The process of branding starts when an individual crafts an idea of a startup. The strategies involved in the process build and nourish the business growth. The whole idea of branding revolves around the effective communication a brand maintains with its customers and sustains it in the long run.
Many small businesses come around the cornerstone of branding but aren’t exactly aware of how branding influences their business and marketing strategies. Speaking of branding, it’s not only the large corporates who preserve their marketing edge, small businesses can do the same, even if not on such a large scale.
Solopreneurs are entrepreneurs who start off alone in the competitive brand circumference. If you’re an ambitious solopreneur who wants to shape his brand identity, you must lose the fear of being alone and express yourself in the creative way possible. That way, you can attract the opportunities that are crucial in building a strong brand identity, and ultimately a strong business.
However, success in branding your business doesn’t happen overnight, but with the branding hacks below, you can rock the one-man show. Here’s how you can do it:
- Getting a Professional Headshot
No one likes a businessman who’s uploaded his photo from his college yearbook. But no one can deny the charisma of a smart-looking suit-clad gentleman who’s smiling on top of the world. Even if you’re a solopreneur, you can get your best suit, your top cap, and your best pose, all gathered for the perfect headshot.
A professional photo like that intrigues the audience and delivers a perception of a high-end business run by a professional. You’d like that, won’t you?
- Building a Strong Social Media Presence
Now that you’ve decided to go professional, you must be able to prep your social media account for branding. Use your original name and optimize your social media profiles. People love to discover brands that are unique and are easy to find.
Having said that, actively run your social media accounts and keep adding novel content so that people are influenced by your marketing strategy. You can use as many platforms as you like, but your focus should be your target audience and your goals to achieve more engagement rates.
- Defining Your Brand
When you start your branding journey, you need to define your brand. It can be a difficult step at first, but the gains are yielding in the end. In order to give your brand a recognition, you need to first think about the mission of your business, the products and services, the strategies, the perception of your customers, and their opinions about your business.
You need to strategize each and every move, keeping in view the market trends, of course. Know what’s going on in the market. Though it can be a complex process for a startup, you can seek professional advice from any small business agency or get assistance from the Small Business Development Center.
- Developing a Brand Message
The first and foremost priority of a brand is to develop a message that is voiced out consistently across every medium. Your message should be the base of your overall strategy. It should be the motivating factor to keep your brand on the go.
Moreover, with this message, you should be able to aspire for higher aims than just maximizing your earnings. Whether it’s written media or a visual one, your message must be clear and should be an evidence of your brand creativity. Customers are more into brands that are effective in communicating their messages and voicing it out loud.
- Getting a Logo
A logo is your way to steal the branding show. It’s sometimes considered a fluff, but it’s something that’s going to take your brand many places. It also is a way to communicate the brand message, as the logo provides a voice to the branding process itself.
Making a good logo that is captivating is some tough work, but what determines the strength of a logo is the logo design. It can either make your brand a success or run it down. There are so many logo-making tools out there that if you want, you can make a logo yourself, or acquire the services of a professional designer, just to play on the safe side.
- Designing Templates and Creating Your Brand Standards
When you present your brand to the public, they consider you perfect and expect a lot more from you. That happens when you design a template or use a designer one that matches the color scheme, logo and text placement, and the feel it gives.
The better you get all these aspects in sync, the more you create better brand standards. Via this way, you create the value of the attributes that are necessary to define and highlight your brand.
- Be Original
Brands that want to create their value by imitating other brands in their niche are the ones that end up losing the little value they’ve created. No matter how good their business is running, they always lose their way in a dark alley.
However, it’s important that you should use unique ideas to represent your brand and differentiate yourself from the others in your industry. For example, EAT MY SHORTS! is a clothing brand that provides unisex t-shirts. What’s interesting about them is their packaging, in which they don’t refer any gender and use cotton-candy hues to promote their brand. Unlike the usual clothing lines, this one stands out from the others.
- Developing Your Own Website
One of the most important aspects of a brand building process is the development of a website. You can use social media to give some sneak peeks into your business in a creative way and attract potential customers.
You use the designs and synching color palette to increase customer engagement and add some spark to your business. It doesn’t have to be fancy though, keeping it simple and sophisticated can have a massive impact on your online business.
- Maintaining Consistency
Successful businesses have one habit, without which their brand is incomplete. They opt for consistency in every respect of their brand. Not only do they maintain a consistent approach to deliver valuable services, they also sustain their efforts in keeping alive innovation in their niche.
Consistency drives success and that’s why it’s important for any business, no matter how small or big.
- Incorporating Creative and Engaging Content
People always keep in search for brands that offer them something innovative and creative. As a solopreneur, you can hold public attention for long if you’ve got what they want to see.
With a sense of priority and promise, you can integrate your brand with creative media, which includes a unique use of visual media, catchy slogans and taglines, inside jokes for the intended audience, promotional offers, discounts, and a lot more! Spread the word and watch it spread like wildfire.
- Researching the Competition
Once you start off, you must know the trends regarding the niche you’re entering. You can research the latest statistics about customer behavior and market competition.
I mean, you can see what your rivals are up to and what they’re planning ahead. Keep a close watch on your competitors and play it safe.
- Storytelling and Experience Sharing
It’s not only the kids that love stories, it’s the customers too. You might have noticed brand CEOs slaying the art of storytelling. When people want to become your potential customers, they tend to see the human and his efforts behind the brand.
That means that you need to master the art of storytelling and share your experiences. Your audience will definitely lend an ear, only if you give them a chance to.
- Working Out Your Writing Skills
Above all things, your audience notices your writing skills as much as the quality of your content. You can’t just pacify them with a high-quality visual with a description written in poor English. Believe me, it abhors your potential clientele.
Here’s what you can do, you can use grammar tools or an online writing platform to better your writing skills. A posh language looks highly compatible with dazzling content. Even just keeping it simple would hit the right spot.
- Measuring Your Branding Effort
Your brand has started off good and you’re doing well, but there’s something missing.
As you go, you must evaluate your skills and efforts you’re putting in brand building. It helps you keep oriented in delivering better products, services, and values. You can evaluate yourself by interacting with your followers about your brand and ask for reviews. You can also ask for any suggestion they’d like to give to your brand for improvement.
- Learning Never Stops
Even if you’ve made a lot of mistakes in branding your startup, it’s never too late to adapt to changes and keep on moving.
The best lesson is the one that you learn from your own mistakes. What’s better is the lesson learned from the mistakes of others. You can learn lessons everywhere and keep adapting the routes to success. Avoiding potential blunders will help you make your brand a success.
A Single Step= Giant Leap for Solopreneruship
So, these were the 15 branding hacks that any solopreneur can incorporate in their branding strategy. If you’re ambitious about developing you small business, these hacks can come in handy.
It’s a guarantee that by using these simple measures, the small steps towards your destination can contribute a lot to your branding effort and provide the value you could’ve only imagined.
Evan is a Digital Marketing pro who’s been proactively engaged with the cyberspace since 2008, focusing on design services, user interface planning, and branding with a never-ending list. He now leads content marketing efforts at DesignMantic. Thanks to his strategy-driven marketing campaigns, DesignMantic tells a story of success. Plus, Evan’s also a design aficionado since he loves DIY design projects.