A 12-Section Guide to Branding Your Business Online

Last Updated on: February 5th, 2018

Branding_Your_Business_Online

Branding your business is easy if you know exactly how to do it. Unfortunately, most people have a hard time understanding what branding is.

This guide will help you navigate your way through the branding process. It contains 12 informative sections.

Guide Contents:

I’ll also share with you the Slideshare presentation I made, as well as a true story about a presentation I gave on branding. I’ll actually begin with the true story, move into the guide, and share the SlideShare presentation at the end.

Following that is a special offer that I want to extend to new business owners, to anyone starting a website, to anyone needing help with a blogging strategy, or to anyone who still has questions and wants some advice.

I’ve been blogging and running a business for years, so I know a thing or two!

And if I don’t have ALL of the answers, chances are that I know someone who will.

 



 
 

A True Story

In March 2015, I was hired to give a presentation on business branding to a roomful of women entrepreneurs from PARO. This presentation was given on Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 (coincidentally, this was the day my books made their way into my local library as well as a bookstore!).

I also set up my laptop to make a video of it, and I recorded the introduction first, then stopped for some reason, and then recorded the rest of the presentation.

I planned on posting my presentation to my business YouTube channel, but the glare from the screens and windows in the room caused the video to be rather unpleasant to watch.

So I decided to convert the video into an audio presentation, to showcase my speaking abilities.

To learn how to do this, I used this resource to help. I also asked others for help on Facebook and Google+. Maxwell Ivey, AKA The Blind Blogger, suggest I use media.io to help.

Using media.io I was able to convert the intro easily into an MP3, but had difficulty converting the rest of the presentation because the video file was too large, even though I attempted to use the VLC media player and the instructions in this post to convert the presentation into an MP3. I tried other alternatives, too, to no avail.

Due to the problems with the file size, I’ve only included the introduction to my presentation in this post. Here it is:

The next time I make a video, I’ll be sure to do it in sections, so that the file sizes are small enough to convert… if the video does not turn out well.

This proved to be a great learning experience for me!

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Section 1: What IS Branding?

  • Branding is everything involved with your brand. From your voice and purpose, to your URL and style.
  • “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
  • Branding involves using promotion and advertising to position something as a source or solution for something else. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and who people perceive you to be.
  • The principle behind branding is that when someone thinks of something they need they will immediately recall something they have seen or heard about — something that has been branded.
  • Your brand is basically telling your clients and customers what they can expect from you, your products, and/or your services. It helps them understand what differentiates you from your competitors.

Jeff_Bezos_quote

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Section 2: 4 Ingredients of a Successful Brand

  • An understanding of your customers
  • Friendliness towards your customers
  • Honesty in how your company presents itself
  • Depth beyond color and typography

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Section 3: Characteristics of Good Branding

Arleen Harry from Garrett Specialties wrote an excellent article which says that characteristics of good branding are comprised of these key concepts:

  • Knowing your target market. A good brand must understand its audience. Many times companies try to appeal to everyone and end up falling short because you can’t please everyone all of the time!
  • A brand  should be driven by passion. Success often depends on passion. Companies that have passionate employees and customers that are willing to stand behind the brand will be more successful than those who do not. If customers are willing to use word-of-mouth marketing to express their enthusiasm for a particular brand, that company has a better chance of success.
  • Businesses that are passionate about their brand have returning customers. Customers return because they are satisfied with the brand’s good customer service and a product (or service) that delivers.
  • Create distinctive ideas. Unique products or services will set a company apart from others, making that brand memorable.
  • Getting your name out their using different forms of media. A successful brand will connect its audience through social media, building brand identity.

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Section 4: How to Brand Your Business (What You Can Use to Brand Yourself)

*Business cards

*Letterhead/Company Stationary

*Logos

*Taglines

*Resumés

*Portfolio

*Website (with a relevant domain name)

*Your favicon – can be installed manually or by using the All In One Favicon plugin for WP, which still works (even though the warning says that it hasn’t been updated in over two years).

*Your About page

*a freebie to build your email list

*Your email address

*Your email signature

*Social Media: a LinkedIn Profile, a Facebook profile/page, a Google+ profile/page, a Twitter profile, a video (YouTube or Vimeo) profile, About.me, Instagram, etc.

*Proper clothing in photos and videos.

