You'll become so engrossed in what you're doing and happy to be doing it that you will wonder why you didn’t do this last year! Image: Thinkstock.
Branding your new business doesn't have to require a lot of capital or stress!
Here are seven easy ways to build up your new enterprise:
1. Set up your social media accounts
Free business setup perfection!
While almost all social media outlets do offer sponsored options, that’s completely unnecessary in the beginning when you are just starting to grow your following. Set up your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube, Periscope, and Snapchat (or whichever variation of these you plan on using) and start to post behind-the-scenes photos of getting your business set up. This helps people get to know you and form that personal connection.
I highly advise doing this as soon as possible because you can easily write a brief business description in the bio and let people know that it’s “coming soon.”
This way you'll have an audience waiting whenever you're ready to rock and roll.
2. Hire an intern
Hiring an intern through a local college is a great way for them to help you get your business up and running in exchange for college credit.
Need someone to design a business logo and Facebook banner? Hire a student working on their graphic design degree. It will help them get the experience they need and get your business where it needs to be to launch to the world.
3. Write guest posts
This is a great way to build up your online credibility, brand yourself, and help boost your website's SEO.
Guest posting is when you find blogs and websites that are relevant to your business and offer to write a free blog post on a topic that would be of interest to their readers. It is a win/win situation because you get a byline that links back to your website, they get free content, and you're both responsible for promoting it.
Offering guest posts 1-2 times a month will greatly help brand your business.
4. Create and hand out business cards
People don’t think about business cards as much as in the past because we are all so stuck in the digital age, but they are beneficial, I promise.
Think about being at an event or a networking group and meeting many new people: You will never remember them all or what they do without some type of a paper trail. Make sure to always have your business cards handy.
5. Partner with local charities and events
There are numerous local charities and events that would love to have you sponsor them in many different ways, not just monetarily. In many cases, you can provide “swag” for event goodie bags that are branded with your business information, or can purchase a vendor table inexpensively to share your business with attendees.
It really pays to pay attention to websites such as Eventbrite or follow local church calendars, charity events, high school/college fundraisers — the options are endless!
6. Generate a strategic freebie for customers
Getting more eyes on your products and business is crucial whenever you're branding — offering some type of freebie in exchange for something is a great way to start.
For instance, offer a 30% off coupon if they sign up for your email list (see more details in the next tip), or offer something free whenever they make a purchase as long as they post something on social media and tag your business.
Don’t be afraid to be creative and do what you need to do to raise awareness.
7. Build your email list
Your email list is going to be your branding gold mine, because it will allow you to form a more emotional connection with your subscribers.
Sending out emails doesn’t always have to be about offering coupons and announcing sales — it can also be an opportunity for you to share the history behind your business, gain important feedback, and share sneak peek behind-the-scenes exclusives.
Build that list!
I understand that, overall, time is money and that you will be putting an awful lot of that into getting your business up and running. But if this is something that you are passionate about, the hours will whiz by.
You'll become so engrossed in what you're doing and happy to be doing it that you will wonder why you didn’t do this last year!
Have a branding tip? Share what you've learned in the comments below.