I have about a zillion branding topics in my head I want to talk about, but I’ll save them for a zillion rainy days. Instead, I thought I’d give you some super sweet branding moves that should be simple to implement, so you can differentiate yourself from those poor saps that haven’t discovered this blog, yet. So, let’s get to ‘em!
1. Brand yourself as a specialist
I know, I know, you’re an entrepreneur! You need money! And you’ll run yourself into the wall doing every possible little thing you know how to do to get it!
I get it. I’ve been there. But the fact is offering too many things is a huge reason why business owners and entrepreneurs struggle from month to month. Look, I know the struggle’s real – I hate myself for typing that – and that you need to make ends meet, so I’m not suggesting you cease all the extra things you’re doing. I’m just saying that, when you brand and market your business, you focus on selling only one product or service – the one you actually give a damn about. That way, you’re setting yourself up to only sell that one product or service, long-term.
And, in case you’re not sure focus is where it’s at, here are a few links you’ll want to check out:
Chipotle’s stock price, from 2006 to now – click “max.”
McDonald’s, which has been selling far too many items, plans to streamline its menu.
Google lost more market share in “search” than it has in years. I believe that’s due to it putting its name on everything.
2. Put your face on your business card
I suggest this for one reason: differentiation, especially if you do a lot of networking.
Look at the huge pile of business cards in your office. Now, go through them and try to remember everyone who gave them to you. Most people can’t, and those who can should probably be working in a lab somewhere. Or possibly being tested in a lab somewhere.
In that stack of business cards, there were a few with faces, but the vast majority didn’t have them. And that’s why you put your face on your business card. And don’t be shy because you’re not “photogenic.” I’m not exactly a pretty boy, and if you go to our website or Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+ accounts, you’ll see it everywhere. For better or worse. Which means it’s probably worse.
3. Make your logo red or blue, or red and white or blue and white
We conducted a study of the Fortune 100’s logos to come up with this theory. It’s not always set in stone, but it’s definitely something you should consider. And hey look, you can find our blog post about it here!
4. Create a tagline
The goal of branding is always to be first in the mind of clients and prospective clients alike. The reason I talk so much about simplicity and focus is because no one remembers complicated. One of the ways to get in the mind is through a tagline people can’t forget.
When we come up with a tagline, we use three things: 1) Leadership. 2) What you do. 3) A word for clients and potential clients to remember. Bonus points if you can give it some alliteration or make it rhyme!
It’s amazing the number of businesses we come across that don’t use taglines. Don’t be that guy!
5. Limit social media
Before we get into this, I want to type something that seems counter-intuitive to it: grab every social media account you can! You never know what’s going to take off, and you don’t want to try to get an account later, only to have your name snatched up by someone else.
With that typed, here’s what I mean by “limit social media.”
Avoid constantly updating them all. To be a real social media expert on a ton of networks, you actually need to do social media 40+ hours per week. Because I’m typing to gutsy entrepreneurs and business owners, I’m guessing you don’t have that kind of time to play on Facebook. So, my suggestion is this: focus on one social media platform. That way, you should get pretty good at it, and you’ll still have time to do everything else that consumes your work week. And, by the time you feel like you’ve really mastered that one platform, maybe you’ll be able to hire a social media expert to handle all the platforms you signed up for.
Remember, gang, branding is a long-term project. It takes a long time to get a brand going, but when it catches, it catches fast! Keep at it, and if you’d like to talk to us about helping you brand, feel free to get a hold of us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or sign up for our newsletter on your way out of the site.
Have fun, and as always,