I recently read a great blog post by Maren Kate on how to build a successful company or personal brand strategy. While this article was written in 2009, all the tips she shares are as relevant now as they were then.
- Be Your Own Groupie. Know what your business core, strengths, and niche are, and make it who you are, not just part of you. Love your business idea and your industry; love it so much that it is all you want to talk about. When you love want you do for a living, it no longer feels like work. Become your own biggest fan, and then people will become big fans, as well.
- Know Your Story. Figure out why you started loving the type of business you are in, since it is the basis of your brand. Turn the story into what your brand stands for.
- Be Seen. You may be the best in your industry or have the most potential, but if no one knows who you are, it does not change anything. Even if you are shy in your everyday life, make the commitment to be bold and outgoing when talking about business and your brand (especially your personal brand). However, remember that there is a difference between being outgoing and talking too much. Make sure that you listen to the people you network with just as much as you share your story and passion.
- Fill the gap. Find your niche in the market. Maren explains that “often what is behind the hip brands is not the actual products but instead it is the people who consist of the brand and the companies’ image.” Be open with your customers, do not try to be perfect, be honest, and admit your flaws, this will help create to a loyal customer base.
- Build relationships with talkers. What better way to spread the word about your brand than to build relationships with people who love to talk, blog, and tweet? Build relationships with talkers, real relationships not “one-night stand” relationships. Talkers already love to network, they are good at it, so build relationships with them, and they will spread the good word. On the same note, they know how to network so they can sniff out when someone is just using them, so do not just try to use them for their connections.
- Do not feed the dinosaurs. If you try and try to reach your audience through a platform and your do not have any success…you have already tried and tried, please do not try again. Try your luck with another channel, go where your customers already are. They probably are not waiting to see your newest commercial; rather they are either fast forwarding through the commercials or checking Facebook while they wait for their show to come back on. Cut the television budget and switch your efforts to social media and online marketing.
- Raising a freaky cow. “To survive and thrive in a post traditional marketing world you must have a strong brand built upon a well crafted story that resonates and connects with your target market.” This statement is definitely true; it is all about buzz marketing. Do not be generic, be unique.