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Your Guide to Small Business Branding

What is a personal brand?

The goal of every small business owner, or sole proprietor is to grow a successful, authentic business.

But with finding the time to develop and create a personal brand, it can be hard to have that big dream come to life so your passion can benefit others and ultimately sell more products or services.

Oftentimes, it just comes down to misguided strategies or not knowing where exactly to start. With all your time focused on being the face of your business, you will never have the time to completely navigate a solid foundation of your brand.

Maybe you’ve been browsing Fiverr or Upwork, perhaps you’ve already had a logo created but you’re still wondering if it’s good enough or the design itself isn’t exactly what you wanted. In this industry, you absolutely receive what you pay for. I would never recommend going for people who say they can create a logo for you for $50 that are in Facebook groups, or even Fiverr, Upwork, -you name it. The results often lead to a massive and costly rebrand, a design that is subpar what it could have been, with absolutely NO strategy behind it. These people are trying to make a quick buck, and are really a disservice to the graphic design world. Small business branding is more effective when it is backed by extensive strategy and a unique, memorable design.

It can make you feel frustrated, overworked, and overwhelmed.

Today, you’re in luck! I’m going to share a brand strategy guide that will help you build your personal brand, navigate how to start a visual brand identity (your logo) and define your target audience without feeling overwhelmed, or spending more money than necessary.

I'll cover the entire brand strategy, how it works and how you can get started -For FREE.

Keep reading for more details.

What Is the Brand Strategy Guide?

It aims to help you strategize and build your brand as if you are working with a graphic designer 1:1, define your audience for a more targeted and unique brand message, and create an inspiration board that will be ready for you to move into the next steps of creating your logo or outsource it to a graphic designer if you wish.

This brand strategy guide can work across different platforms, but I have created it in Canva to keep it user friendly. It comes complete with tips, tricks, and research to help you dive deep into your brand personality, values, and mission. Basically, the WHY of your business. Plus, you’ll receive two worksheets to fill in all the information you gather about your brand, and a mood board.

This brand strategy guide is perfect for anyone who has a small business. If you’re a fresh startup, or looking for a rebrand, this guide is for you too!

Why is Small Business Branding Important?

Statistics show that 55% of consumers are more likely to buy a product [or service] if they love a brand's story.

I love this statistic because it not only shows how much consumers enjoy a product or service based on their brand story, but it also reinforces the fact that a brand story is strengthened with a solid brand strand and visual identity. When all of those pieces come together, they create a cohesive, authentic atmosphere for a brand.

Let’s be honest here. Majority of business owners, let’s say about 80% of them, don’t have time to sit down and develop a brand strategy. Most have no idea what it means or the process it takes to create a successful brand, and that's okay.

By implementing my brand strategy guide, you’ll be able to save time and the headache of figuring out who your target audience is, your market-fit, and how you want your logo to look. Take it section by section, or step by step. Don't get discouraged, most brands take weeks, some months to strategize and map out.

This way, you will be able to stay focused on building relationships and your day-to-day biz activities.

Also, this brand strategy gives you the ability to refine your target audience (find out who your ideal customers or clients are) and reach them in a way that cultivates an authentic, human-centered connection.

That means you won’t have to spend hours and hours looking for clients through Facebook groups (because that is fierce competition), or constantly trying so hard to sell, sell, sell.

Brand Strategy Examples

If creating a brand strategy sounds hard and overwhelming, I totally get it.

It can sound really simple and most small businesses start it with, “I just need a logo”. And that’s it, they are done. But there is so much more to it than just a pretty logo.

It can get confusing to a business owner when they think they’ve been trying all the things to promote or market their business, and they come up empty with no sales and a huge list of expenses. It all comes down to starting with a brand strategy.

You think you can tackle it, until you actually try to do it. Like trying to research how your business fits into an ever changing market that is more digital by the day. Or figuring out a customer persona, and taking the time to research their demographic and psychographic traits.

With that said, I put together some examples below to break it down for you so you can easily get started with building your own personal brand strategy.

Brand Mission

Simply put, a brand mission is how a business communicates their purpose, objectives, and how the business will serve their customers.

Although this may seem like something you may not need in your business, it’s actually more recommended that you create a brand mission as this statement creates the interest and curiosity of your brand story.

Plus, it further shapes the mold of what your business is about and what it stands for. The “Why” of your business. Why did you start your business? What made you passionate about it? How does it benefit customers or clients? I always love referring to Nike, because they have had solid branding and stand behind it. See the example of their brand mission statement below.

Nike Mission and Vision Statement

Brand Voice & Brand Personality

The more you can define your brand mission, the easier it will be to create the next step of your brand strategy. As you can tell, each one piggybacks off the other. Which is why it is important to not skip steps.

That’s where brand voice and brand personality come in. Although they overlap, each one can help define your brand further.

A brand voice is a unique message, tone, and persona that is perceived from the audience.

A brand personality is a set of human characteristics and traits that create a persona in which customers can relate or resonate with.

Brand Personality Trait Examples

The best way to implement this is to think about your brand as a person.

What would this person be like?

How would it think, feel, and behave?

What would be its main personality traits or brand adjectives?

I have provided a slew of examples of these in my brand strategy guide to help you brainstorm what these traits would be. Remember, these traits and personality should appeal to and match your ideal customers.

Competitor Analysis

A competitor analysis is gathering data on major competitors in your same market. This data will provide in-depth insights into their products, sales, marketing tactics, and how they represent themselves online as well as offline.

Don’t feel defeated with this step. This one can often lead to comparing your brand to another and seeing how successful they are when you’re not there yet. It’s okay to feel this way, but don’t let it consume you. They once started where you are now, and it took this entire process to get them where they are now.

A good competitive analysis brings a wealth of benefits to you and your business.

  • It can help you identify your value proposition

  • Help you understand what your competitor is doing right, and what they are doing wrong

  • Take in all the customer reviews and feedback that you can

  • Can give you a starting point to help you measure your own business growth

This is a very thorough analysis, and will require you to record all the data in one place. I'll be creating another freebie just for this - so keep an eye out for that!

Some things to document are:

  • Social media presence and most used platforms

  • How they promote their content

  • Their content strategy, how often they publish new content

  • How often they update their website

  • What kind of engagement they receive and the content they share

  • Research what technology they are using

  • How they market their products

Before you begin, make sure that you analyze your own business under the same guidelines so you can understand how your business is performing.

Learn how to strategize and build your small business branding today

I hope this post and guide on creating your own brand strategy has been helpful. If you take anything away from this post or guide, remember that it takes many steps to build a brand to entirety but ultimately you will finish with a strong, unique, and memorable brand that is ready for a visual brand identity!

The best way to start is to follow all the steps in the guide. It is important though, to keep an open mind about the direction of your brand i.e. where you are now vs. where it needs to go but ensure that it aligns with your overall business goals.

That way you can set yourself up to be a versatile brand but remain recognizable no matter what direction or market you approach. So, what do you say? Are you ready to give it a go?

Now that you know the basics of creating a personal brand, it's time to grab your own copy of Flourish Your Brand: Brand Strategy Guide and see how easy it is to understand the process of bringing your brand to life.

Click the image or the link below to grab your guide now. I promise, you won't regret it!

Flourish Your Brand: Brand Strategy Guide. Learn how to establish the foundation of your brand.

If you have questions at all, feel free to reach out to Molly through the chat box on this page, the contact page, or DM Molly on social media.

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