There are many companies that come to mind that just have it made by now like Apple (naturally), or Girlboss, Fenty, hell even FashionNova is everywhere. Now it’s your time to build brand demand for your own business.
Let’s dig into the process of creating this magnetic brand demand that we all dream of.
Know who you are and speak your truth
The strongest brands know what they stand for, what they value and who they are. There has to be meaning and a mission behind your company. Not only do you need a ‘why’ behind your business but a powerful one too. That is if you’re hoping to attract the right kind of people by the masses. Now, you don’t need to be 100% polished. You just need to understand why you started your company in the first place. Are you clear on what your business stands for?
To give you my example, my mission is to help women succeed online with their online businesses. That’s because I enjoy helping people and as a web designer, I can help people (companies like yours) help even more people (your customers). I love seeing people’s lives being improved even if they don’t realize it themselves. Additionally, I have set values I do not deviate from.
Focus Lab, a creative agency, has a fantastic set of values. They’ve got a whole page dedicated to explaining their company’s core values including people over profit, never stop learning, and keeping it simple. They value people, beauty, and process above all else.
Focus Lab is a creative agency fueled by collaboration, curiosity, and craftsmanship. Our engagements endeavor to empower people, and organizations, towards progress.Erik Reagan, Co-founder of Focus Lab
If you’re not part of the design industry, you might not have heard of them. But, within the design circle, Focus Lab is highly praised and loved! They produce quality work and attract quality clients including Udacity, Jib Jab, and 500px. I am certain that they have to turn away quality clients. I’m also certain that when they post a job opening they are swamped with applicants as well.
Know who your target audience is
You must know your target audience inside and out in order to best serve them. That’s the key to providing them with solutions to problems they actually have. You will avoid the pitfall of a poor product-market fit because you’ll be solving a real pain point. Spend time to get to know them by regularly engaging with them.
People love companies who listen to them, companies that give them what they need. There are numerous ways to keep the conversation going. First is through good old fashioned research, surveys, polls, etc. Those work best with past customers to see why they bought from you and what they liked and didn’t like so much either.
Another tactic, which works beautiful wonders, is to provide engaging content and then engage back. Post on your social media and listen what people have to say. Hell, literally ask them what they want to see from you.
That’s exactly what Cici, the Six Figure Chick just does on her Instagram. Within hours of each other, Cici posted two questions. One asked her followers about their profit goals and the other literally asked what kind of content these people want to see her make next.
This is a gold mine idea. The first post is engaging but it will also let her know the revenue expectations of her customers. That’s useful information for providing more content and even pricing her products moving forward. The second post just lets her know exactly the content to produce next, and the issues her audience is struggling with right now. They get heard and she gets to serve them. Brilliant!
You get to provide in-demand solutions
I’ve touched upon this a little already but if you know who you are and who your target audience is, you can now provide them with in-demand solutions. This can mean freebies, classes, services, products whatever gets the problem solved. Furthermore, now you will know what kind of marketing companies will work best, which kind of content to post on Facebook versus Snapchat and whether to even bother using Facebook or Snapchat in the first place. Providing in-demand solutions is a sure way to build brand demand.
A workbook to help you figure it all out
I know you know what makes you-you, but I also know it might be hard to put it into words. It’s not something we think about every day; we just live by it.
That’s why I made this free printable download for you. It’s a workbook that will ask you a lot of question about your company and its brand. It will get you to think and write down exactly who you are and what your core values are. This will bring you tremendous clarity moving forward in decision making, sticking to a consistent message, improved customer targeting and even recruiting.
Get in front of your people
Next, you must make yourself visible. You must be easy to find! The more brand visibility you gain, the more demand you will receive as well.
Yes, it’s can be disheartening, off-putting or just plain daunting. I know. But you must make yourself know. Follow through with the typical methods from ads, social media marketing, email marketing, blogging, freebies, classes, webinars, event hosting, sponsoring, community, outreach. Whatever you think is best depending on where your audience hangs out.
Your job is to make it easy for them to find you.
Gary Vaynerchuk swore earlier this year that Facebook and Instagram advertising could help you reach many many potential customers. It’s his big recommendation for 2018. If you haven’t heard him talk about it yet, better get to it as 2018 is almost halfway up! (Can you believe it’s May already! Damn.)
