Your Brand is Your Business
Some businesses wonder if they can afford a web presence beyond their Services and Contact Details. However with more time spent online than ever before, it’s an opportunity that cannot be missed. This is a series on the basics of getting started, being found, creating content and building a brand.
Your Brand is Your Business
Whatever your business or organisation - even if you're self-employed or freelance - you have a brand. Very simply, it's what your customers or clients think of you, your products or services. It's your reputation.
A wise person once said, "A good name is more desirable than great riches". Ideally, when your clients or potential customers are asking who'll meet their need - providing a service or fixing a problem - you want it to be you they're thinking of. You want them to be thinking the right thing about you at the right time in the right place. Because you can't be successful for long, without a great reputation behind it.
Of course if you're not sure whether your customers even know where to find you and you want to do something about that, get in touch. Or start over with the first post in this series and then get in touch.
Your Brand is Your Corporate Personality
Defining your brand is not just a luxury for global corporations. It's crucial to charities and businesses large or small, because ultimately it's about who you are and what you’re for. Clarity about who you are and what your business does keeps you on track. It prevents you from getting distracted by the competition. It enables you to get better at whatever it is that that you are committed to being the best at - whether that's window-cleaning or project management. It also tells your clients who you are and who you aren’t.
Broadly speaking a firm of solicitors will want their promotional materials to sound formal, professional, and trustworthy, whereas a sports drink company might prefer to sound just as hard-working but edgy, fun, and full of possibility. Your brand tells your clients about the way you do business as much as anything else: are you committed to excellence at all costs or are you offering your clients something intentionally cheap and cheerful?
Your Brand is Your Last Review
If your brand is your business, it's reinforced or undermined by your staff, your products or your services. A website helps you re-set the story. Just as social media gives you the opportunity to keep that story on track.
Social media is an ideal platform for engaging with customers. It gives you the potential to keep your ideals first and foremost, responding quickly to enquiries, requests, or even complaints. Especially that last review. Some companies get it right. Some occasionally have got it wrong.
Companies dedicate entire departments to maintaining their brand - through advertising, marketing, and PR - because it matters how they are perceived, whether they want to be seen as affordable and approachable or exclusive and (almost) unattainable. Both have their place in the market though. It’s just a matter of communication, depending on who you are trying to reach. You might not have the budget or the responsibility of a global organisation. But whatever the size of your business, reinforcing and maintaining your brand is vital too.
Even on a small scale, you can make a big impact:
- By creating regular content you consistently communicate what matters to you and why;
- By providing solutions to clients you’re ensuring that your business is kept at the forefront of their mind for all the right reasons; and,
- By engaging with customers through social media you're making your business available and accessible whenever their needs arise.
Doing whatever it is that you do best is the quickest way to establishing and maintaining your business, and therefore your reputation, and your brand. However in a competitive online marketplace, what are you known for? And how can I help you with that?