It’s no secret that personal branding is the key to success in today’s world of heavy competition.
It has the power to shift you from a red ocean full of competition to a blue ocean full of endless opportunities.
In 2021, people will be making their buying and hiring decisions based on the brand of a person behind a product or service. They want to see if the person backing the product has a reliable personal brand which has authority in the industry.
Bottom line – It doesn’t matter if you are an entrepreneur, executive or a freelancer. You need to have a great personal brand if you plan to get ahead in life.
And in this guide, I will show you everything you need to build an awesome personal brand.
Let’s dive right in.
What is Brand Strategy?
What is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy can be hard to define but encompasses:
• What your brand stands for.
• What promises your brand makes to customers.
• What personality your brand conveys through its marketing.
As an entrepreneur, the struggle intensifies with each project so, obviously, we always want to do it right. But we have so many ideas in our mind that we lose focus and move straight into a marketing strategy. You want to make sales as soon as possible, but ignore that in order to make sales, you will need to find a way to stand out. Luckily the Brand Strategy Pyramid is going to be life-changing for you. This is a step by step plan that will help you achieve the goals of your business, starting from the bottom.
BRAND STRATEGY PYRAMID
Follow the Brand Strategy Pyramid
There’s a reason why you need to make sure you do things in order. The better you are at truly describing your brand and building your foundation, the more successful you will be. I’m giving you the secret tools I have used to build massive breakthroughs in my own business and with my clients. When taking this formula into account, it’s necessary to understand that each part of it is as essential as the other because they are all connected.
Define your brand and its objective
Your brand’s objective is simply its purpose. Knowing why your brand exists, what purpose it has in the world and what it stands for is what defines it from the very start.
When you want to define your brand, you’ll need to ask yourself some questions:
• What problem does my brand solve?
• Who is my ideal customer?
• Who is my competition?
• What does my brand make my customers feel?
• Why do my customers trust me?
• What is the story behind why my brand was created?
• If my brand was a person, what would their personality be like?
Once you answer these questions, you can begin to choose things like logo colors and font, your motto or tagline and other marketing elements to communicate your brand’s overall story.
Let’s look at an example and put this into action.
Coming up with the right offer in the online business world can be tough – it needs to match your skill set, give solid results and relieve the fears or challenges that your ideal clients are facing. And if you’re anything like me the real struggle is deciding which of your many ideas you should actually put out into the world. As entrepreneurs, and especially creative entrepreneurs, we seem to have no shortage of awesome ideas.
Step One: How do you solve your avatar’s problem?
Once you know the specific, singular, avatar you serve and the problem you can solve for them you need to define HOW you solve their problem. What are the specific steps to you solution? What journey do they go on to solve their problem with you?
Step Two: What is the transformation you deliver?
Your ideal client comes to you at the start of their journey. After they go through your process and use your product or service what is their outcome? Define your transformation and communicate the end result working with you provides your clients and customer.
Step Three: What is your business model and how much does it cost?
You get to choose how you deliver your product or service and how much it costs. Instead of trying to fight your competitions lowest price, focus on providing the best product or service and experience imaginable. With a premium offering you can charge a premium price. You certainly want to still be fair, but it doesn’t serve your clients and customers or you to be the cheapest.
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A marketing strategy is important for all businesses because it clearly outlines how they will find new customers and promote their products and services to ultimately get more sales. You can use the marketing strategy as a stand-alone tool, as part of a marketing plan, or as part of a business plan—all with slightly different components. Let’s focus on creating a marketing strategy for your business plan.
The 4 Ps
You can break down the key information in the marketing strategy section using the 4 Ps of marketing concept.
Product refers to either a physical product or a service you plan on offering. Some of the product areas that should be included in this section are:
• Brand name
• Related products or services
This part covers the various aspects of how you plan on marketing your product or service. The areas you will need to address include:
• Marketing budget
• Promotional strategy
• Publicity and public relations
• Sales force
• Sales promotion
This part addresses the way you plan on pricing your product or service. The aspects of pricing you will need to address are:
• Bundling (if you have related products/services)
• Pricing flexibility
• Pricing strategy
• Retail price
• Seasonal price (if applicable)
• Wholesale (volume) price
Also known as Distribution, this part is all about the delivery of your product or service to your customer. Here are the areas you will need to cover:
• Distribution centres
• Distribution channels
• Inventory management
• Order processing
7 Tips for Writing a Marketing Strategy
As you write the marketing strategy section of your business plan, keep seven things in mind to make it as effective and relevant as possible.
1. Show Your Uniqueness
The foundation of your marketing strategy should be your unique selling proposition (USP)—the statement that outlines what differentiates you from everyone else in the market. Create your USP first and then build upon it by relating it to each of the 4 Ps. The common thread through each part of your marketing strategy should be how your business solves a problem or meets a need better than anyone else.
