The Jon Dwoskin Experience. Business Coach/Executive Advisor, Author and Speaker. I get clients unstuck and accelerate their growth.
We’ve all heard the concept that “less is more.” I often agree that a smaller quantity may be the highest quality. But when it comes to branding, my mantra is “more is more” — as long as that means solid content that brings value.
Re-think your mindset around building your brand.
Everyone is always sizing us up, determining their opinion of us based on the image and brand we give off. If you treat a server at a restaurant poorly, that is your brand — not only to the server but to those you’re with. If you do something kind, that is your brand.
In a nutshell, a brand is what people say about you when you walk out the door. Everything we do and say is our brand. Regardless of your industry, your brand must provide value and solid content. You want clients to view you as a trusted advisor, a thought leader, someone ahead of real time and someone who always gets them thinking by challenging the status quo and increasing their awareness.
We often think about branding as something only Starbucks or other giant companies do. But the idea that branding is expensive or just for the conglomerates is completely wrong, especially with all the advantages of social media. With free access to a plethora of social platforms, you really can do it all, as long as you have courage and provide consistency.
Some people worry they'll be bothering people by excessively posting on social media. I believe the exact opposite: Now is the time to double down on your content. If you don't have the writing strength or power, get some writers or editors. If you don't have ideas, reach out to people who can help you come up with some. Because you will get lost in the shuffle if you don't provide a ton of content. Be of service, be content-rich and give it all away so people view you as a value-added resource with knowledge and influence.
My brand is about thinking big and getting people unstuck so they can get to the next level. I constantly tell people everything I can, what to do and how they can adjust my ideas for themselves. A lot of times people hold content to their chest and don't like to give it out. I take the reverse view, so I frequently blog and podcast about all aspects of business. It's a major part of my brand. My philosophy is to tell people what they can do and then offer my services to provide the customized how to do it.
Build your group of ambassadors.
Many of us get tied up with likes and followers and things of that nature, but that's not what branding is. Instead, it's attracting "brand ambassadors," people who do business with you and/or refer your business to others.
The expectations of generating thousands upon thousands of likes, shares and page hits is really beside the point. Instead of worrying about "going viral," set measurable and meaningful goals, like, "Through this blog or series of tweets, I will generate five ambassadors who really love my work." When you get five ambassadors who sing your praises and refer others to your business, you've got quality. And when each of those five people tells just one person how great you are, you now have 10 ambassadors. When over the next three to six months each tells one person, that 10 goes to 20, and you start really growing your business.
Determine how many ambassadors you need to double, triple or quadruple your business. And figure out how long it will take. Forget becoming an overnight sensation; it's much more realistic that reaching your growth goals will take a year, maybe two or three. Ask yourself, "What is my current brand? Where do I want my brand to be in one year? Two years? Ten years?" Set that time period, then reverse engineer the different levels of content you will distribute, targeting different people to build your ambassadors.
Create an emotional connection.
The goal is to create an emotional connection with your clients, no different than the emotional connection people have when buying a pair of Air Jordans or another hot commodity. Are clients calling you quickly and wanting to spend time with you? Do they rely on your insight and advice? A good brand creates excitement and gets clients thinking of you.
Stay relevant and current.
A good brand stays relevant and that has never been more important than during our current time. Are you innovative? Are you sticking to your core values? Are you one of those companies that posts your principles up on the wall, but doesn't actually live them? That can be very evident during this COVID-19 crisis. If your company is not nurturing, believe me, your people are feeling it. And that will tarnish your brand.
Manage your internal brand, too.
It is important you also manage your internal brand. It's all about the Golden Rule: Treat others how you want to be treated. Your internal team members are also your clients; be your best self around them so you inspire them to be their best selves. It's a chain reaction. Sometimes we forget that we have to manage the energy we bring into every meeting and interaction with our clients and colleagues.
Whatever you do to promote your brand, do it daily. Those who are consistent and authentic have more fun and grow their brands more quickly. Start small and build that branding organically and regularly. Often people think they simply don't have time for branding. But if you spend just five minutes a day planning, mapping out and developing your brand, it will grow. Nurture your brand and watch it thrive.
Building a strong online brand starts when you prepare offline. Take time to develop your messaging and follow a consistent editorial calendar so you can build your brand, create ambassadors and grow your bottom line!