*Blog comments

*BrandYourself

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Section 5: Create and Use Your Unique Selling Point/Proposition (USP) or Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP)

Your USP (Unique Selling Point/Proposition )or UVP (Unique Value Proposition) is what sets you apart from your competition.

To get you started on developing your USP/UVP, answer the following questions about yourself and your business.

Based on the answers, you will start to develop your unique qualities that make you stand out.

  1. What is your niche?
  2. What is your educational background (college degree, work experience etc…)?
  3. What is your current situation (mother, married, single, etc…)? Is this relevant to your business?
  4. What type of services or products do you provide?
  5. What is it about you that makes you be the one to hire over others?

Things to remember:

  • Develop your own voice
  • Build your own following
  • Create your own content

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Section 6: Using Social Media for Business Branding

Neil Patel from Quicksprout has created an awesome infographic about branding.

Some highlights of this infographic are the following.

The applied benefits of using social media:

  • It showcases your brand
  • Business-client relationship building
  • Increased exposure
  • Strong online presence enhances your company’s trustworthiness
  • Brand credibility
  • Increased sales
  • Allows businesses to quickly access consumer feedback
  • Boost traffic and search engine ranking
[Tweet “8 benefits of using #socialmedia for #business”]

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Section 7: Statistics of using Social Media for Business Branding

  • 33% of consumers use social media to find new products, brands, and services.
  • 86% of marketers say social media plays an important role in their business.
  • 89% of businesses that use social media see an increase in exposure.
  • 52% of enterprise brands say that social media is the most important factor in client-customer relationship building and brand management.
  • 82% of buyers say they have more trust in a company when its company and CEO are active on social media platforms.
  • It takes 6 months to a year to start seeing results.

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Section 8: Branding Using Hashtags

Hashtags help you get noticed! Here are three hashtag “rules”:

  • Use hashtags for maximum exposure and to help build your brand.
  • Use only 2 per posting!
  • Use them on all platforms, too.

Examples of Good Hashtags to Use:

#HowTo    #B2B #B2C   #BizTip  #DIY  #business

#consumers   #entrepreneurs   #innovation    #smallbiz

#mktg    #marketing   #networking    #retail    #tutorial

#smallbusiness   #sm   #social media  #startup   #startups

How to Build Brand Awareness for Your Business

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Section 9: How to Set Up Your Online Presence

When setting up your online presence, you must decide if you want a personal or a professional one. Depending on your particular business, you might want both!

You also need to consider which social networks to join, and learn how to set up pages/accounts on each.

You should also be aware of and follow social etiquette tips.

Most Popular Social Networks:

How to Set Up Accounts and Pages

Go to the sites and join them.

Fill out the required information.

HINT: Use the same email address for all sites!

How to Create a Google+ Page

1. Go to https://plus.google.com/ and create a profile.
2.Go to https://plus.google.com/pages/create and choose BRAND.
3. Make sure you choose “Product or brand” and then agree to the Page Terms.

How to Create a Facebook Page

1. Go to https://www.facebook.com/ and create a personal profile first.
2. Chose “Create Page” from the drop-down menu.
3. Follow the prompts.

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Section 10: Social Media Etiquette Tips

The Branded Solopreneur offers these great tips in her post about social ettiquette:

  • Give people credit.
  • Don’t police others.
  • Don’t ask for a “follow.”
  • Trade monologues for dialogues. Engage!
  • Don’t shout for attention. You’ll turn others off.
  • Promote others’ posts four times as much as your own. Follow the 80/20 rule.
  • Don’t try to be something you’re not, or someone else. Just be yourself.

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Section 11: Free Resources to Use to Develop Your Brand

Brand discovery is about figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, setting goals, writing down a mission, vision and personal brand statement (what you do and who you serve), as well as creating a development plan.

There are a few free resources available to help you do these, including:

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Section 12: How to Grow Your Online Following (Tips to Use To Build Your Online Presence)

  • Use WordPress for your website, and buy hosting. WP has excellent functionality and many free plugins available to use. (at WordPress.org)
  • Write relevant and awesome blog posts, for your own blog AND for others! Use e-book 20 Blog Post Must-Haves (free from Wording Well) to help. Use free resources such as Paint, PicMonkey and Pixlr Express to help create and customize images.
  • Use tools to help you organize your social media posts and status updates. (Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, etc.)
  • Use free promotional tools such as JustRetweet and Future Retweet, etc., and create Slideshare presentations to help with exposure.
  • Follow influencers in your niche.
  • Create an awesome bio for your About page.
  • Set up accounts at BrandYourself and about.me (There are many benefits of using about.me, including obtaining free social media buttons for your site!)
  • Disable email notifications, and handle emails like a pro. Dear Blogger’s article How to Cope With Massive Amounts of Email Notifications offers many tips, including screenshots of what to do and where to do it.

