Branding your business is crucial if you want to stand out from the crowd. If you are ready to fly on your own and start freelancing but just don’t know how to brand yourself, I’m going to show you a simple strategy that you can implement right now!
And by the way, this module is the first module of a course taking you from the burning desire to become your own boss to actually launching your business. So if you want access to the full course (videos will be added until the course is complete) by clicking here.
Branding your business: what’s in a brand?
Branding your business: what a brand is not
First of all, let me tell you what a brand is NOT:
– a brand is not a logo
– a brand is not a name
– a brand is not a tagline
– a brand is not a website
Branding your business: what a brand is
With that out of the way, let’s define what a brand is:
– it is an entity, just like a person
– it walks by a set of core values
– it is a collection of a perceptions
– it is an experience composed of interactions, whether in sales, customers service, phone or email support, on social media, and so on.
Think of a brand as a person. Remember your high school crush? You had that perception about her or him.
And remember that grumpy teacher? That was another perception too. You didn’t know beforehand what your perception would be about those people.
But once you got to know them, you made your opinion.
A brand is just like a person. It can be liked or disliked, depending on the perception it creates.
Branding your business: the power of perception
Now let’s do a simple exercise, I’m just going to write the names of a few brands, and you’re going to write down, your perception in the forms of keywords.
– Mc Donald’s
We’re all different, but I’m pretty sure many of us would come with similar keywords for each particular brand I just named.
This means that those brands are strong.
Now one thing though is that those brands spend millions upon millions of dollars to get their name out there and try to influence the perception we have about them.
If you’re just starting out, obviously you don’t have the same financial power. That means that you can’t have the exact same strategy they have.
But the advantage we have today is that we have something called the internet. And that allows us to create brand awareness for a fraction of the cost, as well as the ability to laser-target our niche markets.
Branding your business: getting it right from the beginning
The essential points that make a brand still remain the same, whether you are big or just starting out.
Remember, a brand is not just a logo, it is a collection of perceptions
Who knows, your brand might be quoted one day as a multi-million dollar brand, but whatever happens, it is best to get it right from day one. Because changing your brand down the line may cost a little fortune.
Remember, a brand is not just a logo, it is a collection of perceptions. And if you spend years and a lot of money to get your name out there, it would be a pity to have to start all over again, just because you didn’t take the time to define your brand in the first place.
Branding your business: my simple strategy
So what should you focus on when creating your brand? Here is a simple strategy that I hope will help you define your brand.
And it is pretty simple but you need to put some time into it.
Basically, take a sheet of paper or a Google doc, and start describing your brand as a person.
For example, Kaycinho is my personal brand, so you may think, why describe it
It’s just about you right? But my personal brand is more than just me, it’s me trying to achieve something bigger than me, which is basically building an audience that I can help around the topics of digital, online entrepreneurship & marketing.
So if you had to describe a person, let’s say for example your best friend named Josh, you may describe him as such :
“Josh is tall, with brown hair and brown eyes, he is funny and optimistic no matter what. Josh loves nature more than he likes living in the city, and he believes every one should connect with nature at least once a month. Josh is passionate about natural sciences and believes little steps can transform into giant leaps.“
Ok you could go on and on, but with this description, anyone now has a perception about Josh.
Defining your brand
A brand can also be described, and this is how I initially described the Kaycinho brand as an overall brand statement, even before I decided whether I was going for a personal or a business brand:
“That brand believes in service to others, passion about the Digital Age and freedom through entrepreneurship. It focuses on simple yet actionable solutions to help creative professionals as well as aspiring and confirmed entrepreneurs leverage the power of the Digital Age to market themselves and grow in a sea of brands and businesses.
The brand is visually classy, minimal and impactful, and uses a friendly tone with a subtle sense of humor. The content created should help aspiring and confirmed entrepreneurs feel empowered and motivated through Kay’s experience, strategies and digital alchemy concepts, so that they can become their own boss in the Digital Age or take their business to another level.“
What I really did by writing this text is the following:
1 – defining the core values
2 – the mission
3 – the target market
4 – the visual style
5 – the desired perception
6 – the unique selling proposition
Branding your business: the power of your brand statement
You may think this is overkill for your freelancing business, because you may be a one-person-operation type of business.
But just imagine that in a couple of years, you’ve grown so much, that you have way too much on your plate, so you need to outsource more and more and even start recruiting local help.
If your brand is not defined, then how do you expect your future employees to know how to interact with your customers? Except the fact that of course, they’d have to be professional, but that’s common sense.
A few years ago, I’ve worked for a an airline that was a sub-company of the Virgin Group. And to this day I remember my first day at work, and the first thing I did was follow a 5 minute video about the Virgin flare as they call it, and the core values of all Virgin companies.
To cut a long story short, we were to be professional at all times, but with our own personalities and in a fun spirit all the way.
Richard Branson would come visit us once or twice per year, and we could all see, that those core values were always there in the way he behaved, talked and made business decisions.
And therefore, every time I had interactions with customers, I felt confident that I could be myself, while still being professional.
That was a totally different experience from other companies I had worked for, where basically, they only asked me to be professional.
I mean, that’s normal right? You should always be professional. Where Virgin made a difference, is that they defined the boundaries, the tone of voice and the perception that tailored the experience.
Branding your business: Your turn
So, I strongly encourage you to play along and do this exercise at home.
Your brand may evolve in the future, just like a person does, but at least you know where to stand and where to start from.
You may be wondering whether you should create a business brand or a personal brand, and guess what? That’s precisely what we’ll be talking about in our next video in the series.
I do hope that this video helped you understand what a brand is, as well as the importance of creating one from the very beginning.
Now I’d like to know if you have clearly defined your brand from the beginning or if you’ve just completely ignored this step up to that point, so please let me know in the comments.
If you watched the companion video and if you like it, please give it a thumbs up, as it really helps growing the channel and if you know someone that could benefit from it, I’m going to ask you if you’d like to share it now.
Because let’s face it, there are so many things to do in a day that if you don’t do it now you’ll probably forget.
Now if you want to brand, market and grow your business it in the Digital Age make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter so that you never miss your share of digital alchemy and tips, tools, services and case studies that can help you grow your business online.
So I hope to see you around here or on the Youtube channel, and in the next episode we’ll discuss about whether you should create a business brand or a personal brand.
In the meantime, don’t forget to invest in YOUR success