How To Build A Brand On A Budget – 5 Steps To Follow
The knowledge that you don’t have a big budget to help you build a brand online can be quite daunting and at times feel like a massive barrier to success.
When you’re first starting out on your business venture, chances are – unless you’re very lucky or Donald Trump – you’re not exactly rolling in cash.
After all, how can you compete with the big players in your industry, who spend millions on brand development and have monthly marketing budgets worth more than your house?
Well, the answer is that branding doesn’t have to be an expensive game.
If you’re willing to put the hours in, there are some pretty creative ways to brand your business without having to sacrifice your food budget or sell the family car.
5 steps to help you build a brand on a budget
1. Develop and understand your buyer personas
If you don’t already know, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your own or your competitors existing customers.
The reason this insight is so important is because the needs, goals, and behavior of your potential customers dictates how you convey your product or service.
It might seem time-consuming and perhaps a little trivial at first, but getting these right will set you up to be able to attract valuable visitors, leads, and customers to your business.
2. Maintain a confident identity and consistent voice
In my last article, I explained the 5 steps to creating a successful brand identity. Once you’ve nailed your identity, it’s important to stick to it and believe in it. Only then can your brand start to really take shape.
Equally as important when you build a brand, is your brand’s voice. Whether you’re a one-man band or a corporation with a thousand employees, your business’s tone of voice must be consistent and always on message.
Remember, your tone of voice is not just what you say, but how you say it. It should build trust through familiarity, express personality, and set you apart from your competition.
3. Take social media seriously
You’ve spent time doing audience research and crunching data to create buyer personas. You’ve developed a brand identity and consistent voice. Now you just need somewhere to start a conversation.
Where are your potential customers hanging out? You guessed it, social media.
It’s easy to sign up to a selection of social media platforms and start blindly shouting from the rooftops, but it’s not recommended.
You need to find out on which channels your personas spend most of their time.
While that doesn’t mean you should ignore the others, it does give you an idea of where to dedicate the majority or your resources.
Social media requires creativity and dedication. It’s easy to post any old content, but you need to carefully consider how you can add value to your customers with everything you share.
4. Nail your customer service
How many times have you received poor customer service from a business and forever more had a tainted opinion of or felt disconnected from that brand?
For something that’s so simple to get right, so many businesses slip up and it can really damage public persona of their brands.
Equally, a great customer service experience can turn a customer into a brand advocate, likely to share their experience with others. It doesn’t matter whether you’re serving customers or clients, the aim is to create a positive, genuine and shareable experience.
5. Get blogging
Your blog is one of the most powerful weapons you can use to build a brand.
It helps you to reach your target audience, like the buyer personas you spent all that time developing, by creating informative and interesting content that plays to their curiosity, solves their problems, and inspires them to take action.
That’s why it’s so important to ensure your content is good quality, relevant, and that you post regularly.
The other great thing about blogging is that it serves as material to populate your social media channels and although it can be time-consuming, it’s a super inexpensive way to attract visitors to your website, who you can turn into paying customers and brand advocates.
Building a brand might seem like a daunting task, especially with limited resources.
But if you follow these steps and dedicate time to the little things, you’ll start to build momentum and quickly find yourself in a position where you feel much more confident.
Before you know it, that barrier to success will be a thing of the past.
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