Everyone is Battling for audience attention, so now it’s more important than ever to have a strategy behind building and elevating your Brand.
“With hundreds of millions of posts every day, information overload and mistrust inundate our feeds, which leads people to often become semi-skeptical.”
How will you fight through the smoke and get noticed? How will you stand out and win the battle?
Your brand proves who you are, it gives you identity, and sets you apart from the millions of professionals and organizations that are all battling to gain attention. Building a brand rarely ever comes easy, it takes time, effort, strategic planning and a lot of blood, sweat and tears to say the least.
I’m sure at this point you’re wondering why you’re not gaining the reach, the engagement and the interactions that you expect right? You’ve probably said to yourself – this is a waste of time, effort, and money…………. which then may have led you to even question who you are and what your purpose may be.
On several occasions throughout my life I’ve felt that same exact way (reliving the emotional roller coaster ride or the hurricane that spins you almost out of control), so don’t worry, you’re not the only one who is experiencing these commonalities. Realigning and enhancing your strategy is a great way to continue moving forward towards your objective and goals.
“Your Brand is your most powerful tool, it’s the reflection of you or your organization.”
The continuous refinement on this tool will help you achieve your future goals. If you haven’t built the foundation of it, further constructed it, or shared the makeup of it- your professional circle may not have noticed you yet. This could potentially lead to not achieving your goals.
With the right network and frequency of communications, the CH=E formula will ignite your brands activity (Creative Content + Hyper Relevant Topic = Engagement). By strategically broadcasting your message within your network, the results will be nothing less than magical. Doors will open and opportunities in time, will present themselves!
Aligning your message, with the right audience, at the right time, on the right platform, and with the right visuals is key to building an authentic voice, with creative tone, presenting a delightful and memorable experience.
Now let’s get started before I bore you to death (LOL)…
So we are all on the same sheet of music, let’s start with- What’s a Brand?
A Brand is not a logo, it’s not a identity, it’s not a product. A Brand is a person’s gut feeling about you, a company, or institution. It’s a gut feeling because people are emotional, intuitive beings. In other words, it’s not what you think you are- it’s what your audience perceives you to be.
The key fundamentals to establishing your Brand: Trust + Reliability + Delight = A charismatic Brand that people value.
It takes massive effort to build your brand and doing so doesn’t happen overnight, within a week, or even a month. It starts with consistent genuine collaboration and valuable given content among a circle of people that become curious and supportive about your purpose. This leads them to become invested in you, therefor trying to open doors for you.
So, What’s a Brand Strategy then?
In essence, it’s your documented strategy on how you’ll build, shape, and share what makes you unique.
“It’s the articulation of who you are and aspire to be, the purpose you serve, and how you want to be seen within the digital landscape.”
Well how do I develop a Brand Strategy and what does that look like?
Here are 11 Key Areas that we will explore in order to understand your Brand, shape your Brand, and command your Brand.
- Evaluating Your Existing Identity
- Research & Analysis
- Leveraging Communications Methods
- Define & Refine Your Future Identity
- Brand Positioning
- Value Proposition
- Messaging Architecture
- Brand Guidelines
- Content & Messaging Strategy
- Developing Additional Strategies
- MarTech Stack Tools
And so our Journey begins……to implement a strategy and build your Brand! Buckle up!
1. Evaluate Your Existing identity? What do you want your identity to be?
Conduct a personal audit of yourself from a digital and in-person aspect.
- Vision- Why do you exist? Why do you matter?
- Mission- What purpose do you serve?
- Values- How can you help others?
- Identity- Who are you?
2. Research & Analysis– Where does your Brand currently stand?
Conduct 2 audits of how you’re being seen by others from both a digital and in-person aspect. (The 1st audit is current state you & 2nd audit is what you need to do to shine the future you)
- What (MarTech Stacks- see #11) IE. platforms, tools, and resources are you currently using or do you need to start using to broadcast your brand?
- How are you see professionally? Jeans and a T-Shirt or a Suit and a Tie?
- What are the Goals of your Brand? What are you trying to accomplish?
- How do you currently share content or expertise? What does it need to look like in the future?
- Who is currently in your network? Who needs to be within your network?
- How distinctive are you? How distinctive do you need to be?
- How relevant are you in your network’s feeds? What relevance will you need?
- How relevant is your content or voice to the audience that you’re sharing it with?
- How memorable are you? How memorable do you need to be?
- How are your continuing and growing relationships? What additional efforts are needed?
