From advertising to attracting investors and luring customers or clients – brand-building is bound to be atop every entrepreneur’s list of priorities. Building a brand from scratch can be difficult, particularly when dealing with picky consumers and the constantly evolving market of the twenty-first-century.
But how do you successfully build your brand while promoting a personable image and upholding your entrepreneurial values and bottom line? We’ve included five top tips below to help you expand your brand more easily.
Leverage social media
The best tool in the twenty-first-century entrepreneur’s toolkit is social media. It’s free and fairly simple to navigate (if you’re not adept with social media trends, get a millennial on board) – and is far and above the most effective way to attract consumers and investors in today’s digital milieu. Social media makes it possible for entrepreneurs operating out of their home offices to create a real business out of their dream. Facebook alone has over two billion users, with Twitter and Instagram on its heels.
Carefully select your chosen platforms, as your target demographics are more likely to use one social media site over the other. For instance, LinkedIn is a corporate platform, while you may be more likely to find artistic and academic audiences on Twitter. If you choose to work across multiple platforms, ensure your branding and messaging is consistent. (Instagram includes a handy feature where you can upload pictures to your Instagram and Facebook and/or Twitter feeds at the same time – which is great if you intend to share the same content on all your platforms)
When you’re posting on Facebook and Instagram, don’t shy away from letting your potential customers know about your company values and your own entrepreneurial vision for the company. Identify the characteristics which make you and your proposed product or service unique, and market yourself accordingly. If you don’t, consumers won’t stray from familiar brands.
Another tip – make sure you separate your personal social media accounts from your professional ones. If you can, always make your personal profiles private to avoid any unwanted crossover. Use social media privacy settings to check exactly how much investors and random strangers can see.
Host your own event
Hosting a well-planned event in a slick venue can pull in hundreds of clients and consumers. The trick is to make the event larger than just you and your product or service. So for instance, if you’re launching a new dress-hire business, plan a ball for the local community, and offer a significant discount on your services for all ticket-buyers.
Save money on venue hire and catering by exploiting your personal and business connections to see if you can get sponsor deals.
Take advantage of local goings-on
If you don’t have enough capital to host your own event yet, you could try hosting a stall at community markets and industry expos to advertise your quality products. Again, offering a promo or discount is one of the most effective ways to draw in hefty consumer crowds when you’re first starting out.
As well as exposing new audiences to your product or service, these kinds of events allow you to engage in another activity essential to brand-building: networking! Make sure you dedicate plenty of time to converse with your fellow brands and understand the needs of your customers, as these relationships are essential.
Be genuine and community-oriented
Today’s industries are often over-saturated with entrepreneurs and analogous brands these days that the best thing you can do for yourself is to be yourself – and if that means being community-oriented, even better.
Live out your company values by employing and investing in local young people, collaborating with other businesses that care for the environment and minimise waste, and by making regular donations to charities that make a proven difference in your community. Through giving back to your community, you will gain the trust of consumers who see that your brand lives out what it says – showing genuine care for the people and families they serve.