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Some small business owners think that branding is a luxury for the big boys, but this is a serious misconception. Whether you are a therapist, a photographer or a shop, branding REALLY matters and, it matters in every area of your business, but especially in your online presence.

The long and short of it is this: if you want people to fall in love with your business online, you’d better breathe some life into your branding.

What is a brand?

 

Your branding is, in effect, your business identity and, developed properly, it can give you a major edge over your competitors. Think of it as the impression you make; take it further and imagine it as a person.

Do you want it to be the woman in the middle of the room wearing a bright dress and a wide smile, laughing heartily and warmly engaging others in conversation? Maybe – if you’re a wedding florist, maybe not if you’re an undertaker.

Do you want to be the serious one in a suit in the corner, ruminating over weighty issues and giving advice with solemn confidence? Maybe – if you’re a tax lawyer, maybe not if you’re a children’s entertainer. You get the drift. And you can see how getting it wrong can totally misrepresent your brand…with disastrous consequences.

 

The happy truth of the matter is that YOU get to choose your brand’s character, from how she looks to how she behaves to how she is perceived, and getting that character right can be crucial to the success of your small business.

Defining your brand 

This is a bit like soul-searching for your business. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What products or services do you offer, and what are their features and benefits?
  • What makes you different?
  • What are the needs – emotive and practical – of your customers?
  • What qualities do you want people to associate with your company?

Find your voice

Use these characteristics across the board: in your logo, your website, in all your social media marketing. Colours and styles should be consistent; content should be representative of who you are. Sharing images and writing posts that reflect the core values of your brand will help develop you online “voice”. Is your brand’s character friendly? Be conversational. Is it edgy? Be daring. Is it very high-brow? Be more formal…and so on.

Be consistent

This is the most important key to establishing a brand that works. It might help to write a meaningful, memorable statement that captures what your brand is about. Keep it forefront in your mind whenever you are producing content social media platforms; as a reminder of who you are and how you wish to be perceived. Consistency builds loyalty and trust and strengthens your brand.

Be honest

Don’t dress up your brand in someone else’s clothes, customers will soon see through a company that’s trying to be something it’s not. As a small business, one of your core strengths is your ability to develop personal relationships and more meaningful interactions; build this into your branding and focus on your authenticity.

So, make sure that your online branding is a true representation of who you are, what you believe in and what you do. Make sure that you push this out across all your social media channels, in how your profiles and content looks, in what you’re saying and in how you respond to comments and engage with others.

 

Viewing your online marketing activities as a chance to clearly show who your company is, and staying true to the values that drive your business will elevate your website and social media branding, add value to your company and really set you apart from the competition!

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