Ever wonder what the pros have to say about building a powerful and profitable online brand?
Well, I did too.
So, I reached out to my very favourite business owners/bloggers to ask them for a quick and unconventional idea on what it takes to build a bold brand. And they delivered – big time.
Read their ideas and implement at least one of them. You’ve got 15 world-class, leading-edge entrepreneurs giving you their branding insight. Don’t just be inspired – take action.
Spend time now developing a memorable tagline and visual brand, then invest time toward making them stick. Go for simple: a seven or eight word tagline, plus two fonts and two colors. Then use these elements very consistently over time. Consistent application over time is the big secret to a memorable brand.
Pamela Wilson, Big Brand System
Here’s how you start a brand. Acquire your first ten customers, followers, readers, or fans wherever you can find them. It doesn’t matter if the initial list includes your college roommate, your grandpa, or the homeless person on the corner. The point is, these people have somehow chosen to give you your attention, so now you must earn their trust and justify their commitment to you.
Treat these people like the most important people in the world. When you go to sleep at night, think about them. When you wake up, think about them. Whatever you can do to improve their lives, that’s how you should spend your time and energy.
Pretty soon you’ll have a hundred of these people, then a thousand, and so on. As much as possible, maintain the same perspective that you began with the ten. If you follow this path consistently, always seeking to improve upon what you’ve done before, you won’t have any branding problems.
Chris Guillebeau, The Art of Non-Conformity
As a small business owner building your brand you have to stop looking at your competitors as a threat and start looking at them as collaborators. Can you pool your resources together and co-develop a new product? Can you run a co-branded marketing campaign? Collaborating is a win-win because all parties save money, reach a wider audience, and hopefully boost profits.
Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World
“Competency” is mediocrity, and mediocrity is for suckers. Would you rather be ‘well-rounded’ or on your own leading edge?
Your most valuable currency is what comes naturally to you. Cash in.
Danielle LaPorte, White Hot Truth
To build a powerful brand, go deeper than just describing features. Tell you customers why you’re in business, how you’re different, and what they can expect from working with you. Create an emotional connection and your customers will be much more loyal.
Stand out, or don’t bother. If you’re unwilling to take a stand, and provoke discussion, then don’t bother blogging. Really.
Sally Hogshead, Sally Hogshead
Be brave and bold. No one ever stood out from playing safe, saying what everyone else thinks and standing for nothing. You build a brand based on your values and principles not matter how crazy or out there. People are drawn to interesting, complex, human and creative brands. If you are your brand this is even more important to recognize. Be yourself – everyone else is already taken. And then be your best self and stand out from the crowd in all you do.
Natalie Sisson, The Suitcase Entrepreneur
If you want to take your BUSINESS to the top you gotta DO YOU!
Because what do people REALLY connect with? What do people REALLY remember? It’s not how clever your slogan was, or how beautiful your website. There’s a saying “people may forget what you said, but they will never ever forget how you made them feel”. Yeah it’s cheesy but its also dead-on true, no matter what you do. If you want to be truly memorable and (as Seth Godin puts it) remarkable you absolutely have to put YOU in your business.
Laura Roeder, LKR
Don’t write your webcopy for your current clients. Or even your ideal clients. Write your webcopy for your vivid, technicolor lucid DREAM clients. The ones that couldn’t possibly exist, because they’re so damn perfect for you. Guess what. They do. Oh boy, are they gonna be stoked when they find out you do, too…
Alexandra Franzen, Unicorns for Socialism
Know what you believe. Know your values. Know what you’re flexible on and what you will not compromise. Wishy washy doesn’t cut in when you’re building your brand. Don’t deny your own evolution but make strong statements about what is true for you, here and now.
My best advice is to be “brand-venturous!” and bump up your bold by:
1. “Vote yourself in” as the go to person in your area of expertise;
2. Specialize to stand out in a crowd and command higher fees!;
3. Develop a brand lexicon a.k.a. vocabulary to go deeper with your brand – and own it!
4. Stand for something – create a manifesto that passionately declares what you believe and why!
Gina Bell, Gina Bell Inc
Delight me. Seriously…just ask yourself “what would delight Sarah?” and then do it. I guarantee if you choose a real person to stand-in as your favorite customer, and then ask “what would delight them?”…and then do it…and keep doing it…you’ll be leagues ahead of the rest of us.
Sarah J. Bray, SarahJBray.com
Start with the reason why you do what you do, and highlight this purpose in your brand. As women we tend to think we need to be buttoned down and business-like to run a company. That’s not the case anymore, and the more of your true personality you can put into your brand the more easily people will be able to connect with you as a human being. Allow your quirks and passion to shine through your design, writing, and speaking. Keep in mind that nothing stays the same and as you evolve, so will your brand and business.
Nathalie Lussier, Nathalie Lussier
Doesn’t matter what’s your brand and who’s your audience…you have to answer the ultimate question in the back of everyone’s mind: (a) are you just trying to sell me more crap? or (b) do you give a crap, and want to change the world, specifically my world for the better. Are you selling crap or do you give a crap? You can determine the future based on how you answer this question.
Michael Margolis, Get Storied
Don’t over think the process. Just think about brands that make you feel good. Pay attention to the words friends & family use to describe you or your product/service. Pick the ONE word you’d want referrals to use when they sing your praises. AND do not spend one minute worrying about turning people off or getting it right. Then hire a designer who gets you, who specializes in working with people in your industry and who can translate all of that into bitch’n words and visuals that create the emotional connection you want to with your audience. It all came together for me when I stopped trying so hard. When it’s really you, it’s really easy.
Melani Ward, Don’t You Know