How about some actionable brand tips for you today! These are my top 5 quick and highly practical brand tips to help not only your business thrive, but also you as the individual behind it!
FIND YOUR NICHE AND FOCUS DOWN
When I started my business just over a year ago (and a whole brand name and identity ago too!) I was confused, often erratic with my brand decisions. I think it was because I was trying to be something to everyone rather than everything to someone. That's a loaded sentence right there, isn't it! I wanted to have something that drew in every person that crossed my path and as a result I was burnt out, flat, and downright disinteresting - both to my readers and more importantly to myself!
Around 6 months ago, I decided that I needed to rebrand. I needed to focus down my offering and really target the people I wanted to be connecting with and doing work for. I cut a lot of the bull and removed all the fluff that acted as fillers on my website and my blog and I decided to specifically target ladies that were building their brands, businesses and blogs, offering Wordpress themes and design tips and tricks. I removed anything to do with fashion, interior, knitting, painting, photography and life stories and while I was afraid niching would alienate people, I saw the opposite. It's given me focus, a purpose and has really helped to carve out my place in the industry as a leader. Niching isn't limiting, it's what happens when you are honest with yourself.
SECURE YOUR NAMES
One of the things I see people struggle with is securing their names on the web. By 'names' I am talking about your domain name, your Facebook name, Twitter and Instagram handles. Even your LinkedIn, Google + and YouTube. Having the same name/handle on all of your platforms is obviously ideal, but sometimes this can't happen, so it's important to aim for as close to a complete set as possible. If you need to deviate, try just small deviations and these need to make sense. For instance on Facebook, I managed to obtain Facebook.com/branditgirl but on Twitter @branditgirl was taken (annoyingly by an inactive account!!) so I opted for thebranditgirl instead. The 'the' is just a small deviation and it makes sense when put together with other social media handles (for instance 'thebranditgirl' makes more sense for my brand, opposed to 'branditgirl2015').
CONNECT AND NETWORK
Connecting and networking is a huge part of establishing your brand. Not only do you need to seek out the people who will be your customers, but you should also seek out the people that can help support, encourage and mentor you. I am a big believer in surrounding yourself with likeminded people. This helps to encourage you, get you excited and gives you a platform to launch ideas of others who understand what you are trying to do! A few ways to connect and network with others include:
- Facebook Groups - I spoke recently about taking your brand to the next level by engaging in Facebook Groups. You are also very welcome to join the Brand IT Girls Connected community!
- Twitter Chats, Periscope Broadcasts and Google Hangouts - You don't necessarily need to host one of these, but just contribute in one and get to know others in the community.
- Guest Post or Collaborate - guest posting or featuring on someone else's blog is a great way to meet new people and be exposed to a wider audience. Use this guide to writing an email pitch to help you get started!
BE THE BEST AND PRACTICE YOUR CRAFT
Being the best and practicing your craft really comes down to one thing - authenticity. If you truly have a passion for what you are doing, it will shine through and people will undoubtably be drawn to you. But passion is just the start. You need to practice your craft and actively seek to make yourself a professional in your industry. Read books and blog posts, spend time honing your skills and trying new ways of producing your products and services and above all, be humble and willing to receive feedback when it comes your way!
Here's a great way to work towards being the best and practicing your craft: Find one thing you can do every week that will not only improve your quality of work but that will also surprise you, teach you and bring happiness into your week. If you are constantly seeking improvement in a fun and good willed way, your work will only benefit from the effort!
KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR
My final tip is to be very clear on who you are and what you stand for. Ask yourself what your beliefs are, what are your core values and what do you want to be know for. The best thing about life is that you can be anyone that you want to be, you simply have to decide who that is and do it! Consider what people think of when they think of you. Is it what you would hope they were thinking? If not, take steps to change people's perception.
Here's the thing, being a lady boss is not always easy. You will have people trying to define you, trying to fit you into a mould. So you need to be extra sure of who you are and what you will and will not allow. Write yourself a code of conduct and be really clear about your boundaries and personal policies.
(Photo Credit - Hair/MUA: Rene Spears)