Whether you’re promoting a business or simply establishing your professional identity, branding is an essential step toward carving out your own unique niche in a crowded marketplace. But figuring out how to brand yourself is a different challenge altogether.
With the Internet poised to completely overtake print worldwide, conventional wisdom holds that online promotions are the way to go. Yet focusing all of your energies in one place is sure to lead to a dead end, so here’s how to brand yourself both online
and off to maximize your results.
— even individuals — can stand to benefit from a compelling and memorable logo. The best logos are almost surprisingly simplistic; for example, think of the lowercase “f” that immediately brings Facebook
The reason logos
are so important in the branding process is that people tend to remember images more vividly than they remember words and names, so if you can create a visual representation of yourself or your business that really stands out, you’ve already accomplished half of the branding battle.
Focus efforts on making genuine connections. All too often, people think of networking as something they have to do for their business, and the entire process is suddenly imbued with a sense of dreadful phoniness. The real key to successful networking is
to make an effort to forge real connections with people, both online and off.
Every blog you contact for linkbacks should be one that you actually read and enjoy; every person you hand a business card to should be someone with whom you have found common ground. It may take a little extra work to network this way, but it will be far more effective in the long run.
Every single piece of correspondence you send out, from emails
to mass mailings of postcards, should have a uniform appearance that makes it identifiably yours. If there’s a particular font you favor, use it on your blog and your business card.
Place your logo everywhere. Always refer to your business by the same official name. You simply can’t have one kind of identity online and a different one in the real world — it will work against your branding efforts and leave people confused, or worse, disinterested.
When it comes to integrating print marketing
into your branding strategy, don’t limit yourself to the old standards like postcards or flyers. Instead, you can make a real impact by choosing less expected items like door hangers, magnets or custom stickers.
Think outside the box and shake things up a bit. When was the last time you found a door hanger on your front door that was promoting a blog or website rather than a restaurant or carpet cleaning business? Wouldn’t you remember it if you had? Case closed.
Remember, branding doesn’t have to be a headache. With a bit of ingenuity, it can offer many excellent opportunities to publicize
yourself and your business. There are millions of opportunities and options when it comes to building an online presence and generating leads, but you must be successful at one thing to make it all happen — you must build a brand identity on the Web so that you are easily recognizable.
Once you have a brand identity and start providing valuable content, you will naturally attract people to you and they will begin to trust you as an expert in your field. Look for my upcoming series of articles relating to using social media to build your brand presence
and your practice.
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