HOW TO CREATE A KICKASS BRAND

Branding is one of the most essential ingredients in what makes a business a success.

It is what makes a business memorable and interesting.

It is what makes us stop the scroll and actually look at the content of that post and switch focus from whatever other thing we are doing at the time.

It is what gets attention.

And in this crazy online world we live in, that is like gold dust.

 However, so many small business owners ignore this ingredient.

They get their logo, choose some colours & fonts and are on their way.

Not realising that there is so much more to this branding thing.

Business Dictionary defines branding as “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.

They nailed it with the “aim to establish a significant and differentiated presence” – but really I feel there is so much more to branding than this definition.

 Branding, at it’s core, is a businesses personality and how it is expressed tangibly in order to get (& stay) noticed.

 It is expressed in many ways: logos, graphics, photography and words.

But what makes a kickass brand is how that all ties together to create meaning and connection.

 In this post, I’ll take you through a process of how you can create your own kickass brand for your business.

It involves 3 layers.

BRAND LAYER #1 : KNOWLEDGE

Before we get stuck into the tangibles of branding we need to start from the beginning.

Target Market

It will be know surprise to you that I’m bringing up your target market – because everything starts there.

You really need to know your target market better than you know yourself.

This impacts your branding greatly because of course we want to build a brand that is appealing to your ideal customer.

I could talk about this all day, and I have – in this blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Finding and Defining your Target Market.

Check that one out if you can’t honestly say you have done a deep dive into what makes your target audience tick.

Offer

The next thing you need to have an understanding of is what you offer – really.

I’m not talking here about the features of your product or service package.

I’m talking about the benefits, the outcome and the transformation.

Where is your ideal customer at when you first meet them? What are their challenges, pain points, frustrations or desires?

Then, where can you get them to be? How can you make them feel? What impact will that have on their lives.

It may sound trivial for day to day products but it still matters because this is what you need to sell not the widgets and gadgets that come as part of your package.

Strengths

Finally, you need to know what your strengths are. Both from a business perspective and from a personal perspective (since as a small business owner you are so closely tied with what you offer).

What is it that makes you and your business unique and different?

What can you do better than anyone else?

What matters to you?

This is important to be aware of in order to create your brand as we really want to highlight these points.

BRAND LAYER #2 : MEANING

Once we have a good understanding of who we serve and how we serve them well – it’s now time to apply meaning to that in a way that your ideal customers will connect with.

Brand Statement

Your brand statement is what ties all of the above lessons from layer #1 together – in a single sentence.

This is what you ultimately want everything to come back to.

Here’s a couple of formulas you can follow:

For Service Based Businesses:

“I help/inspire <describe your target market in a few words> <thing that you help them with> so that <target markets desire>”

For Product Based Businesses:

“I create/provide <what you sell including what makes it unique> for <describe your target market in a few words> so that <target markets desire>”.

What you want to be known for

As Jeff Bezos the creator of Amazon says “Your Brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room”.

In other words, it is what you want to be known for.

This typically comprises of a few things:

  • Values
  • Vision
  • Mission Statement

If you don’t have these written up, I suggest you do it because it will make all the difference in ensuring you control the narrative about what others say about you.

Personality

The final element in this layer is the most fun but often forgotten – personality.

If your business was a person, how would you describe them?

What characteristics or traits would they have?

A good way to think about this is how you want your target audience to feel when they see your brand online: your website, your social graphics or your logo.

What do you want to invoke?

I suggest you write a list of personality traits you want to bring out.

BRAND LAYER #3 : EXPRESSION

Now it’s time to get into the surface level stuff. The things your audience will actually see.

This task should be considerably easier if you have done the ground work of the previous two layers.

And, often, if you are working with a (good) brand strategist or designer they will focus a lot of their questioning around those first two layers so that they can truly express what your business is about to your audience.

 Core Brand Elements

The first thing we pull together for your brand are your core brand elements. These are items that would typically appear on your brand board.

These are your go-to building blocks on which you build your whole brand and comprise of:

  • Logo
  • Sub-marks
  • Colour palette
  • Fonts
  • Patterns, Lines or Backgrounds

When choosing these you want to make sure they fit the brand personality and values you want to showcase.

Graphics

Once you have the basics in place, you will then think about all your business graphics from your website to your business cards to your social media templates to your invoices.

Every touchpoint you have with your customers or potential customers should tie in together, so they look and feel like your business.

The test here of a brilliant brand is if you didn’t have your business name or logo on it – would they still recognise it as coming from you?

 Photography

When it comes to branding, photography plays a huge role. While stock photos can provide a good interim solution when we don’t have the budgets for custom photos, nothing can express your brand identity better than photos designed for that purpose.

Any great photographer will be able to bring your brand to life if given the direction of the type of vibe and personality you are going for.

We also want to see more of you!

Even if you have a product based business, personal branding is more important than ever before as it shows your ideal customer that there is a real person behind the business. It shows that you aren’t some faceless organisation but you are someone they can connect with on a real level.

And that is what creates loyalty.

 Words

Sadly, this is such a forgotten element of branding. However, your words have the potential to make a huge impact on your sales.

Nobody likes lacklustre copy. They want to be moved to take some sort of action and that is where copywriting comes in.

To create impactful copy involves many things but to help use words as part of your brand you can begin by building what my go-to copywriter, Jay Crisp Crow, calls a Word Bank.

This is a list of words and phrases that you will use consistently throughout your copy that will make your language recognisable as yours.

Once again think back to your values and your brand personality. What is it that you want to convey? Then share it always by weaving it through your copy.

Story

The final element that will really take your branding beyond just words on a screen to true connection is story.