- Are you creating a deep impact on your network through discussion? What additional efforts are needed?
- What are you doing that is affecting your brand in a negative way? What are the short term negative plunges have you had that may have significantly affected your brand? What shouldn’t you do in the future?
- What are you doing well? What could you implement to gain more traction?
3. Leveraging Communication Methods
Since everyone has their personal preference in how they communicate and what they’ll respond to immediately, it’s important to use a variety of methods.
Methods such as:
- Dynamic Social Posts, mentions, tagging, #hashtags, locations, and personal messages
- Thought Leadership by publishing articles on LinkedIn or from a website.
- Live & Uploaded Video’s to social platforms, websites, or in emails
- Email Use
- Through paid resources such as Digital (Social & Programmatic) Marketing or Print Advertisements
Once you determine which methods and platforms you’ll take advantage of it’s important to understand and track what’s working via Analytical Platforms (Section #11)- I’ll get to that later.
4. Define & Refine Your Future Identity based on section 2 findings
- Re-Outline and plan your future plan based on the bullet points.
5. How do you plan to articulate your message through – Brand Positioning?
- Develop a 1-2 sentence vision statement of what you do better than anyone else and what your objective is. You won’t share this, it’s for internal use only, and it’s what will keep you pointed in the right direction.
- How do you live by and guide yourself with this iconic statement?
- How do you use its methodology to align & increase your brand’s positioning in the market- i.e. What you’re trying to achieve!
6. Establish and Communicate your Value Proposition or Unique Selling PropositionMessage
- What’s your functional and emotional message to drive engagement?
- Who are you? What are you trying to achieve?
- What do you do differently than others?
- How can you solve peoples’ pain points?
- Why should they choose you over someone else?
- How do you differentiate yourself?
- How does your message compel your audience to do something or learn more about you?
7. Messaging Architecture- What’s the voice and tone of your brand?
Being consistent in this area will help in driving towards your strategic objectives and goals?
- Positioning Messages
- Value Proposition or Unique Selling Proposition
- Your Story- Storytelling- Brand Stories- Context of content is key!
- How do you differentiating yourself?
- What’s your Call-to-Action (CTA) or the benefit of engagement with you or your brand?
8. What are your Brand Guidelines that you should consistently adhere to?
What do you need to do to go from current perception to the the desired future perception in order to meet your Objective or Goals?
-Verbal Guidelines or Considerations:
- Brand positioning message-
- Value proposition or Unique Selling Proposition-
- Messaging architecture-
- Voice and tone-
- Anything else helpful or relevant-
-Visual Guidelines or Considerations you may want to have similarity on:
- Picture, Logo, and Icon use
- Fonts, Sizes, and Typography
- Data Visualization
- Interactive Elements
- Video and Motion
- Website, Social, Email
9. Develop your Content & Messaging Strategy
Ensure it’s planned into your near future, which will assist and sync your efforts needed in order to achieve your objective and goal.
10. Developing Additional Strategies if needed in the following areas:
- Social Media
- Live Events
- Telephone conversations
- In-Person meetings Etc…
11. Developing your personal MarTech (Marketing Technology) Stack Tools
There are countless tools out there that you can use to help give you the competitive edge that you’re looking for- All you have to do is Google these to find out more…
Stencil, Befunky, Canva, Placeit, Pablo, Piktochart, PicMonkey, Snappa
Photos and Images:
Pexels, Shotstash, Unsplash, Nappy, Visual Hunt, GIPHY, Cloud App, Pixabay
Video Creation Tools:
Soapbox, Vidyard, hyfy, Loom, Quik, Movavi, Filmora
Social Analytics Tools:
Netbase, Brandwatch, Crimson Hexagon, Agorapulse, Simply Measured, Cision, Sysomos
Social Media Monitoring Tools:
Buzzsumo, Brandwatch, Keyhole, Tweet reach, stream view
Social Media Listening Tools:
Board Reader, Buzzsumo, Hootsuite, Buffer, Mention App, SumAll, FollowerWonk, Social Mention, TweetDeck
Remember, if you build it, they will come! Focus, Focus, Focus – You got this!
Now that you understand the importance of your Brand- I highly encourage you to read- The “FAIL-PROOF” Formula to Building and Enhancing your Network!!
Once complete with that- then move onto- 6 Marketing Hacks That’ll Ignite Your Efforts!!
If you found this article beneficial please share it with your network so that others can benefit as well! Thank you for taking the time to read all this =)