Brand Yourself Like a Pro With These Must-Know Tips
By Top 10 Staff
Do you know how your website branding impacts your audience? All small businesses have a brand, but some business owners aren’t clear about the message their brand communicates. The reason? A large number of business owners don’t know about brand building, and even those that do often struggle to effectively communicate their brand’s values.
This article will demystify the “value identification” process and ensure that you start effectively branding yourself while making your own website.
Before Getting Started
Branding relies on several different aspects: the mental, the visual, and the social. Before you begin working on your brand new website, decide how your website URL fits in. If the website and brand are synonymous, great; if not, don’t worry. It can still work.
Decide on the name, phrase, or tagline to build your brand around
For example, Nike’s brand is synonymous with the tagline “Just do it.” The phrase is on all of their logos, and if you hear that sentence spoken anywhere, you instantly think of the shoe. Apply that same approach to your own branding.
Choose the core values of your company
Customers should be able to easily identify what your company strives for. Is it customer satisfaction and innovation, or are you aiming to provide a high-value service at low cost? The possibilities are endless. Define these values in the early stages of branding your website and make sure that all subsequent steps revolve around them.
Ensure the necessary networks are set up
If you have not already done so, open a LinkedIn account, as well as Twitter and/or Facebook accounts for your business brand. These networks will be essential later.
Clearing Up the Visual
In addition to the social and mental aspects of branding, you will need a logo, a sort of visual representation of your company. Great examples of this exist everywhere, from the Nike swoosh to the Hollister seagull.
Think of a symbol that you feel properly represents the message your brand is trying to convey. Keep in mind, however, that a logo doesn’t need to be overly large. Smaller sizes work just as well. People remember simple images better than complex works of art. When choosing a logo, a rule of thumb is to imagine it on a business card; how does it look? Is it too busy, or is it aesthetically pleasing? For more design inspiration, check out 10 of the Best Web Design Blogs to Follow.
If you aren’t a skilled graphic designer, you can easily hire someone to create your logo from the outline you provide.
Network, Network, Network!
Now that you’ve defined core values, chosen your logo, and identified the message you want to send, it’s time to spread the word. One key element of branding is networking; no matter how great your brand is, if no one knows it exists, then it’s not making an impact. You should consistently be networking with people on social media sites including Twitter and LinkedIn. Responding to tweets, getting involved in the conversation, and creating relationships with influential members of your niche are essential steps.
Facebook is more for your customers; it allows them to share their thoughts about your brand with their friends and family who might appreciate its value. While some companies see success communicating with their fan base via Facebook pages, it’s more effective to keep the conversation on bigger platforms. Facebook is important, but it’s not the most influential platform you will use.
How Branding Works With Your Website
As you’re building relationships, there should always be a link back to your site. Sometimes it’s best to keep it subtle, while at other times you may have more results with an aggressive approach. Either way, this process will bring Web traffic to your site.
When visitors arrive on your site, they should find your logo clearly visible, right at the top. Match the color scheme of your logo to your overall site. Using a complementary color scheme for the background can be wildly effective.
However, the element that will determine the success or failure of a brand is your skill at writing great content. Work to establish yourself as an expert in your field. There are multiple approaches for this. Many people choose to blog, carving a place for themselves through consistent, well-researched posts. Other people become the “go-to” person for a specific product. No matter how you decide to approach this element, it’s absolutely vital that you do. Become a voice of authority, and you will see your brand awareness soar.
Branding is not an overnight process. Much the same way as you plan out the steps to make your own website, you need a plan of action for branding. Setting up a to-do list can be helpful, as the list serves as a road map for the next steps in the process. If you’re patient and consistent, and make tweaks to your brand as you go, you will succeed.