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Branding takes time!

Just because we are progressing faster doesn’t mean you have to succeed faster. Building a reputable and enduring brand still doesn’t happen overnight.

So, you’re ready to start your own business. GREAT!! 

Now, where do you start?

Most people I speak with who are in the early planning stages of a new business start by telling me “I need a website”. Fair enough, that’s not a bad starting point. BUT, let’s take several steps back. First, let’s ignore the fact you don’t actually need a website. One can, technically speaking, build an entire business on Facebook alone and still be successful. 

Being realistic though, what I and most other marketers do and are likely to suggest is yes, start with a website (perhaps multiple pages each intended to acquire specific sales from specific audiences), and ideally start being omnipresent on multiple social channels.

Continuing to be realistic, unless you have significant assets behind you, it’s unlikely you have the money or the time to do everything and be everywhere. So we’re where we began – Where do you start?

Back to that website you needed – there’s a lot of planning that goes into that: What images will you use? Do you have a logo? Brand colors? What’s the primary Call-To-Action going to be? What will happen from there? Who’s your primary audience? What’s the problem you’re solving? What text will you use to articulate that? Should you be using videos? If you do need videos, are they to draw people to your site or for when they arrive or both?

The list goes on and on, so it’s tempting for people to shelve SEO as a low priority, which frankly may be a mistake (because understanding your keywords upfront can help guide your page copy). 

And then there’s Social Media. The thing that got you thinking “maybe this is possible” in the first place. But how do you master it to grow your empire? And where should you be prioritizing your efforts? Same question!

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer that applies to all, but let me make a few prioritized suggestions:

  1. Take baby steps down multiple paths
  2. Identify upfront (and write it down): WHY you are doing this? WHO will benefit from you doing this? WHAT is the problem they are having? And HOW is your product or service the SOLUTION?
  3. Niche-down: I will write an article on this subject alone, but basically, try to focus on one specific product or service for one specific target audience and then build from there.
  4. Now, WHAT are they likely to type in a search bar to find this solution? Start researching your competition and start a LIST of keywords, titles and search variations that you encounter.
  5. Think about your brand! – What kind of logo/icon captures your answers from #2? Pick a color scheme and stick with it! Take a note of the Hex color codes (web color codes – they look like this #007BBC). Need some help? Here is a tool with a bunch of color pallets you can copy: http://iamjulian.space/tools/color-palettes/
  6. Circle back to the WHO. Start creating one or multiple “customer avatars”. Create a page where you write down everything about them (you can even give them fake names for reference) – What do they think? What do they feel? What do they need? What do they want? What are their values? AND where do they get their information?
  7. Be clear about your Call-To-Action(s) – Do you want people to purchase online? Register or Subscribe? Book a Call? Provide some information? etc. 
  8. Be clear about what you WANT TO be spending your time on, what you will HAVE TO outsource and pay for, and what COULD BE achieved through “Sweat Equity” (if you go broke, that’s all you’ll have to work with).

If you focus on those 7 items, guess what? You have the meat & potatoes needed to build that website AND your first promotion campaign, plus you’ll know which social channel(s) to start with!

Let me spell it out with some examples:

EXAMPLE 1:

“Are you someone who <insert WHO>?

Do you experience <insert WHAT>?

We know how unpleasant that is, and that’s why we <insert WHY>. We love helping people like you achieve <insert SOLUTION>! Here’s how we do it: <insert HOW> 

Want to find out more? <insert CTA>

… “

EXAMPLE 2:

“If you have or are about to launch your own business, and if you’re anything like me when I got started, you’re bootstrapping yourself. So I know you want to be prudent with how you spend your money. Trust me, I’ve been there. I launched my first business over 15 years ago and I made a lot of mistakes and wasted a lot of money along the way. 

But I love entrepreneurship and I love helping others build the foundations for a successful and enduring brand. I’ve been fortunate to have served as a Project Manager and Rich Media Producer at some of the top marketing agencies in Canada, all while developing multimedia, social marketing, and creative talents along the way. As a result, not only can I help you devise the best strategy based on your needs and priorities, I can implement it for you (sometimes with the help of my amazing and scalable team) or even teach you how to implement parts of your plan yourself.

Got a new project cooking? I’d love to chat about it.

…”

… see what I did there?

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