Brand activation is the strategic process of bringing your brand to life. This process should be intentional and not haphazard — that’s where the activation comes into play. You can activate your brand by developing a brand narrative, attention-grabbing visuals and your brand experience.
When you activate your brand correctly, you’ll know it’s right because your target market will come to you. You’ll see more people following you on social media and reaching out in response to your offers. You’ll build relationships based on feelings of connection and eventually your business will see sustainable growth because of these connections. In other words, your brand activation should bring your brand to life so that you can start building genuine, long-term relationships with your ideal customers and clients.
Think about when you started your business and first established a public presence online. Since then, have you been intentional about building your brand? This doesn’t only pertain to your business brand but also your personal brand. You have to be intentional about how you position yourself on social media and even how you present yourself in person because you never know with whom you might cross paths.
Whether you want to cultivate professional relationships for your business or look for your next great job, you need to activate the version of yourself you want to present to the world — a.k.a. your brand. But your brand must be authentic. It won’t benefit you to create something that doesn’t accurately represent who you are and what you do, either as a business or an individual.
Don’t think about branding as writing a snappy headline or curating flashy photos to attract as many fans/followers/likes as possible. Think of it as a way to connect with the right people. Start brainstorming what you need to create, share and do to get where you want to be in your career.
Is the way you position yourself online consistent with who you are in real life? This doesn’t necessarily mean you should promote the version of yourself that you become when spending time with your closest friends and family members. (Though, if you’re running a daycare business, for example, presenting the side of you that’s a loving mother could be helpful!) You want to showcase the person you are when putting your best foot forward and representing your business and yourself professionally.
Is your messaging clear, concise and consistent across all online platforms? Will people understand what you do after they take a quick look at your website or read one of your social media profiles? More pertinently, will people understand what you can do for them? A confused person will almost always say no because they don’t understand the benefit of saying yes. Focus less on being clever and more on being direct about the difference you can make to a potential employer or a future client/customer.
Next, consider if your visuals align with your professional field and business offerings. Your profiles should reflect how you want to be perceived and convey to people how you can be of service to them. You want to build a brand in which other professionals will be willing to invest. Be mindful not to post content on the internet simply to get attention. Share things that will attract quality engagement and help you cultivate relationships with the people with whom you want to work. Everything from the colors and fonts you choose to the photos and quotes you use will impact how people perceive your brand. Remember that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
Consider where and how your working relationships might start. What platforms are most likely to provide the connections you seek? How can you best use each platform to facilitate those interactions? Check your social media pages daily and respond to messages regularly. Though you could certainly use a template, you don’t want to create a fully drafted message with which you respond uniformly. You want to make your interactions more personal and friendly to encourage further engagement.
Finally, think about the experience people will have when they choose to work with you. That experience is what you want to sell. Make that experience known by sharing photos and videos, writing a blog or sharing testimonials by people with whom you’ve worked. The possibilities are endless. And fortunately, when it comes to brand activation, it’s never too late to start. Even if you’ve been in the world for a while, you can still ask yourself, “What kind of strategy do I need to activate my brand, boost my visibility and make the right impression on my target audience?”
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