Being an entrepreneur is an exciting prospect. But, you have to have the skills and finesse to reach this coveted level. So, maybe you’ve reached a skill level where you feel comfortable about offering your services as a freelancer. You feel like it’s time for you to start your own business.
If this is the case, it’s time to branch out.
Before hitting the ground running and start shouting off the rooftops that you’re in business for yourself, you need to solidify your business plan. This requires a good deal of thought, research, and a lot of creative juice.
The key thing you’ll want to do is to come up with a branding strategy for your business. This is the art of telling the world who you are and it involves a good deal of planning. Here, we’ll break down the art of branding, and how to develop brand strategy to focus your efforts.
What is Branding?
Branding used to only regard the visual identity of your business. But, this was the case many years ago. Today, branding includes many more moving parts that all tie your business to your customer base and the image you want a customer to identify your business with.
Branding is truly a cohesive effort of many elements. These include identifying, processing, creating, and managing all aspects of your “brand.”
Basically, your brand represents your core philosophy, your values as a company, the image that you present to the world, and all of the efforts you use to get you into the customer’s mind.
Without a good branding strategy today, a business will most likely struggle to make any headway. Most of us need our attention grabbed quickly.
Good branding makes the customer not only stop and look at your business, but it also gives them something to take away. The next time they hear your name or see your logo, they’ll instantly think of a theme or a concept that you embody.
Why is Branding Important?
Today’s world is teeming with distractions. More often than anything, most of our distractions are sitting right in the palms of our hands. Each business has to compete for the attention of a particular customer base, and to do this, a business needs a strong brand strategy.
Let’s face it. You’re not the only one selling shoes out there (if that’s your game). In fact, there are so many shoe sellers that we’ve never heard of simply because the brand strategy of companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and the like, all have nailed their brand strategy down to a science.
In a world with large multi-million dollar corporations all spending millions of dollars on marketing each quarter, it can seem hard to make any headway in the modern business world.
This is why you really have to think about your “why.”
The reason “why” you’re in business is the starting point for you to develop your brand strategy. A few questions for you to consider, regarding brand strategy, are as follows:
- What do I believe in?
- What are my values?
- Who am I going to help?
- What do I want to achieve with my business?
- Why am I helping?
- What do I want to be known for?
- How am I going to help?
- What do I want to be associated with?
- What is my overall goal?
The questions you can ask to aid in developing your brand are vast, and you might have to sit with these thoughts for quite a while until you uncover that “aha! moment,” where everything just clicks and you fully understand how to promote yourself genuinely.
When it’s all said and done, you have service or product that you want to bring into world. You think it’s useful, and you hope that it will change people’s lives for the better, or make things easier for your customer base.
As long as you’re true to your values, and you project this authenticity out to your customer base, people will respond to that, and you’ll be well on your way to running a successful business venture.