Welcome to part three of Branding Your Creative Business! Today we are going to discuss delivering your brand message. We have already covered creating your branded message in part one and having a consistent branded look in part two. Once you have those things in place, it is important to deliver your message across all of your media platforms. After all, isn't the point of putting these systems in place sharing them?
This is the best time to build and share your brand! With oodles of free social media platforms and the ease of building blogs/websites, you are missing out if you are not utilizing these tools. I'll go so far as to say that taking advantage of these tools are vital for the success of your business…especially in today's world where consumers want to have a more personal connection. In building my own business and brand, it was no brainer when it came to deciding "where" to be and less clear when it came to the "how". However, for those of you who are still struggling with where you should be, let's consider these:
- Blogs – If you have spent any amount of time with me (lol), you know that I am a huge fan of WordPress. WordPress is so much more than a blog. It is a content management system. To put it in very simple terms, you can build your blog and website all in one efficient little package. To those who are rolling their eyes at me or cringing at the thought of a blog, I will not argue or tell you "you have to" while stomping my feet. I will absolutely agree that you can deliver your brand message and image in a website just as easily. A blog component, however, affords you the ability to connect in a more genuine way with your consumer. It's a great place to share…and a better way to listen!
- Social Media – Speaking of places to connect with consumers….there are a plethora of social media platforms where you can do just that! Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and even LinkedIn affords you to build targeted communities where you can share your brand message. If you are not employing any social media platforms in your business….get on board! Start small….pick a platform or two, then expand from there. If time is an issue, hire someone to get you set up and manage them.
As previously mentioned, when it came to "how" to deliver my brand message, it was a definite struggle. The reason being was that I was not completely clear about who I was as a business owner. Once I got clear with that, proceeding became a lot easier. When it comes to creating brand loyalty with your consumer there is only one word that stands out clearly in my mind. Do you know what it is? My friends, it is all about TRUST. You can have the most incredible product in the world, but if you don't earn the trust of your consumer, it doesn't matter. Building a brand is really not about you…it's about your consumer…about building relationships. Can I count on you? Are you consistent? Do you solve my problem if one arises? Are you listening to me? It is in creating a community that your brand message can be heard and therefore, accepted.
So, let's talk about how to build that trust:
- If you have a blog, update it regularly. You don't need to blog every day…twice a week is a good amount. Share content that is valuable to your audience.
- If you have an e-commerce site, have fresh product and/or projects that your consumer find inspiring.
- If someone leave comments on your blog or social media platforms, acknowledge them by answering.
- When checking your social media platforms, say hi, ask questions, participate in the comment threads.
- Share who you are. Show your personality.
- Do talk about things that you authentically enjoy. Don't force yourself to be excited about things you don't enjoy. It will come across as fake.
- Be genuine when it comes to dealing with consumer concerns…and be gracious when someone sings your praises.
- Remember it is not all about you. Treat your online friends as you would your IRL (in real life) friends. Listen. Ask questions. Listen some more. Then you can share your message.
- Set a schedule for blogging and posting on social media.
- Stick as closely to that schedule as possible. It shows that you care about your audience and that they can count on you. It also demonstrates that you are serious about and organized in your business.
- Show up regularly on your social platforms. Let everyone know you're there by participating.
- Always stay true to your brand message. How you conduct yourself is extremely important.
Building your creative brand is a big responsibility. Creating your message and look are really super important, but how you go about sharing that message is key in building both brand trust and loyalty with your consumer. Remember that it is always about them. When you do this people will be open to hearing your message.