepreneur people are interested in You and your story. If you are a large company or firm they want to know who the people are behind the scenes and their stories, as well as the mission of the organization. This article will help you get an overall understanding of how to develop your strategy which will make telling your story in whatever marketing avenue you choose, so much easier.
A brand is not just a face or a logo but rather it is the experience customers have when doing business with a specific company. This includes the benefits they claimed to deliver and the promises they made and kept. This experience also extends to their follow-up after they’ve delivered the product or service you purchased. The meaning behind your brand becomes subjective and unconscious but outwardly it is the “voice” of that brand that shines through. The “face” or insignia is the symbol for that meaning.
To begin you must define and know what your brand stands for. This one thing makes it easier to communicate your true “voice”. Your brand statement is slightly different than your mission because it also claims what you promise to deliver. For example, my mission is to help people tell their story and give them a great experience in the process. What I promise to deliver is high quality portraiture that is professional and timeless and easy to use for their marketing.
Grabbing peoples attention is emotional! Using high quality photography is going to communicate your message instantly. Make the investment to get professional portraits and/or purchase dynamic stock photography that interprets your story. Though pretty sunsets can always work as a generic backdrop it’s not a literal message. Really think about the message you want to say based on your clients needs and the problem you are solving for them. Pick the right images that convey that message and evoke an emotion. Focus on the end result. If you’re a dentist for example, you might show smiling people with beautiful teeth looking super happy.
If you also want a symbol to represent your brand hire a professional graphic designer to create something unique. Don’t try do this this one yourself, I can’t stress this enough. It may be a big investment in the beginning but using clip art as your logo may not convey the right “voice” you want. It is totally worth it having a great logo you love.
Today you have to be online; a professional looking website is a must! Emulate the newest and greatest looking websites and dress yours up with your message on how and why people need you. Instill your brand on your site with a logo and/or your portrait and great photographic imagery. Always be conscious as to how your website looks on a mobile device.
If you want to go one step further, make your website more dynamic. Telling your message, what your services are and how to contact you is fantastic. However, look at your competitors and strive to make your website more interesting and interactive as well as a resource for information.
Once you have your website spread your brand all over by setting it up on multiple social media platforms, professional organizations, review websites and more. The more you’re out there the more you’re seen.
If you are setup in social media it’s obvious that I am asking you to use it. Post on a regular schedule because eventually your fans will know when your posting. I realize that it can be overwhelming and time consuming for small business owners. Therefore, to start out, pick 2 or 3 platforms and learn and work them until you are comfortable and have a good following of fans. Eventually you can hire others to take over and expand to other platforms. Make sure however, that you communicate very clearly what your brand message is so they can speak in your “voice”.
Once you have defined your brand make sure everywhere online you are consistent. Your logo and professional portraits and overall look, including a color scheme, is the same on your website and all account profiles you have online. Besides the graphics and photography keep all your messaging the same on each platform as well. Don’t stray from this at all. I know we all have multiple talents that we can offer to others. However, if you add a new message or change your message your audience can get really confused or bored and dwindle away. An example of this would be if Apple started selling hot tubs and saying “we like to relax and chill”. Ummm… that is weird. Suddenly I am no longer believing in the quality and innovation of their products. If you have a good niche and a well defined brand don’t add that you also sell hand made jewelry also. My suggestion would be to separate it entirely as another business and define a new brand.
If you’d like help strategizing your brand or would like us to help define your brand to develop your “voice”, give us a call at (805) 440-3655 or CONTACT US ONLINE