These days, there is a lot of talk about brand building. And while it
is great to develop a brand, what happens after it has been
established? You just can’t let your brand stay stagnant.
In order for a brand to stay relevant and grow, you have to promote it. And be creative in the promotion. “People think brand promotion is only about social media. While social media is powerful, it is so important to get from behind the computer and engage with people in person,” explains marketing and brand strategist Sherry Mirshahi-Totten, founder of Make Your Brand in Demand. “This allows you to see their reaction to your messaging and your new promotions which is priceless. You also can make stronger connections with others in this way without having as many distractions.”
Look beyond the Web for other ways to advance and publicize your brand. Create a checklist of offline opportunities to brand your business. “For instance, your business cards should include messaging about your mission and information on a free offer,” she notes. “Also, make sure your outgoing voicemail message includes your business name but also what you do for clients. For instance, instead of saying ‘This is John from ABC Business Coaching’ you might say ‘This is John from ABC Business Coaching, where we help you double your business in six months or less.’”
You also want to convince the public and potential clients of the consistency of your brand. “For instance, entrepreneurs get new head shots and update them on their website but forget their social media profiles or blog ‘About’ page. Some business owners are unclear about their message or what makes them unique so they might put out one message for a week or two and then change it again. This is why doing a quarterly brand audit is so important,” says Mirshahi-Totten.
Promotion of your brand in an ongoing process. “It's necessary to promote your brand so that you remain on people's minds and make it easy for consumers to say ‘yes’ to your product or service,” offers Mirshahi-Totten. “When you stop promoting, you are not only reducing chances of getting new customers but also new business opportunities. Continuous promotion opens up the doors to getting joint venture partners, invites to speaking engagements, strategic alliances, and much more.”
Here’s how to promote your brand:
· Share your testimonials. Show off your satisfied customers. “Whether on your website, in your networking conversations, social media posts, blogs, articles, or other avenues, it is so important to let people know about the results your product or service gives. It builds your credibility like nothing else,” says Mirshahi-Totten.
· Team up with fellow entrepreneurs. “Create cross-promotions with complimentary
businesses. Complimentary businesses are those who target the same customers that you do but don't provide the same service,” suggests Mirshahi-Totten. “For instance, a makeup artist might consider working with photographers or a personal stylist. When you cross-promote, you are pledging to share information about the other person's business to your audience and vice versa so you both increase your exposure.”
· Reach out to your past customers. “Don't be afraid to send out a personal card or email updating your past customers on your newest offerings. In doing so, you are encouraging repeat business and increasing the chance of getting referrals,” says Mirshahi-Totten.