When starting your business, one of the most important aspects is the ability to brand yourself effectively. When done correctly, branding separates you from the competition in a way that will undoubtedly launch you towards success. Each and every successful business has efficiently conveyed their unique trademark or brand to their customer base, thus attracting customers on a consistent and regular basis. And while many people may think of a symbol or logo when they hear the term “branding”, it is in fact so much more than that.
Branding is truly a feeling and an experience conveyed through your marketing materials, websites, communication and services you provide to your customers. Create and cultivate an effective branding strategy early on to successfully attract your ideal customer. Here are 5 simple steps I recommend you exercise to get started in branding yourself.
1. Have a Unique Vision or Mission
This is the most important aspect in branding. Each business must stand for something in order to remain unique in the marketplace. The biggest threat in business is no doubt competition. But if you brand yourself correctly, with a true vision that shows you offer your services in a unique special way, you will naturally attract customers. Think about your vision, or ways that you and your services are unique to your customer and build on that. Do you specialize in something special? Do you offer your services in a unique approach? We all have something unique to offer in business. Convey this effectively and it will pay off.
2. Your Image
Image is very important as it shows a certain level of professionalism in conveying your vision. Creating a bold and visually appealing logo is an important part of your image. Make sure you place your logo on all of your marketing materials including your business cards, brochures, website etc. The interior decorating of your place of business is extremely important in communicating your brand as well. The way you dress and the cleanliness of your office is one of the most important decisions you will make. Customers will feel a sense of confidence towards you when you dress professionally, decorate professionally and provide a pristine, clean office environment.
3. Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Another very important factor in branding your business, a USP conveys a direct statement about your business to the marketplace. You want your USP to make a specific claim such as “buy our service and get this benefit”. You also want to make sure that your USP is unique and has not been used within your marketplace before. Also, make sure your offer is so strong that it has the ability to pull people towards you. A great example of a well know USP is “You get fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes or less — or it’s free.” Domino’s Pizza.
Being consistent in business is one of the main reasons a customer will continue seeing you. Not being consistent truly can break your business. Customers come to expect certain things from you when doing business and you must deliver each and every time. Make sure everything you do flows in a consistent manner. From your marketing pieces, your phone etiquette, the service you provide and the way you treat each customer, every single moment your customer interacts with you needs to always be reliable and consistent. The moment you start letting this slide, your customer will notice. Make sure your business always runs consistently and delivers the finest experience.
5. Define Your Target Market
This is one of the key factors in branding. Without customers you don’t have a business. Figure out your target market by looking at what unique qualities you bring to the table and what unique problems you are able to solve. Your target market or ideal customer is one who needs you for an issue or problem they are having. Because you are uniquely qualified to solve people’s problems and/or eliminate pain in their life, target those people specifically. For instance, suppose you are a massage therapist that specializes in pain management. Targeting a pregnant woman with low back pain through your marketing efforts will attract those specific clients to you like a magnet. Target marketing is extremely important in attracting your ideal client and developing your brand.
Your brand lives in the minds and hearts of each of your customers. It is the sum of each aspect of your business carefully packaged and delivered. Effectively branding yourself will take you to great places in business. Do not overlook this important factor in building your business. Taking the time to cultivate this will surely launch your business to great heights!
About the author
Ann Ross is a successful massage therapy business owner in Seattle, WA. In addition to her massage practice, she is a marketing and business building coach for massage therapists. Her website http://www.MassageMarketingMentor.com is a valuable resource for self employed massage therapists.