Guest blog from Vicki Nicolson
When you first started out in business I bet you thought, right, I’ll press my publish button on my Facebook page, launch my site, set up all my different social media accounts and then BOOM I’ll get loads of clients. And as soon as you did all this you got a few likes from friends and well wishes but not actual paying customers, am I right?
So here’s the thing when it comes to your lovely business, you really are the only one who cares about it more than anyone else. You are your biggest fan because you believe that you can do great things, change people’s lives and make a real difference. So why aren’t you telling anyone? Why are you sitting looking at competitor websites, pages and posts? Whilst in the back of your mind there is a little voice telling you, OH MY GOD THIS IS NEVER GONNA WORK, YOU ARE CRAP and YOU CAN NOT DO THIS.
This is called being normal! Brands build their reputation and recognition over time. There is no such thing as an overnight success. Speak to anyone in business and they will tell you the same thing. Crickey, Apple were literally on the verge of going bankrupt until Steve Jobs returned to Apple. They had to work mighty hard to get to where there are now.
So how can you too become a brand magnet and stand out from the crowd? Here are my 3 simple steps to help to magnetise your brand and supercharge your business.
Step #1 – BE YOU
Your brand is all about personality. You know already what makes you different but sometimes we just don’t have the guts to show our true colours and confidence holds us back. Find something you love doing, be YOU and be consistent and I guarantee you will feel more at ease with your brand and your biz.
So just be YOU. That is the one piece of advice I give on a daily basis. Stick your name in your biz name. This is key advice, especially for the coaching market. Right now I see a lot of coaches entering the market, using your own name makes you unique and will make you stand out in an overcrowded marketplace. Sticking you name right in there in your business also makes you look passionate about your business too. You love it so god damn much you put your name to it. This also works, especially if it is just you in the business.
Write your copy for your site the way you want to. Post on your FB page when you want and not on the basis of your insights – I get way more engagement when I don’t even take notice of my insights stats. And tell your brand story – tell people how you came up with your business idea, what your passion is and how you help them. People are intrigued by how you can help them. The whole brand building process is about building an emotional connection with you so that ultimately they buy from you.
Step #2 – Use eye-catching images and don’t blend in
First impressions matter – it takes milliseconds for your potential customers to form an opinion about your website, logo and visual branding, font, colours, spacing, symmetry etc so your brand image is everything.
Using eye-catching brand images will enhance your brand’s image ten-fold. I know the hard part can be finding just the ‘right’ image for your meme, Facebook cover or brochure but the biggest secret behind captivating your audience is to follow some of my simple basic steps to help you pull some images together fast.
- Try to choose images based on the relevance of what you are posting and writing about.
- Don’t blend in. So for instance, if you sell ethical products then it would be obvious to use all things green and eco related right? WRONG! Go down a different path, choose a different colour, like pink with a use of teal and yellow instead, and images of laughing women seem to get the most engagement on my own Facebook page. Try it and see.
- Use quirky images that pop and don’t just copy and paste other people’s quotes when you are posting memes, find your own voice and write your own quotes based on your own opinions.
- Use well-composed images that ooze greatness and that are well thought out.
Overall think about the emotion you are trying to communicate. How do you want you tribe to feel? You want to build an emotional connection with your brand, how will you communicate that?
Step #3 – Professionally brand yourself
We’re all drawn to visual gorgeousness. It attracts interest and it creates desire for something. If you want to make more money in your business right now then you need to create an exciting and irresistible brand identity for your biz. A well-developed brand identity is key for clients and customers in their decision making process. According to Google research, users spend most time focusing on your logo before moving on within a website – it’s 6.48 seconds – yup that’s more time than anywhere else on your site! Yikes! You literally have seconds to win them over. 94% of first impressions are design related. Google research, overall, said this, “invest in design – it’s what matters the most for pulling users in.”
The benefits of having a good logo are tenfold:
- It makes you look established, bigger, committed and reputable
- Conveys you are professional
- It explains your company name
- You will stand out from others in a similar field or explains an unusual line of business
It’s a no brainer to get yourself a good logo and consistent branding across all your marketing materials and that includes things like photoshoots, your office space and even down to what specific piece of clothing you wear. I am known for my love of all things pink – I wear a lot of pink. So my brand is pink. Nails are painted pink… Professional branding identity will boost your business and your confidence.
Once you nail these simple steps you will start to ask yourself, how can I do more with my brand?
Your brand will evolve over time but you need to be committed, consistent, be your biggest fan and be hands on in your brand. It needs daily maintenance, it needs love and your customers need to be engaged. So be prepared to look after your brand. Post every day, mingle in groups, get your name out there, be the expert, stand out from the crowd and be in it for the long haul and I guarantee it will supercharge your sales.
Vicki is a creative branding stylist, designing magnetic branding for women in business throughout the world.
Vicki has two decades of graphics, marketing and communications expertise. She enjoyed a lucrative career working as an in-house designer for international corporations and when her son turned four she decided it was time to take the leap and follow her dream of running her own business.
Using her power of creativity Vicki helps women stand out from the crowd by branding businesses in such a way to target desired clients and to help convert customers into paying ones.
For more information: www.brandingtherapy.co.uk