Last updated on September 23rd, 2019
Starting a business is much easier than running it successfully over the years. But converting a business into a top effective brand in a competitive market requires you to put additional efforts and have a unique strategy. Only those entrepreneurs, who have patience and engage people with their products/services in a helpful manner, ultimately create the desired perception of their products in customers’ mind.
Studies have revealed that a majority of businesses get closed within one or two years after starting on a positive note. Very few companies survive for a long period. They fail to build their brands. This shows that the journey to turning a new business into a trustworthy brand is not an easy task. This is because most of the failed or not-so-successful businesses made some fundamental mistakes in brand marketing, which you should avoid.
Webinar On Finding Out The Right Solution
So, building a brand is an issue many business owners should address and find the right solutions. With this intention, Designhill, a leading creative marketplace, conducted a webinar with Tom Ross as the guest speaker. The webinar took place on August 28. Many attendees put forward their queries during the webinar, which covered a lot of other issues, such as how to combine design with marketing to get the desired results.
Tom Ross is the CEO at DesignCuts.com — a community and digital marketplace serving millions of creatives and helping them make a decent earning. Tom also runs a podcast ‘The Honest Designers Show’ on the issue of the marriage of design and marketing. The podcast has been downloaded 1 million times so far. Tom has also acted as a business coach to industry figures including Ian Barnard, Stefan Kunz, Lauren Hom, Scotty Russell, Dina Rodriguez, and many others. He hosted a sold-out workshop ‘Marketing for Creatives’ at Birmingham Design Festival.
Here Is What Tom Advised On Various Aspects Of Building An Effective Brand, Based On His Own Experience
01. Don’t Be Luke-Warm
I see so many people finding a fantastic niche but they are kind of putting one toe in the water and not committing fully to what they want to do. The right approach is to take the things you believe in all over the place and own it. It will be a wrong approach to just put a little bit of effort here and there.
02. Bring Value To Your Audience
The second thing to build an effective brand is to bring value to your audience. But it is easier to say than to do. For instance, I am swamped running my personal brand, DesignCuts.com. I put so much time into bringing value to the people. In my spare time, I respond to hundreds of people via emails and phone calls. I share everything valuable from my experience with them and help them as much as I can. I think, instead of keeping it to you, it is better to share, help, and give to bring more people to your brand.
Being a graphic designer, you can win more clients if you help them get unique visuals for their brands. You can help them grow their brand by giving your free advice on what visuals will take their business to more people.
03. Don’t Use Your Audience, Serve Them!
When we say that you should not use your audience, instead, serve them; it simply means not to be selfish but to be selfless. Your aim should not be to use your audience, get the number of likes or followers, or to extract money from them. Instead, it is better to serve your target audience. From my personal experience of running my brand DesignCuts, I can say that as soon as I started helping my audience, the brand benefited from it immensely. I will advise you to give more to get more for creating a brand.
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04. Be Visible When You Start A New Business
One of the problems that most new entrepreneurs face in building an effective brand is the less visibility with numerous big players already present in the market. First of all, have patience and realize that visibility does not happen overnight. So, for instance, if you are building a brand or getting a reputation in your industry, that can take years putting in the work. If you have no audience, then think about the ways how others got it. You need to work out how your brand can get value for your audience. In other words, try to share your experience with your audience to help them. You should not operate in an isolated little bubble. At the same time, try to hone your craft as well.
05. Common Mistakes Made In Marketing
A big mistake that many businesses make is that they treat people like numbers. In other words, they chase vanity metrics. Such companies are actually using their audience to make money without offering anything worth useful to people. You must avoid making these mistakes. The right approach is to invest time in picking a target audience and an ideal client. Then, try to bring value to them. This is the right approach to build your brand identity over the years.
06. Build A Community
Some people’s approach to building their community can be compared to shouting into the void. This is like there is a tornado in front of you and you are putting your belongings into it. Now, all that you put there has gone with the wind immediately. Similarly, vast social media is like the tornado where you are putting your content just for the sake of it. Then, there is no point in asking people to pay attention to your brand. Consequently, when it does not yield expected results, you get frustrated.
Therefore, I think that the correct way to build a community and an effective brand is to focus on one person at a time. Find out what kind of people you want to reach, who they are, and where you can find them. Then, start addressing each of them individually and make friends. To do that, comment on their blog posts. Find out the ways to build relationships with them. You should think about making these people your best friends over the years. This is the way to build an ever-growing network of friends.
07. Engage With A Bunch Of Ideal Followers
Once you have built a sizable number of followers, you will realize that not all of them are equally creative and showing interest in what you do. Then, invest your time more on the followers who are creative and interested in your offer. They are the people who need your help. Just keep one of them as your ideal follower who comments regularly on your posts on Instagram and elsewhere on your social media page. Then, provide your best help to that follower, which is a surefire way to create an effective brand.
In this way, your services will be more useful to few selected people who really matter to your brand as they are your potential customers. For example, you can pick one of your followers who are not getting too many comments. Then, ask your huge community of followers to comment on that one person. In this way, you are helping that person by bringing more people to his / her blog or any other place.
So, as a creative marketer, you should be behaving like a human being and not like a robot. Do not churn people through some conversion funnel and extracting some local value out of them. Instead, care about people, build relationships, bring them value, and serve.
That concluded the webinar with Tom Ross. He came out with valuable solutions over the issue of building an effective brand. But note that your visuals, such as — logos, brochures, websites, and business cards are equally important to building your brand. So, make sure that you hire a professional graphic designer to create unique visuals that stand out.
A business can be turned into a recognizable brand if it runs successfully for many years. Brand-building exercise is a long time process that requires you to have a lot of patience. You must stick to the fundamentals for creating the desired perception for your business amongst the target audience. Tom Ross touched upon some basics of building a brand. He advises businesses to serve the audience and not to see them merely as numbers.