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What do you think of when you first hear the phrase, “building your own brand”? Well, to put it simply, your brand is all about how you are perceived by your audience. It consists of who you are, what services or goods you have to offer, and what makes you stand out from the crowd! Your brand is your biggest asset, as it’s what makes people decide to buy from (or follow) you over a competitor!
It’s important to know that building your brand won’t happen overnight– it’s a journey! There’s so much to learn along the way, and that’s why we’re here to help! Branding is our specialty here at Bloguettes, and we are dedicated to teaching you the ins and outs of branding and how to take your online presence to the next level.
Branding is critical to your success, and it’s so important to build your brand the right way from the beginning! Unfortunately, we’ve seen it time and time again where brands fail due to the same mistakes. So, we’ve done our research and put together a list of a few common branding mistakes to avoid as you go about building your brand. Here they are!
Misunderstanding What “Branding” Really Means
Since “branding” is such a multi-dimensional term in the online world, it can be easy to not quite understand what it really means or how to approach it correctly. By textbook definition, branding is the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.
So, when branding your blog or business, that’s what you need to focus on: YOU! What message you want to send to your audience about what you have to offer that separates you from the rest of the competition. Your brand is much more than just a feeling or the visual identity of your company–your brand is your promise! So, take the time to brainstorm and decide on a solid and consistent message and build from there!
Putting Your Brand Low on the Priority List
For those of you who are new to the whole world of online business, branding, and blogging, you may not think that having a distinct brand established is the most important thing to put your energy toward—especially when you’re just trying to get things off the ground. However, this is not the case—if you don’t have a focused brand, nothing else can fall into place. Without the right brand, you won’t reach your target audience, and without that initial target audience, your following cannot be built… the kind of domino effect you want to avoid. Think of your brand as the foundation to build upon!
Hiring someone to help you create your brand and brand guidelines is a great investment. When hiring, make sure that they are not just creating a logo, but a guide that includes the following: logo, typographies, color palette, brand icons, company voice description, as well as an inspiration board including the types of images you could use as part of your brand!
Not Clearly Defining Your Audience
Like we just mentioned, without having a target audience, you can’t build a following! It’s often said that by targeting everyone, you target no one. So, be specific and know exactly who your audience is! What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they spend their time on social media? What are their hobbies? Age? Gender? The list goes on and on!
When you target the right audience, you will gain a following that’s loyal, committed, and genuinely interested in what you have to offer, which is what you want! Understanding your demographic is also key because different audiences are attracted to different things. If you’re not correct about who your reader or customer is, you might end up creating content that they won’t feel connected to!
We recommend using a tool like Demographics Pro, which can help you understand and grow your social audience, using demographics to analyze, influence, and target the consumers who matter most to your brand. This handy tool can break down your audience by gender, age, marital status, income, occupation, location, and more!
Failing to Research Competitors
Just like researching your audience, it’s also so important to research your competitors! Not only can you get inspired, but more importantly, you can determine what makes your brand stand out from the crowd. Plus, by analyzing what’s working for other brands and what’s not, you can steer clear of the mistakes they’ve made.
The key thing to remember here is that knowledge is power! Unfortunately, many brands get so caught up with what they’re doing, they fail to open their eyes and pay attention to what the rest of the industry is doing. However, researching your competitors will only push you to be better. Being complacent with your brand is never a good thing–you should always be making strides toward improvement!
Did you know that it takes 5-7 impressions before someone will remember your brand? For this reason, it’s so important to have brand consistency!
So what exactly do we mean by this? Branding can be tricky, because it’s important to find the balance between having a distinct brand without limiting yourself to being one-dimensional and trying to display everything you have to offer. So, it’s important to take the time to really understand what you are trying to accomplish with your brand. If your brand is inconsistent or offers too much too soon, you will get overextended. While you might get tired of using the same icons, colors, and fonts, this is the only way to create recognition! In the end, it’s best to do one thing well rather than two or three things at a lower standard!
An important rule used in the business world is called the “rule of one.” The rule of one is the concept of building a single brand that can show all that you have to offer and only introducing new products or services that fall under that specific brand. You’d think this would be something easy to follow, but sometimes, we all get a little carried away! So, it’s important to follow this rule for the same reason as keeping your brand consistent– you want to be known for the quality of your brand before you start offering more.
Not Updating Your Brand as Your Company Changes
As time progresses and your blog or business starts to grow, it can be easy to get off track and not give your brand the love it deserves! You already built it once, so that’s all you need, right? No! Your brand is something you need to keep on the top of your to-do list. The digital world is constantly growing and changing and your brand should, too. Every time you create and execute a new idea, launch a new product, or expand your business or blog, you should reevaluate to keep your brand aligned with what you have to offer.
Not Being Strict About Your Brand
As an entrepreneur, no one knows your brand better than you! So, it’s important to always have a say in the decisions made on behalf of your brand and that you’re only doing things that are on-brand for your company. For example, when it comes to collaborations, it’s okay to be picky! While you’re trying to climb the ladder of success, don’t feel like you have to do things that won’t benefit your brand. By keeping the best interest of your brand in mind, you’ll be able to find success!
As you go about building your brand, keep these common mistakes in mind so you can avoid them! Remember, branding is a process that takes time and dedication, so don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t go exactly according to your plans (especially on the first try)! There’s so much to learn along the way, so have fun with it!
Wanna take your brand to the next level? Sign up for our 3-day Branding Workshop in Nashville, TN, where you’ll learn all about the business of blogging, get the inside scoop on social media, and learn how to use Photoshop!