2020 was a tumultuous year that left many business owners asking: How can I grow my brand? From struggling with the shift to WFH to the dread of downsizing, many businesses have struggled to rise above the noise and reach their target audience. Long-term, sustainable brand growth means separating your company from your competitors. Making big gains is as easy as going back to basics, so here are 25 fundamental strategies for jumpstarting your brand.
1) Be clear on your “Why”
Your “Why” informs your work and guides your business in the right direction. Every major branding or marketing decision you make should serve a higher purpose. If you struggle to define why your work matters, you simply can’t spark momentum for your brand.
2) Niche down — and then keep niching
There’s a famous saying in the marketing world: “The riches are in the niches.” Don’t market your business to everyone! After you determine your “Why” you need to clarify your “Who” down to one ideal client. The more you narrow down the perfect client for your brand, the more easily you can take advantage of niche (and sub-niche) marketing.
3) Position yourself on social media
Your company Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles must reflect your brand positioning strategy and demonstrate the unique value you bring to your market. Every visitor is a potential client!
4) Develop your brand voice
It’s tough to increase your company’s visibility on Google and social media straight out of the gate. SEO is key but so is developing content with images that speaks to your brand. Your brand voice should complement:
- The type of products or services you provide
- What you hope to achieve and promise to deliver
- How your ideal client might engage in conversation with friends
- Are they friendly or formal? Bubbly or reserved?
5) Write a compelling origin story
Your origin story combines your personal experiences with why you started your business. It allows potential clients to get to know you and more importantly, relate to you. When it comes down to it, a compelling origin story sets you apart from your competitors.
As you write your company’s origin story, touch on the following:
- Who do you serve and why?
- What are the key points of each chapter of your story?
- What drove you to the place you are today?
6) Use a lead magnet to nourish your email list
Making a lead magnet is simple: Offer an enticing freebie in exchange for an email address. Though most entrepreneurs turn to social media first to market their brands, make no mistake — with a potential ROI as high as 4,400%, email marketing is a worthwhile investment. Don’t wait to use your email list to expose people to what you offer.
7) Optimize your email signature
Your email signature leaves a lasting impression on potential clients. It should be visually appealing and include your full name, title, business name, address, and phone number. You might also add links to your lead magnet, a sales landing page, or your company social media profiles.
8) Post valuable content on a regular basis
To your content game, choose timely topics that tie into your brand values. Publishing articles that make waves means taking as unique of an angle as possible. In addition, don’t be afraid to offer a free eBook (in exchange for email sign-ups). No-cost, high-value content shows that you value your clients beyond the sale, which fosters brand loyalty.
9) Update your LinkedIn page 3-5 times per week
LinkedIn has 760+ million users and roughly 260 million are active each month. Needless to say, it’s the best platform to spark brand awareness.
Post announcements about company events, shout-outs to outstanding clients, links to your blog, and the occasional GIF or quote no more than five times per week, once per day. (Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn isn’t ideal for repeat posting.) Thirty percent of LinkedIn engagement comes from employees, so ask team members to interact with your posts within two hours of publication.
10) Optimize your website for SEO
Improving your SEO strategy is as simple as brainstorming questions and keywords your ideal client might use to find companies like yours. Distribute these keywords evenly throughout your content (and well-timed power words) to increase your rank on Google. Don’t forget to add in/outbound links and optimize your images.
Be mindful that a solid SEO strategy can’t compensate for poorly written or vague writing. Follow the 70/30 rule: Invest 70 percent of your time into creating high-quality content, and the remaining 30 percent into tailoring your content for Google.
11) Blog for inbound lead generation
The benefits of blogging are numerous, especially for small businesses who need to stand out in a highly saturated market. Not only do they position you as an expert in your field, but they also link more prospects to your brand. Blogs are a great way to grow your email list, too! Publish at least four blog posts per month that address topics relevant to your target audience.
If you’re new to blogging, be mindful of basic content writing mistakes like using too many complex words in a bid to seem smarter (hint: it’s alienating) and pushing for the sale. You can market products in blog posts, but be subtle — never ask visitors to make a purchase.
12) Boost your blog with a YouTube channel
YouTube is the tried and true way to grab your target market’s attention and grow your brand. Your blog and YouTube channel can play off of each other. For example, you can embed YouTube videos into search engine optimized, short-form blog posts, or you can blog to announce your YouTube Live event.
YouTube videos can be repurposed into long-form blogs, too. Upload your videos to a transcription website to get started!
