Don’t let anyone fool you. Having a great brand takes a lot of work because great branding isn’t just a pretty logo with clean lines. It’s an experience with you or your business. From the visual look to customer interactions, branding is what you do and how you do it. There are things that can help you grow to improve your brand and things that can take away from your brand.
All great brands are constantly improving and finding new ways to engage with a larger audience. As your business grows, you’ll receive more exposure to potential clients. So your brand should constantly be improving some aspect of your business to provide more value. Whether that’s through sales or recognition, it should consistently drive new customers to your products and services. After all, stable growth in sales is the key to sustainable growth.
Take a look at the top 10 things you should be doing to grow and improve your brand.
1. Build a community
Great brands are trusted and respected by a community of clients. The great thing about having a solid community that supports you is that it doesn’t take spending a lot of money to maintain. Loyal customers trust you and will automatically support and promote your brand.
2. Have a consistent newsletter or blog-posting schedule
By consistently providing content to your target market you become the “go-to” person in your industry. By regularly staying in touch with your customers you maintain their expectations and have the opportunity to grow through that community of customers. Not only does it build your brand, but also gives you the chance to capture data on those who never want to miss an update.
3. Partner with other brandsPartnering with other brands gets your name in front of an audience you may have never reached before. It generates word of mouth and interest from a market that may have been hard for you to access. Be strategic about those you partner with. It should elevate the brands on both sides of the table because you inherit the image and reputation of the other, and that’s important for the customer base you want to attract.
4. Host a workshop
Give a face to all of those great tips and insights you are giving out on your blog! Interacting with a larger crowd outside of your current customers will automatically grow your brand. Workshops are great for increasing your community base that supports and advocates for you. So go ahead, host a workshop now before it’s too late!
5. Guest blogProviding great content on sites other than your own, allows you to touch audiences that are already engaged. You want to be everywhere in your market, so tap those who are influential and give their readers some valuable content. Once they have a chance to get to know you, they will start to trust you.
6. Provide great customer serviceToday’s customer wants a guarantee on exceptional and prompt service. When making a purchase, customer service has a huge influence on the final buying decision. So always over communicate with your customers. They’ll be grateful.
7. Social media contests
Create a contest experience on social media. By having quick contests you enable customers to communicate for you! You also get to learn more about your target audience as they share and interact over their interest in your brand.
8. LinkedIn publishingThis is a bit different from blog or guest posting. Having posts attached to your LinkedIn account creates an echo for your resume and establishes you as a thought leader. It ingeniously places your experience and your valuable content side by side.
9. Email taggingPut a link in your e-mail signature for a free product. Whether it’s a free download or a discount code, you’ll easily have recipient’s spreading the word about this “freebie” that’s only accessible from a specific email link.
10. Keep your name in front of the marketConstantly remind your target market what you do and what you are currently working on. The saying, “out of sight, out of mind” is true. When people aren’t aware, they quickly forget about you and possibly go to the next person for a product or service you offer.
PS - Never forget that consistency is key. As you grow it’s important to remember that the visual branding in the tips above remain consistent. From your logo to your newsletter banner and even email signature, it has to be consistent so that it’s easily recognizable to your target audience. You don’t want them unsubscribing or not clicking on your email because they’re confused about where it’s coming from.
If you need help implementing any of these branding techniques, you can reach me here.
Remember, give your brand The Good Life!
(as originally published on EmpireLifeMag)
Starting out, it’s pretty difficult to determine how to generate new customers. Entrepreneurs often think it’s difficult to compete with larger company’s who can press a button with some crazy algorithm attached to it that can generate leads. But it doesn’t have to be. Customers aren’t going to come just because you have an amazing product or built a pretty website. You have to have great content being pushed out in some form that will capture the eye of your potential customer. Here are
8 Tips on how to generate new business leads:
1. Get your name out!
The average media journalist is contacted by a different PR agency two to three times an hour. So, how do you stand out as an entrepreneur? You don’t let your PR team send the email, you send it yourself. There’s a level of authenticity established when the owner of the company reaches out and tells their own story. To be honest, you’re more likely to receive coverage if you reach out yourself versus having someone reach out on your behalf.
That doesn’t mean your pitch doesn’t have to be on point, it does. It has to be better and more sincere than if an agency were to reach out for you. It has to be personal and you should never bug a media outlet for press.
By getting press coverage you not only increase your brand, but you also develop a following as an expert in your own right. All of which generates new business opportunities.
2. Customer Referrals and Testimonials are Key
Not only do customer testimonials show you have happy customers, but it shows that they are so proud of the work you’ve done they want to display it too! You can ask customers if they’d be willing to provide a testimonial immediately after you have serviced them. It’s fresh in their mind and they’ll be happy to do so. You can even give them an incentive for providing referrals, like 10% off their next product or service.
3. Branding is Everything
Decide on your brand’s messaging and push forward. Everyone loves a company that has message they can believe in. So it’s important for your company to have strong branding that breed’s authenticity. Your company has to have strong and clear messaging that is consistent not just across marketing platforms but face-to-face as well. That message should focus on communicating your place as an expert and as the best in the market.
4. You Must Blog
Blogging allows you to capture the attention of a potential customer and control your brands messaging. It’s important to not just have a blog that you post occasionally on, but maintaining the blog is extremely important too. According to Hubspot,
“Businesses who blogged 16 to 20 times per month got over 2 times more traffic than those who blogged less than 4 times per month.”
Many companies have blogs, but fail to post regular relevant information and begin to lose out on potential customer leads. Visitors should be able to subscribe to your blog so that your information is delivered directly to them.
5. Newsletters are not Bad
They aren’t for everyone. But if you have a product or service that is constantly being updated it’s necessary. But most importantly, you have to make sure the sign-up process for your newsletter is not only flawless, but also easy to find. Like a blog, it’s an easy way to stay in contact with current and potential customers.
6. Twitter is Necessary
Time and time again I have to remind clients about Twitter. You can use it to chat with your industry’s influencers. When you chat with them, others see your interactions and will follow you or visit your site. So make sure your site looks great and has content that will make them want to stay awhile. Twitter is also great for providing great customer service that potential customers can easily see. And remember, #HashTagging is super important when tweeting. After all, the whole purpose of tweeting is to gain recognition for your knowledge and/or opinion right? So use the hash tags, they’re a must when talking about any popular or trending topics.
7. Facebook is Not Evil, it’s a Goldmine
Many have come to despise Facebook. But the truth is that it’s a goldmine for new business. Think about how quickly someone likes a photo or status update you post on your personal Facebook page. Pretty fast, right? Now think about how many of your friends will see your new product if you post it there as well. Exactly. Facebook provides free promotion to your family and friends about your product or service. I know many people like to keep them separate, but you are your company’s brand. So, make sure people identify you as a whole package.
8. Offer Free Consultations
Offering a free consultation is a great way to sit down with potential customers one-on-one to show them what you offer. The consultations can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and you can offer them monthly or seasonally. It depends on your current workflow or sales process. Think of them as mini-sales calls. The potential customer has already done some research on your product or service and they’re ready to speak with you to see if it’s a good fit. The free consultation is your chance to learn exactly what the customer needs and decide if they are a viable customer. If so, great! You can quickly design the service or decide on what product to sell them. It allows you to move a lot quicker with clients who need that extra push to move forward.
Now these tips will only help you get started, and remember maintenance is always key. So embed these steps into your marketing plan. You’ll see a world of a difference with the amount of leads that begin to come to you.
Remember, give your brand The Good Life…The Empire Life!
(Originally published on empirelifemag.com)