Social Media Entrepreneurs, this is especially for you: Essentials for Creating a Brand.
Do you want to build your brand?
Do you want to have a freelance presence?
Do you want to establish your credibility on social media?
If you answered any of these questions with a yes, then you are in the business of creating a brand. It is one of the most fun jobs out there, yet, one of the toughest at the same time. Brand creation means that whatever product/service you aim to offer will be recognizable by the name you are planning to give.
In this day and age, where social media is king, I see all the time that people are eager to establish a particular following - and the KPI is simply the number of followers. Aiming to have a large following and creating a brand is where things become a chicken-and-egg situation. Which one should come first? Although there is no simple answer to that, the answer closest to reality is that you must do both simultaneously. Try different approaches social media marketers advocate, but have a strategic approach and plan to build your brand.
Creating a brand requires having a clear idea of what you want the brand to stand for and for which audience. There is little difference between trying to develop a detergent brand for a multi-national or attempting to build your online brand as a solopreneur. Both need to aim to stand for something in the eye of the audience. That something is the most critical determinant of whether you will achieve success sooner or later.
I always advocate getting a pen and paper - or opening up your computer - and starting to pour your thoughts on paper. Writing your thoughts down is critical because only then can you detect what you are missing.
And here is a summary of what you should be busy with in decyphering what your brand should stand for:
1 - What is your purpose - hint: making money is not a purpose! The purpose is the reason you wake up in the morning with excitement about the day ahead. The purpose is when you know what you are supposed to do in your gut. The purpose is when making money is the outcome rather than the objective.
2 - Why are you different than everybody else - particularly your competition: What is the one thing - or two, or three for that matter - that you do differently than everybody else. At first, when you cannot come up with a straight answer, it might appear that you have nothing to say. But, this cannot be categorically true as you are you, and no one else can be you. So, you must be doing something different than everybody else. Now, what is it?
3 - What you still need to develop: Okay, complete honesty is required. What you lack- compared to your competition or ideal self - is critical. Being completely honest with yourself about your development areas will be one of the most vital determinants of your success. Once you know these, you can plan to upskill yourself or your product.
4 - Finally, do you have an audience for your product - physical or service? When we start creating a brand, we begin with an idea, which should quickly take shape and materialize. So, an imaginary audience is fine at the beginning, but as you create your brand, you need to have a crystal clear idea about who your audience is: Their needs and wants, their life stages, why they want what they want in regards to your product, what is the occasion they would use your product, why should they buy your product, where can you reach them and many other questions need to be answered.
These are the most fundamental questions regarding creating a brand. If you are struggling to answer some of these, then it is a good idea to stop and think some more. Experimenting and improving as you are journeying on the road is okay. But getting the ducks in order is always essential sooner than later. The success then will sort itself out.