Julie M. Gile
How to build a brand, not just a business
Building a brand is a living, breathing process created over time. Even if you have an established business, this doesn't necessarily mean you have a brand. Here is my roadmap to building a successful brand:
1. Tell your story
Your story and your personality is the single biggest factor to build a connection with your audience.
2. What makes you different?
Knowing what makes your product or service unique will help you step aside from any "competition" and gain visibility. If you feel like you are just throwing content out without getting anything in return, this could be why. I set myself apart by using my project management experience and storytelling passion to create strategic photographs to connect your story. What sets you apart?
3. Clarify what you do
Create a brand message that's clear, and look at all your communication to make sure everything is cohesive. An effective brand message communicates what you do in a quick, simple statement. For example, my brand message is:
I create impactful photographic marketing to make your brand story connect and grow your audience.
The first part of my statement explains who, then how. Finally, I include information about the results I obtain for my clients--connect and grow your audience. Make sure once you have a clear brand message you weave this into your website, social media channels, and all across the board.
4. Define who you are talking to
This is really important to understand. It takes a lot of energy to throw a bunch of content at the wall and see what happens to stick. However, if you have a plan and an audience you serve, all your efforts will be more fruitful. When I plan brand photo shoots with my clients we make sure to address WHO these pictures will be connecting with. We understand subjects of interest and frustration, and tailor messages to suit. For example, my ideal audience is:
I speak to female creative business owners with a deeply personal connection to their business, ready to turn up their visibility and convert more conscious clients.
Understanding these key parts of your brand will create the most value of your time and energy, and breathe life into your brand, tune out the noise and turn up the visibility for your brand.
Do you find it hard to get specific with your brand?
I did too, for a long time. Think of it like this--family restaurants have lots of types of good food. However, when you are ready to get specific, the best tacos and margaritas around are at Casa Mexico. The best steak is at Timber Lodge, not Perkins. The best Pad Thai is at Nuk's Thai not Baker's Square.
What parts of building a brand do you struggle with the most?