Raising brand awareness as a solopreneur isn’t a quick, easy process, but it’s worthwhile. As your brand awareness goes up, more people know about what you offer and are more likely to feel compelled to do business with you. Plus, if people like your company once they give it a try, many will spread the word to their friends.
A Solopreneur’s Guide to Building Brand Awareness
Here are eight excellent ways to start effectively building your brand:
1. Show a Consistent Image
People likely encounter your company in a wide variety of places — through social media channels, your website, postcards sent through the mail and more — and it’s best to have a solid brand image reflected on each of them.
You can’t convey all aspects of a brand image visually. For example, your reputation and the quality level of your products or services are two elements that tie into a brand image. However, there are others you can show off through your materials and online presence. They include:
- Font choices
- Tone/word choice
Using pictures to build your brand image works particularly well for giving a visual cue that a person has arrived at the right place. For example, maybe you own and operate a bakery called Delicious Creations. Someone else could have another business elsewhere with that same name. However, when you use the same pictures concerning every instance where people could encounter your brand, you assure them they came to the right place.
2. Set and Meet Expectations
What can and should people expect when they do business with you versus elsewhere? Is it your outstanding customer service? Perhaps your niche products and competitive prices keep consumers interested. Whatever aspects make your business stand out, emphasize those so people experience and notice them during every interaction.
Offer chances for people to express how they felt you fell short of the mark, too. Aim to get customers to fill out short surveys where they describe what they hoped your brand would offer and what it actually did from their perspective. Doing that shows you treat your brand as an evolving entity and are willing to make adjustments to keep people happy and loyal.
3. Find Networking Opportunities
You probably have a target audience for your business. However, there’s certainly no harm in going beyond that and helping a broader segment of people discover and get interested in your brand. Networking is a fantastic way to do that.
Begin by making yourself eager and available to talk about your brand to anyone who wants to hear about it. People commonly ask, “So, what do you do?” when meeting others. Prepare yourself to briefly answer that question so your response is accurate and intriguing. Plus, look for more formal opportunities, such as chances to speak at a virtual conference or write a guest post for a blog.
4. Cater to Known Needs
Recognize that the visitors doing business with you may have varying requirements. Do your best to address them whenever possible. Then, people will understand that your brand offers them the convenience they crave.
Take the example of a virtual shopping cart on your website. Whether you primarily serve a business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B) audience, your online shopping cart must uphold payment card industry (PCI) standards. In that respect, the need for a secure site stays consistent regardless of your audience.
However, B2B customers are more likely to want to see different prices per each account they use. You might also have the shopping cart automatically show bulk discounts. Functionalities and features connect back to your brand awareness because they demonstrate to the audience that you have their needs in mind. Otherwise, people might know about your company but not like the experiences they have with it.
5. Develop Relevant Content
High-quality content is crucial for differentiating your brand and maximizing its potential. You can even add brand-based reminders to increase recognition later. For example, if you develop an instructional video, include your company’s name and logo in one corner of the screen. That approach also works well when producing infographics. The goal is to make content that’s genuinely helpful and shows your authority while also encouraging people to do business with you.
Increasing your brand awareness through content also enables you to show expertise in an area. Maybe you’re a massage therapist and want to help people make the most of the time between their appointments. In that case, you could create content about the most soothing essential oils to use for certain purposes or suggest how clients can massage themselves to release tension after stressful days.
6. Use the Call-to-Action to Strengthen Your Brand
A well-written call-to-action (CTA) drives conversions. You can also use it to tell people tidbits about what your brand represents. Research indicates that verb-based CTAs comprised more than 93% of all those included in a study of several hundred options. Choosing a verb is a smart place to start, but you should go further and explore how your CTA can tell customers why it’s worth doing business with your company.
Maybe you make personalized floral arrangements. In that case, saying something like “Delight recipients with a gorgeous assortment of locally grown blooms guaranteed to last at least a week” speaks volumes. One sentence tells people that the flowers:
- Provide visual appeal.
- Come from nearby.
- Offer several days of enjoyment.
Use that inspiration to shape how you might illustrate why your brand is worth people getting to know it and sticking with it for the long-term.
7. Go Beyond What Your Competitors Do
Researching your competitors is an essential part of understanding how to increase brand awareness. Identify what they are not doing and whether you could fill the gaps.
Maybe you could start a podcast or sponsor a virtual event related to your field. There are plenty of ways to spread the word about what you offer. The best results typically happen when you choose methods spanning outside the tactics your competitors use. It’s then easier to show that you provide something they don’t. Think about how something you offer could highlight to customers that your brand is the best option and your company is worth knowing.
8. Create a Referral Program
A referral program can also support your brand awareness goals by encouraging other people to help in the effort. Most happy customers naturally tell others about their experiences and recommend the respective brands. However, consumers are even more likely to do those things if they receive rewards for them.
Consider creating coupon codes, loyalty cards or other incentives that people can use to urge their friends to do business with you. When you feel confident that your brand is already doing most of the right things, you’re well-positioned to impress new customers and make them want to stick around.
Final Thoughts: Your Brand Awareness-Building Toolkit
Reaching and maintaining a high level of brand awareness could help you stay strong in the marketplace while continually attracting new customers and keeping your existing ones pleased. As you apply each of these tips, remember it’ll take time to see your actions’ full payoffs. Staying diligent and patient should get the results you want.
This is a guest post from Lexie, a web designer and IoT enthusiast. She is an avid hiker and enjoys checking out local flea markets. Visit her design blog, Design Roast, and connect with her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.