Aaaalright you lovely person you, today we're gonna explore more on one of my favorite topics ev-ah: BRANDING.
I already shared with you 10 Steps to Create a Kick-Ass Brand, but what are some things that you can do to really kick it up a notch? You know, to make your brand stand out above the rest? Well, let's take a look shall we?! Here's 18 things you can do to make your brand stand out!
1. Create a brand statement.
If some one asks what you do and you can't give them a clear, SHORT answer in 2-3 sentences then it's time to re-think your brand statement! If you're feeling stumped on how to come up with your brand statement, try answering these 4 questions: Who do you serve? What do you provide? Why do you care? How do you do all that differently? Now combine those answers into 2-3 sentences.
2. Use your personal quirks to your advantage.
What is it about you that makes you different? What are your quirks? Find ways to incorporate them into your brand! For example, I've incorporated my childlike, whimsical attitude on life directly into my wedding photography business Allison Wonderland Photographie and I've infused my silly sense of humor into my writing style here on this blog!
3. Pay attention to detail.
Paying attention to all the little details that often get overlooked is a GREAT way to make your brand stand out. Things like the way you dress, your website, your social media presence, how you respond to e-mails etc should ALL reflect your unique brand!
4. Tell your story.
Your story is what makes you unique because NO ONE has the exact same story! Share your story and how it has inspired you to do what you are doing. I've shared my story right here and I've explained how it's lead me to where I am!
5. Make sure your brand is cohesive.
I blathered about the importance of this one when I gave you 10 Steps to Create a Kick-Ass brand! You have GOT to use the same colors, logos, fonts, etc on EVERYTHING. If you're not sure whether or not your brand is cohesive and strong, it might be time to do a good 'ol brand audit! I wrote all about how to do that right here in this post.
6. Create an archive page on your blog or website.
Some times it's kinda easy to forget that many times, some one will be visiting your blog or website for the FIRST time. All of those millions of posts that you've already written? Gone like the wind baby! Well ... not TECHNICALLY gone, but new readers will have to do a crap ton of scrolling to see all of your older posts and let's face it ... they're probably NOT going to do that. Make it easy for new readers to see ALL of your content easily by creating archives! You could even create a "Start Here" page for first time visitors where you suggest different links to your favorite posts!
For example, all of my pages are archived. When some one clicks on the category "Biz Tips & Tricks" from the menu, you will be shown all my posts in one easy glance!
Also if you read my little "about me" page, you'll notice that I share not only WHAT my blog is about, but I share suggested links as well!
7. Create a challenge.
Creating a challenge for your clients and followers to participate in is a great way to spread the word and connect with your audience! For example, I recently did a color inspired challenge on Instagram where I "challenged" my followers to take one photo each week inspired by a particular color and to use the hashtag #ihavethisthingwithcolor to share it! And then of course, to nominate 5 new friends each week to participate. It was super fun and I discovered lots of new online friends along the way!
8. Create a client experience workflow.
Having a kick-ass brand requires you to give each and every client a kick-ass experience! Make sure you stay consistent by not skipping any steps by taking the time to create a client workflow sheet. From that very first e-mail to that very last thank-you note, record each and every step you will go through with each client. In fact don't do this workflow thing with JUST clients; create a workflow for each major business aspect that you have! This includes your blog post process, photo editing process, etc.
9. Audit your products and services.
The more focused you can be, the better. You might have TONS of different passions and interests and be tempted to dabble in all of them, but the result will most likely be something that is watered down and blah. Focus on the products and/or services you are MOST passionate about and work on being really strong in those areas of expertise. (I've always thought that the word "expertise" is kind of hilarious! Not really sure why ... but I almost ALWAYS wanna say it with a British accent!) And to top it off, I wrote an entire post on how to audit your brand and kick butt right here! I've also got a FREE online mini course complete with worksheets, slides and video!
10. Add a personalized touch.
How can you add personal touches to your brand? From hand written notes and thank-yous to interacting with people on social media, a good personal touch goes a long way! For example, you could contact past clients just to say "hello!"
11. Be Consistent.
Strong brands are always consistent! (But you already knew that, right?) But this doesn't just apply to using the same colors, fonts, graphics etc. across all platforms ... it also applies to things such as your voice! You don't want to have a goofy and light-hearted tone in one place and then a stern and serious tone another. This will make you look as though you have two personalities! Which ... ya know ... if you have two or more personalities that's all fine and dandy but decide which personality you will be using to represent your brand. :P (Psssst, you should definitely check out the Strong Brand Mini Course, it's free!)
12. Figure out what others are doing in your field and then do it differently.
Put your personal twist on everything, baby.
13. Do Webinars.
You know whose blogging these days? Everybody. You know whose doing webinars these days? NOT everybody. Webinars are absolutely a-mazing for making your brand stand out because a.) not everyone's doing them, and b.) people get to experience your unique personality first-hand by seeing your face and hearing your voice! They are the bomb diggity for truly standing out and connecting with your audience.
And guess what? :::starts jumping up and down excitedly::: I've got a free webinar crash course for creatives to get you started! It's 9 juicy e-mails with video, checklists, cheat sheets, tons of info and more. Just click below to kick webinar butt!
14. Check your online presence.
Is it consistent? Are you using the same color, fonts and graphics across everything? Is your brand statement on everything? Are you posting content that is relevant and fun for your followers and clients? (Psssst, perhaps it's time to do a good 'ol brand audit! Have I said that enough yet?)
15. Make social media your b*tch.
Social media gets OVERWHELMING. (Speaking of which, I wrote this post on 10 ways to avoid social media burnout!) So start by choosing WHAT social media channels you'd like to conquer (and no, you don't have to do them all!) Even just focusing on 1 or 2 platforms and really kicking butt on them is better than spreading yourself thin across multiple ones. Ideally you will choose the platform(s) that you decide to used based on where your ideal reader hangs out the most. And once you choose your platform(s), take some time to really master each one! I wrote an entire post on growing your Instagram right here! (Instagram and Pinterest are the two platforms that I have decided to focus my efforts on ... you'll notice that if you go to my Twitter it's just plain sad, hahaha.)
16. Host a Giveaway.
People love free stuff, so why not be extra cool and host a giveaway? It could be giving away something small that you create yourself, or partnering with a brand that has products relevant to your audience!
17. Gather awesome reviews and testimonials!
This goes without saying, but word-of-mouth is REALLY powerful. Make sure you are reaching out to past clients for rave reviews that you can share with the world! Post them on your website, your blog, wherever they are relevant.
18. Under promise and over deliver.
It is ALWAYS better to under promise and over deliver than the other way around! For example, if I plan to have a client's photo session images ready and delivered in TWO weeks, then I will tell them FOUR weeks. This way they are SUPER excited when the images are ready in half the time I promised. And, if something comes up and it takes me an extra week to deliver the images, then I'm STILL delivering them sooner than expected!
And if you want even more delightful branding goodness, I just launched my FREE Strong Brand Mini Course, so if you want a brand that's strong, consistent and totally awesome it's the perfect place to start!
I hope you find some of these tips useful! Are there any particular things that you've tried that have really made a difference in your brand? Do you have any questions related to branding? Please leave any questions/stories/advice/what you had for lunch in the comments below!
(Okay you don't have to share what you had for lunch, but please feel free.)