“And exactly how do I do that?”
Steve is frustrated.
For the last few days he’s been researching how to create a brand for his consulting business. He’s spent hours reading blogs, articles, eBooks, and white papers trying to learn what he can about how to build his own unique brand. He’s even posted questions in forums and on LinkedIn asking for help.
There’s just one problem.
All the information, tips, tricks, “secrets,” and experts have him feeling overwhelmed. And to make matters worse, everything he reads seems to have a different approach or opinion as to how he should build his brand.
Today was the last straw.
Steve just finished reading another “branding 101” blog post that promised to give him step-by-step guidance on how to build a brand for his business all by himself.
Instead it left him with more questions than answers.
Steve is a consultant. Not a designer. Not a marketing savant. Not a salesman. He’s frustrated because he doesn’t know how to apply what he’s read in a way that makes sense for his business.
And he’s ready to throw in the towel and forget the whole “branding thing.”
Steve is a fictional character I made up to illustrate a story I hear over and over from business owners who know they need a unique brand, have read tons of stuff about building one, but don’t know where to start.
There are a lot of expert opinions, secret tips, and advanced tricks for building a compelling brand on the Internet today.
But how do you apply it to your business? Where do you begin?
It’s actually a lot easier than you think.
Forget everything you know, and do this one thing.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and frustrated like Steve is in the story above, I want you to imagine for a moment you never read anything about branding, never heard any advice on how to build your brand, and never watched any training videos on all the research you need to do.
In other words, I want you to forget everything you know and go back to basics.
In fact, let’s start with the simplest form of branding there is: consistency.
For the next 24 hours, the only thing I want you to think about is how you can make everything more consistent in your business.
Does your brochure use one type style and your eBook a different type style? Fix it. Make them both the same.
When someone asks “what do you do?,” do you rattle off whatever you think of at that moment, or have you prepared a concise and engaging statement that you use every time you’re asked that question?
When a customer calls and asks for a price on your services, do you just rattle off a number, or do you have a specific script you walk through with them to get the information you need to give a more accurate quote and help them understand the value you offer?
These are just a few areas you can examine in your own business, there are many more.
Consistency is the core of branding.
If you break it down, consistency is the very heart of branding. It’s the central core that everything else depends on.
Without consistency, there is no brand.
So if you want an easy way to start building your own brand, just start being more consistent in these three areas of your business:
- How your business looks (colors, styles, fonts, presentation, etc).
- The experience you provide your customer (customer service, interactions, etc).
- The message you send with your marketing.
Do that, and you’ll be taking the first baby steps of building your own brand.
The bottom line.
There’s a lot more that goes into building a unique, engaging brand – and I’ll be covering more of these in the future. But for now, forget everything else and just focus on ways you can make your business look more consistent, ways to provide a more consistent experience to your customers, and ways to make sure you’re sending the same message with each piece of marketing you send out.
Do that, and you’ll start building yourself a brand that’s all your own.