2. Know Your Customers/Clients
The information you include in your marketing strategy should incorporate all of the research you conducted in your market analysis. Make sure you have a clear idea of who your ideal customers or clients are, what they like, what they need, and what they expect. This will make your marketing strategy more accurate and applicable to your target audience.
3. Be Flexible
While the 4 Ps of marketing work well for physical products, they may need to be tweaked a bit for services. For example, for the place section, you may use your website instead of a physical location. Your website should also be a part of your promotion section, as should any social media that you participate in.
4. Do Your Research
When you’re determining your pricing, you should have plenty of data to back up your decision. Include industry reports, competitor ads, and comparisons that demonstrate the research you conducted and how you came to the conclusion that you are pricing your product or service correctly.
5. Use Visuals
As in other sections of your business plan, using charts, graphs, and images to illustrate your facts can make them easier for your audience to absorb. Is your pricing right at the median in the industry? Are you planning to use a four-step distribution process? Use visual aids to drive your point home.
6. Remember Your Budget
You will outline the financial analysis of your company in another section of your business plan, but keep those numbers in mind as you write your marketing strategy. Your marketing process may look good by itself, but unless you tie it directly to your financial status, you will have a difficult time meeting your goals.
7. Include Your Collateral
If you’re going to talk about your marketing collateral in your marketing section, you should include samples as exhibits. These might include brochures, fact sheets, videos, and photos.
Brand visibility is the extent to which consumers can recognise or remember a particular brand when other conditions are similar. Your brand visibility has to be consistent on all platforms, so that customers and clients can relate with your brand. Digital marketing is a strategic way to simultaneously build brand awareness and provide incredible value to online audiences. The more targeted and intentional you are with your digital marketing efforts, the more visibility you’ll have online.
10 steps for increasing visibility in digital marketing.
1. Establish Your Brand’s Website
2. Create a Blog
3. Make SEO a Priority
4. Don’t Forget About Off-Site SEO
5. Utilize Social Media
6. Capitalize On Email Marketing
7. Invest In Paid Ads
8. Encourage Online Customer Reviews
9. Establish Content Partnerships
10. Work With Online Influencers
THE ULTIMATE BRANDING CHECKLIST FOR YOUR BUSINESS
CLEAR MISSION: Find your why.
NICHE/INDUSTRY: Identify your strengths and find your area of focus.
TARGET AUDIENCE: Identify specifically who your audience is, what their needs are, and the best way to connect with them.
BRAND VALUES: Determine how you will do business and stay true to those values you set.
BRAND BOUNDARIES: Know when to say no to something that doesn’t fit your brand.
BRAND MESSAGE: Ensure you are communicating your message across all platforms.
CUSTOM DOMAIN: Secure a custom website url for your business.
CUSTOM EMAIL ADDRESS: Get a personalized email address with your domain name.
MAIN LOGO: Design a high-quality, simple logo that will be the primary logo for your business.
LOGO VARIATION: Design a slight variation of your main logo to expand your brand.
SUBMARK: Design a smaller variation of your logo to use as a favicon, profile pic + watermark.
WEBSITE: Design a website that is e ective in achieving your top business goals.
BUSINESS CARDS: Order high-quality business cards that have a clear call to action.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Set up all necessary accounts and create branding materials for each profile.
CREATIVE WORKSPACE: Find or design a space that inspires you and reflects your brand.
PHOTOGRAPHY STYLE: Stay consistent with the style, props and filters you use for your photos. Establish an Instagram theme.
PROFESSIONAL HEADSHOTS: Humanize your brand with professional photos of yourself.
FONT STYLES: Pick two or three fonts/font styles to use consistently throughout your brand.
BRAND PERSONALITY: Pick characteristics for your brand that your audience can relate to.
BRAND COLORS: Choose a palette that plays to the emotion you want your audience to feel.
BLOG POST GRAPHIC: Create a branded template for your blog posts.
EMAIL TEMPLATE: Use a branded email template to directly communicate with your email list.
COMMUNITY: Engage with your audience and build genuine relationships.
COMPETITORS: Identify the competitors in your industry and di erentiate yourself.
BLOG STRATEGY: Determine which topics you will cover and how often you will publish posts.
CONTENT STRATEGY: Set a business goal and plan all of your content to achieve that goal.
BRAND LANGUAGE: Find your brand voice and learn to communicate with your audience in an authentic, relatable way.
BRAND STORY: Share your journey.
BRAND BALANCE: Find the perfect balance of personal and professional within your business.
WRITING STYLE: Discover a style of writing blog posts, web copy, newsletters, comments, etc.
EMAIL SIGNATURE: Create an email signature that includes your logo, contact info, and links.
BRAND BUZZ WORDS: Sum up your brand using three key words.