This past year has been a bit of a roller coaster (or maybe a game of dodgeball?)—major shutdowns, sky-high unemployment, social distancing measures, nationwide protests, talks of a recession… it’s a tough time to be a small business! But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep doing what you love; you just might need to work a little harder to build your brand. Here’s what I mean.
Wait… What Does “Building a Brand” Mean?
First things first. What exactly do I mean when I talk about building a brand? In a nutshell, I mean that when people (i.e., your potential clients) search for your name, or better yet, your service or product, they find exactly what they’re looking for—your business! It’s not something that happens automatically; it takes building a brand.
Here are four things you can do—right now—to kickstart your brand.
Design a logo
Having a logo is vitally important to establishing a brand and a “look” for your company. Logos might not seem like a big deal, but they actually do a lot for attracting potential clients. Your logo is sort of like your “curb appeal”, that first glimpse of your business you give would-be clients to decide if you’re the right fit for their needs.
Logos do a couple of things—for you, and for your clients. Firstly, they establish your company’s identity. Are you formal and professional? A little fun and funky? Artsy and flowy? They can also show your clients that you’re a serious, established company, not just some newbie taking a whack at running a business.
Build a website
This one’s critical, you guys! The internet is literally the gateway to information. Think about it; if you want a haircut/new house/contractor/pizza/Netflix show, where do you turn? Google! So, guess what your potential clients are probably doing when they need a new [insert-your-product/service-here]? Yeah, they’re Googling it. If you don’t have a website, how the heck is that potential client going to find you?
Building a website doesn’t have to be super hard, either. You can actually do it with essentially zero knowledge of web design, thanks to user-friendly sites like Squarespace, Wix, Weebly, and WordPress. I would, however, recommend choosing a unique domain name (none of that your-biz123.wordpress.com) to make you look legitimate, professional, and established.
Get on social media
All right, now you’ve got your website (with your beautiful logo on it, of course), let’s take that internet presence one step further with a little social media marketing. Creating some business social media profiles is a great way to connect with potential clients and show them who you are as a business—and as a person. Unlike your website, which offers a more static view of your company, social media allows you to actively interact with your community.
Business social media is a little different from personal social media. You probably want to start with some graphics that flow with your logo and overall business feel. Then, invite all your personal Facebook/Instagram/Twitter friends to like your business pages. Create events. Allow clients to check in to your business and leave reviews. Repurpose relevant posts. Just be sure to keep it evergreen, fresh, upbeat, and professional.
A note on current events: Many businesses (myself included) have used social media as a way to support local and national activist groups, to spread awareness and education, or to encourage others to get involved. You can, too!
Write a good bio and use it everywhere
We’ve all read those cheesy, salesy, cut-from-a-mold bios that boast “years of experience” and “unrivaled skills” and blah blah blah… long story short it’s a long-winded and fancy way of not really saying anything or of covering up that you don’t really have any experience or skills! Eek!
Instead, take some time to craft a bio that actually says something about you as a business person and as a human being. Talk about your work experience. Talk about your hobbies. Talk about your passions. Talk about what made you want to start the business you’re running now. Talk to your clients, person to person, and give them a glimpse of what makes you NOT just another robot promising the moon to push a product or service.
Get on Google My Business
One last tip… join Google My Business! It’s FREE, and it’s an invaluable tool for getting your business out there to be found by potential clients. Joining Google My Business allows you to be found in Google searches and on Google Maps. It allows you to post photos and offers, provide several contact methods for clients, and even see how your clients engage with your profile. Yup; you can view clicks, follows, bookings, and more. And did I say free?
Need Help Building Your Brand?
Eager to get started building your brand and reaching clients? It takes a lot to do it all on your own, which is why I’m here! Marketing, brands, websites, social media… it’s kinda my thing. If you need help getting all those details sorted, Corridor Consulting is here to help. Just give me a shout.