So you have a business, but what about a brand?
Creating a unique brand is one of the most important elements for your business to stand out online. Your brand identity reflects the person, company, service or product you are promoting. It’s the first impression you have with your viewers and the lasting impression you have with your followers. This identity also helps to establish authority in your space and trust with your people.
Take a look at these five important steps to get you started on creating a strong, professional brand identity online so you can create more buzz around your product or service by attracting an audience that you love and who loves you back!
1. Discover your ideal target audience (aka, your dream client)
Ok, so who is your ideal audience? What kind of person do you want to be working with or providing services for? The best working relationships are created when both the client and the service provider are excited to be working together. So consider – who or what industry are you excited to be working with?
Take a few moments to imagine your dream client as an actual person. Give them a name and a story. What does their daily routine look like? Think about ways they interact with the world around them, their personal or professional relationships, and their hobbies and interests.
Next, think about what this dream client is motivated by. What are the struggles or obstacles they face in their daily life? Do they have dreams and goals that they are working towards? What are the hobbies and activities they spend their free time doing? Where do they go to find solutions for their problems or to progress in their interests and goals?
Now that you have a pretty complete picture of your ideal client, can you envision your product or service as a solution to their wants or needs? If not, is there a way to alter your offering so it’s better suited for your dream client? This is a good place to reevaluate either your offering or your target audience. Run through this exercise again until you find a dream client who you’re excited about working with and whose wants or needs can be easily solved with your offering.
2. Choose your niche
We all want to serve as large of an audience as possible, but how do we even get a foot in the door in this noisy online world?
The absolute best way to stand out amongst your competitors is to niche down your offering.
To niche down means to focus your product or service to suit a smaller audience. For example, a health and fitness instructor may be interested in teaching all things wellness, but their offer is so broad that their ideal client will have a hard time finding them. To help with this, the instructor may choose to focus on a certain age group, lifestyle, or struggle.
Rather than offering coaching to anyone interested in health, this instructor could work solely with new mothers who are looking for help to bring a balance of wellness into their new life. This coaching could include exercise routines that are easy to fit in around a nap schedule or with a baby in tow, movements that are focused on losing that excess baby fat, and quick recipes or bulk prep tips for healthy eating on a busy schedule.
Remember that your ideal client has a very specific struggle they are looking for help with. How can you position your offering to be the exact solution for them?
3. Share your story and find your brand voice
Every successful business has a story behind it, and one of the best ways to connect with your target audience is to share that story with them. The combination of a unique voice, an engaging story, and creative direction are what define your brand and make it stand out online and in real life.
This doesn’t mean you need to have the most unique or incredible story behind your brand. It can be as simple as sharing a few anecdotes about how you started the business, what inspired your passion for the product or service you provide, or why you’re so driven to help your customers succeed.
Once you have a story to share with your audience, it’s time to find your voice. Your brand voice is how you communicate with your target audience. It’s more than just a persona- it’s the personality you use in your emails, sales and website copy, and social media posts.
If you’re selling to a younger demographic, you might want to use slang or casual speech on social media rather than using a formal tone. However, if you’re targeting older adults, you’ll want to adjust your communications to one that speaks more directly with them. Refer back to your ideal target audience and consider what style of voice would resonate best with them.
Take a few moments to list out those words that best describe your voice. Will your brand come across as sleek and professional? Friendly and personal? Bold and daring? Write these words or phrases down to refer back to whenever you’re writing up material for your business.
4. Establish your creative direction and visual appeal
Your brand identity also includes your company’s visual expression of who you are and what you do. It’s the visual way in which a business distinguishes itself from its competitors. Your creative direction is extremely important when you are marketing your business online because visual cues can help tell the story of your business and give potential customers a sense of what you’re all about.
The visual appeal of your brand consists of four main components:
– A color palette
– Font pairings
– Imagery and mood board
– A unique business logo
Now, we have a few steps and tips for developing each of these elements so check out our post The Four Key Elements of a Visual Brand to learn more.
5. Show up consistently using your new brand!
Congratulations! If you’ve worked through each of the steps above, you’ll find yourself with a brand new custom brand that completely portrays your company’s energy, personality, voice, vision, and creative direction. Now how do you use that going forward?
Well, your brand should show up in all of your material. Refer back to your style sheet and brand voice whenever you’re designing your website, writing your copy, planning out content on social media or other platforms, writing an email, creating marketing material, or anything else you work on within your business.
Consider adding your logo in a corner of your designs or incorporating the graphic throughout your website. The goal here is for visitors to know who’s page or platform they’re on from the beginning of their viewing experience to the end.
Along with the voice and visuals, continue to refer back to your target audience and the niche you’re serving. If you’ve given your ideal customer a name, ask yourself “Would Suzie resonate with this? Would she be interested in learning more about my business based on this material?” This is a classic way to always keep your dream client in mind and focus your business around them and their needs.
Finally, remember consistency is key. Creating a schedule for producing your content and sticking to your established brand is the best way to attract more customers, build a relationship built on trust and value, and grow your business with a community who can’t wait to work with you!
As you can see, a brand is so much more than just a logo. It’s not what you say about yourself, but the way that your potential customers feel they know you, and the way they remember you when they walk away. Building your unique brand can be tricky at first, but once you find your target audience and hone your creative vision, you’ll find it easier to work through the rest of these steps to develop your brand identity. In the meantime, just remember that it takes time to find your voice. You won’t be perfect on day one- no one is! But after some effort, you’ll have an established brand identity that uniquely represents you and your business and connects to your dream client on every level.
Looking for some help developing your own stunning and unique brand? Medley Elite Marketing would love to help! Shoot us a message and let’s get chatting about how to make your business stand out and thrive online.