Your brand embodies everything that you do and stand for as a business. At a tangible level, your business name, tagline, brand colors, and the content you publish encode your brand and present it visually and conceptually. Customers interact with brands through every channel you can imagine: websites and social media, product packaging, customer service interactions, and more.
Building a solid brand requires a big investment of time. Yet it’s important not to overlook the power of small steps and single interactions which can solidify and share your brand with others. Here’s a closer look at five ways you can spend small chunks of free time to help build your brand.
1. Align your visuals: The visual elements of your brand are a powerful reinforcement of what you’re trying to achieve with your brand. Customers recognize your logo. Fans know your brand’s colors. Are you using your logo in all the places you should? Is it part of your social media profiles, in your email signature, and on your presentations? Do your Twitter and Facebook presences reflect your company’s color scheme? If the answer is no, take a moment to change one thing that’ll bring you closer to a unified visual brand presence like adding your logo to your email or changing the background color of your Twitter account.
2. Respond to your fans, followers, and friends: An accessible brand is one that people want to do business with. One way to help cultivate this image is by being responsive to questions, comments, and customer reviews. Spend a minute replying to the latest messages left on your social media pages, customer reviews on sites such as Yelp and Google, and touching base with new connections on major networking sites. You’ll strengthen your relationship to a specific customer, while also enhancing your image as a conscientious and responsive business owner.
3. Use a social monitoring to listen to social trends: Tools like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck let you follow brand mentions and hashtags in one place, and are a great way to focus your social listening efforts. Measure sentiment about your brand, spot and deal with any problems being discussed publically about your business, and track discussion around high value keywords to keep your pulse on your industry. Monitor the conversation, learn more about what’s happening, and strategically jump into the conversation when you have something to add. To learn more about social listening, see my article How to Use Social Media Listening to Build Your Brand.
4. Strategically curate brand-building content: Each day, we consume a vast amount of information from industry news, to how-to posts about topics we love, to posts that are geared for pure humor or entertainment. When we fail to share those posts, we miss two key opportunities to distribute that information in a high leverage way. When you share posts or content from colleagues or competitors, they see your support and are more likely to do the same thing in the future for you. Also, each time a reader discovers something great to read or listen to through you, this adds to your brand.
5. Practice your elevator pitch: Your elevator pitch is critical today in a wide variety of contexts. It’s the short bio you use each time you guest post. It’s the pitch you use when meeting a prospective client at a networking event. It’s how you describe what you do at an investor pitch panel. There’s a lot to be said for having an elevator pitch that captures your business, and is on brand, concise, and compelling. Work on your brand message, strategically test refinements, and experiment with it in different environments to get helpful feedback. This kind of approach yields a short pitch or bio that can be used anywhere to open doors, attract customers, and drive positive recognition.
Building your brand is an essential component of a thriving business. But it’s an easy thing to fall by the wayside as you do the harder work that’s associated with being an entrepreneur. Make the most of small bursts of time to improve your brand’s messaging and visuals, to improve engagement, find great content, and keep an eye on the market. Your brand will grow fast, in a way that’s inversely correlated to the tiny amounts you have to invest to keep it moving!
For more content like this, be sure to check out my podcast, The Entrepreneur Cast!