The answer to this question is a simple ‘Yes’. Branding matters to every business but perhaps more so to a small business, where it really helps to differentiate you from the competition. You need to be memorable, if people can’t remember your name how are they going to find you? Here are some tips to help you grow your branding and stay front of mind.
- Develop your brand mantra which is the heart and soul of your business. Your mantra is a quick and simple memorable statement that tells everyone immediately who you are and what you have to offer.
- In addition to your brand mantra choose your brand messages – most companies have three key messages but it is perfectly ok to have one if you feel it does everything you need. Your messages should tell your audience what sets you apart from the competition, the added value you bring to the table and why they should choose you.
- Tone of voice is about creating a voice to accompany your branding messages and mantra. Tonality is not just about what you say but how you say it. Do you want to be seen as formal and corporate or informal but professional, or professional but fun? Your tone of voice is a reflection of your personality so be sure that the persona you are putting out is consistent throughout all your marketing material and is in line with your business goals.
- Your logo and design scheme is a graphical representation of your business. It needs to consistently appear on all your marketing materials and harmonise with your messaging.
When starting out it’s important to invest in a design expert who can encapsulate the essence of your brand in a graphical way. Many solo operators go down the route of designing the scheme themselves, unless you have undertaken graphical training it will look like a ‘home job’ – investing in this element of your business is worthwhile.
- Be consistent – every branding expert will tell you that you need to be focused about how you appear, how you engage with your clients and how you deliver your services. By being consistent you tell your clients that you are reliable and dependable and this helps build a trustworthy brand because people know what to expect.
- Remember to think, act and plan like a business leader. The more you plan the more prepared you will be. The saying ‘fail to plan and you’re planning to fail’ has a lot of merit. The great thing about planning is if you are organised and on top of what you are doing then when an issue arises you can deal with it swiftly.
- Thank you. Saying thank you to your clients, employees, freelancers and yourself is important. If you’ve done a great job give yourself a pat on the back. If you had an opportunity to present to a potential new client thank them for their time and tell them how excited you are to have the opportunity to present. There is nothing wrong in telling clients this providing it’s done in a genuine way – very few people do this and you will be remembered for it.
If you are just starting out or been operating for a number of years your brand is an important part of your business success. It’s never too late to start and as the leader of your business it’s your job to pull it all together and drive it forward.