When it comes to standing out in the online world, it’s pretty hard to look unique.
Take a look at a few brands and businesses that are in the same field as you. I bet that preeetty much everywhere you look you’ll find gold textures galore, really hard-to-read text overlaying some obviously-not-stock-but-is-stock photo images and glitter. Glitter everywhere.
Now these are just a select few of my pet peeves (I’ll explain more of why these are a BAD idea to include in your brand another day), but can you see the problem here?
None of these businesses or brands are powerful, because they’re all trying to be the same.
To create a truly powerful brand, you have to accept that you are a creative-minded person, with your own opinions, your own values and your own beliefs. And own the heck out of them.
While there are 3 main actions you can take to build a more powerful brand, I believe that you have to start from within. And by that, I mean dig deep to figure out exactly what matters to you. Ask yourself some of these questions: What do you believe in? What do you stand for? What matters most to you in your work? What message do you want to share with the world? What do you really want to say?
The key to knowing all of what you want to say - and doing it? Don’t be afraid of what other people will think of you.
It’s easy to say you believe in something, but until you start sharing it and injecting all of that goodness into your brand + business at a larger level, I’m sorry - but it means nothing.
Once you know what you want to share with the world, you can start to take action. And that’s where the 3 secrets to a powerful brand step in.
Now I’m talking about true connection, that REAL relationship that you choose to build with somebody - not making friends with everybody you see in Facebook groups. In business, you want to build connections with three types of people:
A few practical ways that you can start connecting more are:
Once you start focusing on connection as one of your primary aims in business, you are one step into creating a more powerful brand. It’s so easy to not focus on building real relationships and focus on the numbers - like building your list, your twitter followers or Facebook page likes. But in the end it’s the true connections you’ve made that will create a long-lasting, long-term difference in your business.
I’m laughing as I write this one, because this is something I’ve REALLY struggled with. But that said, consistency is one of the most important things you can create in your business.
When you are consistently getting in touch with somebody (not so often that you’re RIGHTINTHEIRFACE 24/7), you start to become familiar. And familiarity is what builds trust. And trust (and credibility) is what makes a member of your audience more likely to become a customer.
Consistency isn’t just sending out your weekly email newsletter (though that will help). Consistency is built into everything that you do as a business and everything that you release into the wild. This might include:
Consistency is normally a challenge for anybody - it’s harder than it looks to keep up with a schedule that can easily suck hours out of your normal working week. But the payoff is more than worth the time it takes to implement and consistently communicate with your audience.
Believe me when I say consistently creating content (try saying that fast 10 times!) is one of the biggest challenges for me - but there are a few things that help me personally to cope with that challenge:
Once you start building your routine into communicating and displaying your brand consistently to your audience, you’ll notice that your engagement should start to lift. People love consistency as it feels familiar to them - and you can then use it to your advantage, by being inconsistent to really get the attention of your audience at a time outside of the norm.
In any business, trust is a huge factor in whether someone or not will buy from you. In online business? It’s even more important. We don’t have the advantage that brick-and-mortar stores have by being able to be there, right in front of their customer. Instead, we have to use the previous two points, and many more, to help convince our audience that we are trustworthy, credible and an expert at what we do. The advantage we do have is that we can use many more neat tricks to convince our customers to buy from us…24/7.
Building credibility isn’t something that will happen overnight - it will instead take time and due diligence to build up slowly, over time. If you think about Spiderman or Superman helping their own cities - the trust didn’t arrive straight away, but instead built up over time as they helped more and more people out.
In the same way, you can build credibility and your reputation by being someone that gives back to your community, your audience and your customers. Make sure that every level of interaction that they have with you is top notch and without fault. One simple way of doing this is to create nurture sequences for people that join your email list, so instead of them being thrown into your weekly newsletter, they are welcomed gently into your online tribe.
But remember as well: that nobody is perfect. If you want to build credibility and get your audience to trust you, you need to be real and down to earth with them too. Keep it real, share your struggles AND your achievements and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable. Try to think of a time when you felt more truly connected to one of your favourite online entrepreneurs - I bet you felt reassured and that they were like YOU when they shared where they were truly at in that moment in time.
So there you have it. The 3 secrets to a more powerful brand.
These are things that you can put into action straight away - but results won't necessarily happen overnight. Take the time to implement them properly in your business and you’ll notice a huge difference in the way your audience engages with you and connects with you over time.
I’d love to know - which of these do you think you struggle with most? For me - it’s consistency. Let me know your own in the comments below.
Rachilli is a creative studio dedicated to empowering every independent creative, business owner + small business to brand their business authentically, aligned to their core values, mission + vision.
We also want to empower other's with chronic illnesses to carve their own path and create a life + business that works for them, and to lead the way by creating a platform for, and being a voice alongside, those with chronic illness in business.
Rachel, the founder, is an award-winning designer + photographer, published logo designer + author, and is mama to two - slightly crazy - dogs, Storm + Jasper.