13) Lead a Facebook social learning community
Facebook groups typically cater to users who want to expand their skills and grow their businesses by learning from your content. If you’re B2B, Facebook may not be the best investment of your time — unless you’re a small business or a solopreneur. But if your ideal customer is active on Facebook and likely to join a social learning community, don’t wait to get started. Live events and thought-provoking posts build trust and a natural rapport.
14) Grow your brand with relevant Instagram content
Instagram is a great platform for rising businesses to connect with their prospects. But it’s also a more personal social media platform, and it’s easy to accidentally overshare. Posting an occasional photo or video about what your life is like behind the scenes makes you seem more human — but even personal content should speak to your brand.
15) Podcasts: start your own and be a guest star
If you start your own podcast, kudos! But you should also guest star on other people’s podcasts. Find a podcast that regularly hosts guest speakers. Then, listen to several of their episodes and leave a review that proves you have something valuable to contribute. Don’t forget to drop a compliment or two.
16) Get comfortable being on camera
Videos and podcasts are powerful because they allow your clients to engage with you without losing time. Research shows that adding a video to your landing page can increase conversions by as much as 80%.
To leverage video for your business, practice filming until you feel at ease on camera. Don’t worry too much about filler words or small glitches — just familiarize yourself with video editing software.
17) Collaborate with companies who serve your target audience
Trustworthy professionals who target your ideal customer can help you grow your brand. Influencers aren’t your only option! For instance, you might feature a small business owner in your niche on your Facebook Live event. In return, you can demonstrate your expertise to their clientele.
18) Host a free webinar
Engaging and cost-effective, live webinars are versatile tools to build brand credibility. Webinars are a fantastic 2-in-1 teaching tool: Your audience learns about your business, and you learn from your clients by asking them questions during the Q and A or in post-webinar polls. You should also encourage participants to submit questions and feedback during and after the event.
Another webinar bonus: Organic interaction (social selling) is one of the best ways to make sales and generate leads. Webinars position you as an expert without pushing your products and services onto prospective clients.
19) Post in LinkedIn groups
To grow your brand, grow your leads. Lead generation is proof that your brand strategy is working. The easiest way to find new prospects? Regularly posting content to LinkedIn groups your ideal client is likely to join. Go easy on the emojis, and try to add a video on occasion — video posts on LinkedIn are 25 times more likely to be re-shared.
20) Kickstart a referral program
The standard referral program requires recommending businesses to vetted professionals and receiving referrals in return. You can also offer a free product or one-on-one strategy session for a business owner who gives you a referral. Remember: Who you work with reflects the integrity of your business, so choose your referrals wisely. If you want to grow your brand, surround yourself with professionals who mirror your personal beliefs and company values.
21) Get personal, but not too personal
The wild success of the lifestyle brand proves how personal narratives build bridges to consumers. In other words, if you’re relatable, you’re more trustworthy. Weaving your lived experiences into your business can make you seem more approachable. But keep in mind that your target audience expects you to be ahead of them on the journey. Don’t dive into your failures without sharing how your business provided the solution.
22) Go against the grain
Great brands are born when common wisdom is questioned. Taking a contrary position on a hot button topic and offering ways to do it better (i.e., a novel approach to Keto) attracts attention. Not all of that attention will be positive, but persisting will position you as a leader in your market.
23) Engineer a signature offer
Developing a signature offer can help you grow your brand. To start, think about the number one reason someone might approach you for your products or services? What product or service does your ideal client need from you to overcome their greatest challenge? Don’t forget to price your signature offer to reflect your worth — a value that your audience will agree upon.
24) Productize knowledge and experiences
Even if you have a signature offer and a noteworthy selection of products, never pass up an opportunity to keep creating. Your knowledge and experiences keep your brand from stagnating. If you attend a workshop or a course for business leaders, take what you learn and transmute it into your own program. If you attend a speaking event, draw from that content to create a free, downloadable eBook. The opportunities are endless.
25) Publish a book about your business
Thought leaders often take their business to the next level by publishing a book. If you run a lifestyle brand, consider writing an autobiography about your journey. If you’re B2B, chronicling how you created your formula for success inspires hopeful entrepreneurs and sells your products or services for you. The bottom line: Having a book or two under your belt conveys authority.
Have you tried any of these methods to enhance your brand positioning strategy? Discuss your results in the comments! If you need more insight into how to make these tips work for your business, let’s chat.
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