One of the first things you should do as a new business is determine what your brand is and build its reputation.
Having a clear vision of who you are and what you stand for will give your consumers confidence in you. It goes much further than simply determining what your logo will be – you need to be aware of every experience a customer will have with you from their initial contact to the end of the transaction.
By making your brand recognizable and ensuring your clients have a consistent experience, you’re going to set yourself apart from the competition.
How to Start Building Your Brand as a New Business Today
By having a strategy for growing your brand, you are thinking long-term which is the hallmark of any good business.
If you’re looking to grow your brand and become recognizable, here are some things to help you:
- Develop personality: A lot of businesses are good. Being good won’t necessarily help you spread the word to draw in customers – although it’s certainly a great start. By showing your customers some personality, you’ll do much better. Think about companies like GEICO. Their catchy advertising has helped them become a household name.
- Harness the power of the internet: It has never been easier to spread the word about your business, thanks to the internet. It’s available to you 24 hours a day, every day, so you can work on your branding and establishing recognition whenever you feel motivated.
- Build strong customer relations: Customers want a go-to business they can visit whenever they want something. It saves them the time and effort of looking for another business they can use. They want to like you, so cash in on that by being worthy of their trust and loyalty. Treat them kindly and fairly, and you’ll do well.
Let’s look at a few specific ways as to how you can build your brand.
Social Media Advertising
Social media has made careers and has destroyed them too. One viral post can bring your business plenty of attention. But you have to be careful – that attention can be good, or it can be bad.
Facebook has long been one of the top social media sites and offers exposure to businesses. Make sure you develop a Facebook page for your business. If you set it up, you need to take time each day to nurture it and maintain it. Quickly responding to a customer shows you care and that you’re competent – those are both qualities customers are looking for in businesses.
But don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Instagram is one of the most powerful social media tools out there right now. Twitter can also be great for your business.
You can use these social media platforms to showcase new products, show how they can improve people’s lives, and put out clever or entertaining posts that make people laugh or feel excited. Connections can convert to sales, and so can high-quality pictures of your new products. Descriptions are great, but people are most drawn to visual images, so make sure you include plenty of images on your social media sites.
Paid Online Advertising
You take out paid social media posts in addition to free advertising. They’ll both spread your brand and draw new clients who haven’t heard of you before. If just a few of those people decide to do business with you after seeing ads, you have a chance to acquire a new customer. There are other ways to run paid online marketing campaigns.
If there is a business that complements yours, you can cash in on that with paid online advertising as well. Let’s say there is a siding and windows business that does well, and you have an interior decorating business. You could approach them about placing paid ads for your business on their website.
You won’t be competing with each other since you offer different services, but those services complement each other, which gives customers who are looking at a complete redo of their house a one-stop shop for their needs. Customers love convenience.
But the key is to align yourself with a reputable business that won’t drag down the reputation you’re trying to build. If all goes well, both businesses should stand to profit off of the relationship.
You can also make use of this online brand reputation management tools to keep your reputation in check.
It’s not enough anymore to slap an ad featuring your logo in your town’s newspaper, and a basic website these days isn’t enough to keep up with what customers are looking for either.
That’s where content marketing comes in. By putting articles and other content on your website, you’re giving customers what they are looking for – practical information they can use. You become a resource to them, rather than just another business.
If you have a dental office, for example, you might opt to create blog posts on your website that explain the difference between crowns and veneers, or how having a beautiful smile can boost your confidence.
Through your content, you can show them why they need your services.
Marketing Is Expensive: How to Pay For It
Some attempts at marketing will be expensive, while others, like starting an Instagram account, will be free. But, even if your budget is tight, don’t shy away from business-building advertising.
Use all the free tools you can online, such as Facebook and writing copy for your website. If you don’t have talent when it comes to the written word, you can and should hire someone else to write the content. No content at all is better than badly written content that has a lot of grammatical errors. This free tool can help you fix any grammatical errors. You want to inspire confidence with your content – not have people marvel at all the mistakes you’ve made.
Whether you’re looking to start a marketing initiative or want to build a better website for your business, you’re going to need some capital to do so.
If you’re short on funds, but recognize the importance of positioning your business for future growth, you have a few options when it comes to funding.
- Small business loans: These may be difficult to get; less profitable and creditworthy businesses may not be as qualified for a business loan. Small business loans offer an upfront lump sum which can be used to pay for marketing, but they need to be paid back with interest.
- Business credit cards: It may be easier to get a business credit card which offers a revolving line of credit for various business expenses. Business credit cards may come with high interest rates, so make sure you have a strategy for paying off whatever you charge.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Building your brand and expanding your business isn’t easy – and it usually isn’t cheap. But if you’re looking for long-term growth, don’t ignore the importance of marketing and developing your brand. Much of the legwork can be done online via social media platforms, partner websites, and content marketing.
If you have a solid plan and are ready to put in the hard work, this will be money well spent. Figure out which funding option is the best for you, and get ready to take a calculated risk.