We have officially made it to my 2016 Workin’ Wednesday series! For those who are new here: Last year, I started this Workin’ Wednesday series, where I discussed how to get a job, how to nail the interviews, how to maximize your resume and more. This November, I’ll be sharing my knowledge about the basics of building a brand. There will be four parts, each of which will be posted every Wednesday evening for the rest of this month. As you can see, you have reached Part 1 of this series. So let’s jump right into it!
Let’s start by critically thinking about what all you want your brand to be. Ask yourself what it is that you’re passionate about. What things make you feel excited, or happy or creative? How do you express yourself best? These are all factors to consider before you even begin to plan around your brand. What are you best known for? What are you an expert on? Think through these questions and write your answers down. Once you come up with a topic/category that interests you the most, then we can get the ball rolling.
You can’t have a brand just for the sake of having a brand. Start by determining why you want your own brand in the first place. Is it to persuade? To sell? To entertain? What do you want people to get out of this? One of the key principles of marketing is to find a solution for a problem your audience doesn’t know they have yet. Does your audience have a need that has to be solved? If so, is there a way you can efficiently and effectively solve that demand?
Entrepreneurship and research
Let’s just call it what it is: your brand is your business. So understand that when you decide to build your own brand, you are officially an entrepreneur…a businessperson. You have to wear all the hats at once: handling your own recruiting, your own finances, your own public relations, your own marketing strategy and much more. No one said this was going to be easy, but as long as you’re passionate about what you’re trying to accomplish, then the rest you can learn on the way.
Research is very important when it comes to launching a brand. According to Businessknowhow.com, one of the top reasons businesses fail is due to lack of planning. So below is a quick list I made for you to get started.
- How many people are talking about your topic(s)? (Is your audience large enough?)
- What makes you an expert on this?
- How many other people have done something like this before?
- Were they successful?
- Is your topic sustainable? (Do you have enough content ideas?)
- Are there ways to monetize your brand if you desired to in the near future?
- Are there collaboration or sponsorship opportunities for you?
- Is there a possibility of expanding your brand?
- Are there any potential threats or competition you have to look out for?
- What can you add to your brand that others don’t offer?
The “it” factor
Part of having a successful brand is staying true to yourself and being authentic. Find your voice and stick to it. Make sure your brand says something about you. How do you want people to feel when they come across your content? Take the time now to understand what you want your brand to sound and feel like, so there won’t be any confusion later.
Another part of being successful is consistency. Once you start, you have to be ready to commit to a long and difficult process. If you’re not ready to get your feet wet just yet, then try taking it a step at a time to make sure this is something you really want.
Piggybacking on list item No. 10 above, think about what you can do to make sure your brand stands out from the others. People love things that are new and different. So what can you bring to the table that no one else has?
Start thinking about what you want your brand to look like, as well. What colors best represent the product or service you’re promoting? Is there a specific theme that you would like to use? Do you have any logo ideas in mind? Allow yourself to brainstorm and jot down some of your visions. At the same time, don’t get worried if you can’t think of anything absolute right now. Things like this will come as you spend more time with and develop your brand. (But starting early never hurts.)
My goal for Part 1 of my series was to get you thinking about what it takes to make the brand yours. I added a lot of rhetorical questions because this information is meant for my readers. And every reader is different. I’m hoping that I got your wheels turning because the next few posts are going to be intense…with lots of data, tips and helpful resources for you to remember. So stay tuned! 🙂