Story is all about sharing experiences (yours or your clients) to help people understand and visualise the message you want to convey.

This could be through the use of metaphors from other areas of your life that your audience can relate to or strong, direct examples.

This is what can tie all of the elements together into a really beautiful song that makes your brand  truly irresistible.

CONCLUSION

Brand is what makes your business memorable and what will motivate your ideal customers to take action.

There are many layers to it beginning with Knowledge (Target Market, Offer and Strengths) and then applying meaning to that through your Brand Statement, Values and Personality.

Once you have those layers in place, only then can you begin to express what your brand is about in a connected way.

This will be done through your core brand elements, graphics, photography, words and, finally, story.

As you can see this is a big process and not one to be taken lightly. It certainly deserves its due diligence especially at the beginning because it is the foundation from which everything else will grow.

At the same time, I am a big believer in learning by doing. So please don’t get stuck in this branding phase for months on end. Instead, take a best guess, go with your gut and dive right in. You will always do better by trying to stand out in some way than trying to blend in with the crowd. Because who wants that?

More of an audio listener? Check out this related podcast episode!

How to Improve Your List Building Strategy

Ever found yourself frustrated with a stagnant email list, wondering why people aren't subscribing despite your best efforts? I get it.

Firstly, you have to understand that you’ll have this natural growth right at the beginning of your email marketing journey - and that it’s normal to have things stagnate after that.

Second, a lot of your initial list growth will come from your existing audience, whether that’s on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or people you know within your networks.

So, you might get that rapid increase, but at some point, you might exhaust that audience if you aren’t proactively growing elsewhere.

In this ultimate list building guide, I’ll share my best list building strategy that’ll supercharge your list growth massively.

Whether you are a business owner, course creator or service provider, email marketing has the potential to free you from the busy, get sales and create more space in your life!

Here is everything you need to know about how to improve your list building strategy.

 

 

TIP 1 - GIVE PEOPLE A REASON TO SIGN UP

Let's start by understanding the importance of giving your audience a compelling reason to join your email list - people value their email addresses so they're not just going to give it away for free.

In my Lead Magnet Magic course, I teach students that to grow their email list quickly, they must provide an irresistible opt-in. By doing this, you can establish a fair value exchange, overall increasing conversion rates and attracting a more targeted audience.

So, forget the generic "subscribe to my newsletter" pitch; entice your audience with exclusive updates or a lead magnet that truly adds value to their business or daily lives.

>> Click here to check out Lead Magnet Magic

 

 

Tip 2 - Check Your Stats

Before you scale up your advertising efforts, take a deep dive into your lead page and overall site-wide stats.

A 50-60% signup rate for dedicated lead pages and 1-3% of website visitors for general signups are the benchmarks.

If you're falling short, it's time to focus on improving your conversion strategies!

Checkout episode number 21 of my Easy Email Marketing Podcast, 7 things you need for a high converting lead page if you’re stuck for ideas.

 

 

Tip 3 - Make Your Signup Obvious on Your Website

Ensure your signup options are impossible to miss across your website.

Consider using floating bars, popups, or banners to capture your audience's attention and make it crystal clear and easy for them to subscribe.

 

 

Tip 4 - Make Your Lead Magnet Prominent on Your Socials

Leverage your social media platforms by consistently featuring your lead magnet.

From updating Facebook and Instagram graphics to pinned posts to CTA’s, remind your audience regularly about the benefits of joining your email list.

 

 

Tip 5 - Leverage Your Content

Whether it's blog posts, YouTube videos, or podcasts, seamlessly integrate mentions of your lead magnet.

Use dynamic ads during podcast episodes, share insights within your content, and always provide a direct link to your signup page.

 

 

Tip 6 - Mention Your Email List Often

Consistent promotion is the key. Incorporate mentions of your email list into your regular social media posts.

Consider using tools like ManyChat to automate sign-ups directly through Instagram comments.

 

 

Tip 7 - Add Event-Style Lead Magnets to your List Building Strategy

Enhance your lead magnet offerings with limited-time events, such as webinars, challenges, or giveaways.

In my List Building Boost course, I teach you how to create these types of opt-ins – the one’s that majorly convert!

You’ll also need to create a sense of urgency to attract new subscribers and diversify your audience.

At the end of the day, it’ll be refreshing for your audience to find different ways to interact with you, rather than just through a PDF or Word Document.

 

 

Tip 8 - Use Ads Strategically

Once you've optimised your existing strategies, you can delve into paid advertising.

It's crucial to understand your conversion value before investing heavily in ads to ensure a positive return on investment.

Ads can be a great way to grow your list quickly, especially if you don't want to spend a tonne of time being active on socials et cetera. 

 

 

Tip 9 - Participate in Bundles or Swaps

Collaborate with businesses or influencers for bundle promotions or swaps.

Consider formalising agreements where you promote each other's lead magnets to tap into new audiences.

 

 

Tip 10 - Get Active with Guest Speaking

Explore opportunities to speak at summits, contribute to courses, or appear on podcasts.

Guest speaking not only broadens your reach but also establishes trust with new audiences, making them more likely to subscribe.

 

In essence, improving your list building strategy involves a multi-faceted approach. From optimising your website and social media presence to collaborations and guest speaking, these 10 tips have hopefully provided you with insightful methods of how to get more email subscribers.

 

And of course, this list building guide wouldn't be complete without mentioning my exclusive lead magnet - my collection of 80+ fill-in-the-blank email ideas. If you ever find yourself struggling with what to share with your list, be sure to head over to yaelkeon.com/ideas to grab yourself a copy – or fill in the form down below!

 

Happy emailing!

 

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