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Section 13 (bonus section): How to Deal with Massive Amounts of Email

My Experiences with Social Media: The Problems

I joined Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Quora, Google+, Slideshare, Pinterest, and a bunch of other sites. I was also sent tons of email. Then I was sent a ton more.

  • I was informed when someone “liked” one of my posts.
  • I was informed when I had a new “follower” on Twitter.
  • I was told when someone re-pinned one of my pins.
  • I was told whenever I had a new blog follower or a new comment.
  • I was sent an email for just about everything!

The Solution? Adjust Your Settings!

  • The most obvious solution is to “stop” getting email notifications!
  • How do you do this?
  • The solution: You adjust your settings!
  • But this is often easier said than done.
  • Read the post How to Cope With Massive Amounts of Email Notifications for explicit instructions (and a lot of screenshots) on how to disable notifications on about.me, Facebook, Google+, Klout, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Quora, Slideshare, StumbleUpon, Twitter, WordPress/blogs, YouTube.

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Branding Your Business — A SlideShare Presentation

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Consultations Available from Wording Well

Need help?

Contact me, Lorraine Reguly, for a consultation.

  • Email me at [email protected].
  • Connect with me on Skype. My Skype name is simply my own name, Lorraine Reguly. Include in your connect request message the words “free consultation.”
  • Reach me by phone at (807) 251-2836. I’m in Canada. I also have voicemail, if you cannot reach me directly.

We will then agree on a date and time to talk about your business, your blog, your social media following and online presence, etc., and formulate a plan for you to follow to build and enhance your brand!

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8 thoughts on “A 12-Section Guide to Branding Your Business Online

  1. says

    What an awesome guide!

    The one place I often see people fall short on branding is with consistency. They spend all this time branding their business just to change things up a month later. Keep with it, even if it feels like you are not getting traction, you need to keep your brand in front of people.

    Keep up the great work!

    Your Friend,
    Chris

    • says

      Thanks, Chris. I appreciate the compliment, especially considering it took what felt like forever to assemble this guide, complete with the page jumps (I don’t like code!) and all.

      Branding, however, is more important than others sometimes think, and I wanted to highlight how easy it can be.

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out my work. Do keep my name in mind when your clients need a bit of extra help and you simply don’t have the time to assist them! (Or even if they need a spectacular post written for them!)

      Take care,
      Lorraine

  2. Wow Lorraine!

    This is one amazing post! I have to say that you are spot on and hit a home run here! When it comes to branding you covered all the bases and have done an amazing job.

    We have to brand ourselves and it all begins with knowing who we are, what we want to do to help others. We also have to find our who is our target audience..easier said than done right? lol. It takes some research, but once we have that in place, we can go forth and charge it up.

    Our blogs are an important piece of what we do. As we post content, and have commenters to our blog it gives us our social proof. When I’m out there marketing to a target audience that never heard of me, they ALWAYS look me up and come to my blog. Then the purchase or sign in follows.

    Our social media needs to be done in such a way that we always have to keep our branding in mind. We need to keep on point when sharing everything we do.

    I have to say it again, this is one amazing post and you bet I’ll share this all over the place.

    -Donna

    • says

      Donna, thanks for the compliments on this guide… and for sharing it!

      It orginally began as a presentation I gave to the women entrepreneurs at PARO. I created a PowerPoint presentation and then a SlideShare presentation. From there, it evolved into this guide, wherein I used my coding skills to create the page jumps to navigate easily from one section to the next.

      I’ll admit, it was a TON of work, but the end result is GREAT. I’m proud of this guide. I even think Neil Patel himself would love it!

      Thanks for chiming in, Donna, about the issue of social proof. I don’t always get a lot of comments on my posts but they rank well in Google, and that’s what matters to me. I’d rather have a ton of new people discover my site each day! LOL

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