As a small business owner, you already understand the value of branding. If you’ve been following my blog, you’re also aware of the importance of personal branding. Now that you have the fundamentals, let’s talk about where many people go wrong with branding. We spend so much time putting together our strategy and our content that occasionally authenticity gets lost.
Have you ever come across any of the following?
- A brand that didn’t ring true to its own messaging?
- A business owner whose message felt forced?
- Content that didn’t seem to match up with the projected brand?
- Inconsistency or lack of clarity in a brand’s content?
- Drastic swings in message without a proper re-branding strategy?
I’m sure at some point, you’ve witnessed at least one of the above scenarios. It happens. Just because you are an entrepreneur or small business owner, doesn’t mean that you are a branding expert.
The path to authenticity lies in taking the time to discover who you really are. What does your company provide, what pain points does it solve, and how do you provide solutions to problems? What is your message? How do you want to present it to the world? These are the questions that have to be answered because, without this knowledge, you are not able to be authentic in your marketing.
“Authentic companies don’t try to be something they’re not, but instead recognize what they are, what they do best, and what customers value most about them.”
Where many businesses miss the boat is failing to remain consistent. Consistency is a vital aspect of branding. Your company, and your team, must live your brand story every day. It needs to be shared, in a variety of ways, as often as possible with your target audience. A clear, concise, consistent message will make a bigger impact than just throwing whatever out there and hoping for the best result. Understand your brand, understand your message and then develop a process where you are sharing high-quality, authentic content with your followers.
Authenticity has a powerful return on investment. Honesty, integrity, and candor are highly sought after and valued. Opening up a window, allowing yourself to be a bit exposed and vulnerable, breeds trust within your audience. That trust converts into brand loyalty. Loyal brand ambassadors are the best, FREE, marketing strategy a company can have. Your tribe will not only follow and engage with you – those who trust your message will share it, whenever and wherever they can. This is the real return on being authentic in your marketing.
Don’t be afraid to shine. You have to put yourself out there. Toss aside the masks you tend to use for protection when you face the world and have faith that your authentic message will draw the right clients to your doorstep. This is a fundamental foundation to #BeAwesome with your branding.
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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+,YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram and the tools to manage them.
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