One example he brings up is Wish. It’ss a company that’s making a lot of noise on Facebook. They’re a retailer and they have an app that they constantly advertise on Facebook. They share a verity of their cheap items at any given time. Thousands if not millions of people are looking at their ad and are downloading their app because of their cheap prices and consistent advertisement.
You don’t have to follow Vaynerchuk’s advice. But, you must get in front of as many people as possible. That’s non-negotiable.
Solve a specific problem, not a generic one
You will gain a stronger tribe and greater demand if you specialize in something. You should be known for one specific thing. It will help you stand out from the crow. It will help people remember you more. And, it will further help give you that defined personality. People, customers, clients will flock to you if you are great at solving one specific problem for them that no one else does.
There is a big difference between someone who offers to help entrepreneurs make money (in general) and someone who wants to help you make your first $1 million. If your business is stuck in 6-figures and you want to break that $1 million goal you’re going to seek help from someone who specializes in bringing businesses over the $1 million threshold instead of some generalist. That’s exactly what Julia Pimsleur does.
She exclusively works with women entrepreneurs and business owners who only make a certain amount money right now in order to get them to a million. Her focus is that 1 million. That’s her specialty and it’s working wonders for her reputation. It certainly has helped her build brand demand too.
I’m on a mission to help one million women entrepreneurs break the $1M in revenues mark by 2020.Julia Pimsleur
You’re the expert who provides value
Valuable content automatically turns you into an expert. Don’t forget that everything your company puts out there – albeit it a blog post, a lead magnet or a new feature – need to be valuable. It needs to be informative and serve a purpose.
For example, I aim to write longer and more in-depth posts than most blogs. Many blog posts are around ~1000 words. Mine are usually ~2,500. That means I give you a lot more information. Additionally, the purpose of my blog is to help you, my target audience, improve and grow your business from a designer’s perspective (POV). I address issues, problems, and uncertainties that my target audience has the most.
I’m not going on and on about how color combinations are great because that’s not valuable to you and not valuable to growing a business. Sure, it has its place but it ain’t here. Furthermore, I provide downloads that go even deeper into the topic at hand so that you can understand it better and get even more out of it.
The same goes for working with me. When I get hired, I work on understanding your goals, and what your websites and branding ought to be doing for you. I make sure that your visitors have a clear understanding of what you’re offering them and why they ought to buy it from you. I make sure to leave you better then I found you and that your website is serving your needs and making you money 24/7.
You can go to many places to get a quick and cheap design. But that’s what it will be – just something slapped together to look like a website. That’s not valuable. Anyone can put together a website but not everyone can make it solve your specific business problem.
The same can be said about BossedUp. The company wants to help empower women’s careers. Seems like, they go out of its way to make sure they do whatever they can to, in fact, help women better themselves. On their website, there is a lot, and I mean a lot, of free and informative content such as blog posts and podcast. BossedUp also offers a weekend bootcamp that changes women’s lives. They are an expert because they provide clear value to their audience.
Protip: it’s okay to evolve
I do want to make sure I make it clear that it’s okay for your brand to evolve over time. It’s perfectly normal, especially as new opportunities arise. Maybe over the course of a couple of years, your company becomes extremely niched down. For example, due to circumstances and opportunities, Julia Pimsleur might change her business to only help Latina-American female businesses who make a min $700,000/year in the beauty industry. Things change; that’s cool.
What’s not okay is being inconsistent. Having an inconstant brand, mostly in message but also visually, is going to weaken your brand. If you can’t pick a logo or a color scheme, you’re just going to confuse people. If you’re targeting multiple audiences who have nothing in common, you’re going to weaken your message and the perceived value you could be providing. You must stand strong instead of sending mixed signals (no one likes that anyway) if you want to build brand demand.
Like I said in the very beginning, it’s okay not to be super polished. You don’t have to start with a fancy and expensive branding. But you must keep it consistent day-to-day.
Building demand for your brand will take time and effort. In order to build brand demand for your own company, first sure you know who you are. Think of it like mindset work for your company. Everything else in this article works off that strong foundation.
Download the workbook and work through it. It will give you clarity about who your company is and what your brand stands for. You will feel a lot more confident too – promise 🙂
Therefore, the takeaway is to fill out the workbook and then follow through on the rest of the points in this article. Start showing up. Start speaking with your customers and audience. Make sure you’re easy to find. And, keep providing unbeatable value. Soon people will start swooning over your brand.