Guide to Building an Online Brand for You and Your Business

Nowadays more than ever before, being a successful business owner isabout making sure that your company name, identity, brand and even your personal brand (if you want to make it part of the attraction of doing business with you) can be found in every nook and cranny online. 

Just over a year ago I launched this blog.

How to build Your Own Brand

It wasn’t my first blog, but it was my first real step into personalbranding. I knew and appreciated that a personal brand is something that’s needed in today’s market, and did spend a bit of time on mybranding throughout the few years prior, but never really focused ontruly building my own unique brand online.

Since then I’ve landed opportunities for myself in the speaking industry, consulted and coached many amazing entrepreneurs, landed a book deal, started my third company and spent more than enough time replying to my readers to this blog every month.
And, I have to say – I freakin’ love it all..!!!

Why is an Online Brand So Important Today?

It took me a while to realize this, but building my brand has quite frankly turned out to be the best business move I’ve made in my entire career – and I don’t say that lightly, believe me.
In today’s business world people want to do business with otherpeople more so than ever before! This is why it’s so important to focuson building a brand. Why? Because we trust people we know. We trustpeople that we have relationships with, and most of all – we like to dobusiness with people we trust!

  • Building a brand creates awareness of what we, as entrepreneurs and our business stand for.
  • Building a brand gives us instant opportunities to create likability and to foster the growth of a fan base.
  • Building a brand elevates our credibility, because we embrace being ‘out there’ for the world to find.
  • Building a brand allows us to gain trust – the most important partof the ‘sales process’ – leading to more prospects, more customers andmore profits!

Am I getting my point across? This is it people. The time has come for every entrepreneur to get serious about building an online brand (in case you’re not doing so already), so that we can enjoy the benefits of all these points, and more.

With this in mind I’m going to cut through all the fat and give youthe bare essentials you need to get started with building your ownonline brand. I’m going to plot them out over 10-steps and based on themain reasons that I mentioned above, as the instigating factors fordoing so in the first place!

Building Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is when people identify your brand to be yours underdifferent conditions; whether they’re on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.The first step is making your brand memorable – and a blog is theperfect vehicle for doing that. So, let’s break that down a little.

Step #1) Have a Unique Blog Design

 The key tobecoming memorable is making a good first impression and having a unique blog design can do just that. You’ve got to think of a mix betweengreat design, and the ability to have your blog stand out from the rest. Although having a uniquely designed blog is not more important thanyour brand’s message, it still plays a big visual role.

Step #2) Get a Proper Logo Designed

 This doesn’thave to be overly fancy – I mean, look at mine… But, having somethingthat symbolizes your brand’s image will help in building brand awareness and recognition. I’m all about discussion and relationship building, so I choose a semi-speech bubble style, with the focus on my brand colors.
Look at it – it’s simply brilliant!

Step #3) Think About Creating a Tagline

 Although I don’t personally have one (this’ll change soon), a tagline is a phrasethat lets your visitors know exactly what you’re about the minute theyvisit your site. This works best when the tag line states a benefit. For example, my tag line might read: “I’ll Help You Build a Virtual Team to Create Massive Amounts of Freedom in Your Business and Life!”. If youalready have a tagline, I’d love to hear it in the comment sectionbelow, along with a link to your site.
Now that we’ve looked at how to build awareness for our brand, lets zoom in on creating some likability for ourselves, shall we?

Building Brand Likability

After making it easy for people to recognize your brand, you need towork super hard at getting them to like you. The best way to do this in today’s market is by connecting with your audience on a personal level. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather speak to a real person whencalling a company than talking to a pre-recorded message. As new-ageentrepreneurs if we want to be liked, we need to be personable.
The great thing is that you audience WANTS to be able to connect with you on a more personal level, and when they can do that, they’ll bemore likely to do business with you. Here’s how you can continue tobuild your brand, and at the same time create some likability.

Step #4) Create an ‘About Me’ or ‘Start Here’ Page 

This page is the perfect place to speak a little about yourself, sothat your visitors can get to know you better. Ideally, you want to putyour audience first here. So try focusing on a few benefits as to whythey should stick around on your site. You can then feel free to tootyour own horn a little. Just be sure not to miss the opportunity ofconverting the casual visitor into an email subscriber and have anopt-in offer somewhere on the page.

Step #5) Add a Facebook ‘Like’ Box

 Giving people a way to connect with you through your Facebook page opens upthe opportunity for them to reach out to you with a question, orfeedback in a setting that they feel comfortable conversing in.

Step #6) Add Links to Other Social Media Channels

 Don’t go crazy here, but remember that your brand continues to flourish off your main platform (ie. a blog). Twitter and Facebook are my mainsocial media channels of choice, but I also provide links to my Google+and LinkedIn profiles, just in case people would like to reach out to me using these mediums.

Step #7) Publish Online Video & Podcasts 

Steps 5, 6 and 7 are all about being human. Here’s a scenario I think you’llenjoy. Pretend there are two business experts. They both have blogs andthey both put out really good content. But ‘Expert A’ also has aFacebook page, talks to you on Twitter and publishes video clips andpodcast episodes regularly – while ‘Expert B’ does not. Which expertwould you feel more comfortable calling up and hiring for consulting? If you picked ‘Expert A’ then you get where I’m going with this.

Online video and podcasts allow us to make very different personalconnections with our audience. Seeing us ‘in the flesh’, or inserting us into their earlobes creates an immediate reaction that reading a blogpost, or an eBook simply can’t.

Now that our likability is at an all-time high, its to to take this up a notch. It’s time to talk trust and credibility!

Building Your Brand’s Trust & Credibility

Now, you could be the coolest person on the planet, but that stilldoesn’t mean people are going to start throwing money at you. Youraudience needs to trust you, before they will buy anything from you – as I said earlier, building trust is the single most important part of the ‘sales process’.

The sad thing is that this is where most people get stuck, because it’s the part that takes the most work.
Building trust in your brand is all about adding value to yourcommunity in the form of high-quality, extremely helpful, consumable(and shareable!) content. Let’s look at how you can use your platform(blog, YouTube channel, podcast) to build trust.

Step #8) Create Unique, Compelling Content

 Asstrange as it may seem, some of the most successful blog posts I’ve ever written have been very simple to put together. I simple answerquestions. Provide solutions to problems, such as 101 task ideas to outsource to virtual assistants, or the importance of thinking like a business owner, not a blogger. Creating this type of compelling content needs to be the cornerstone of your brand. If you help people, affect change in their mindsets and the way they conduct themselves in some way, you will quickly become thego-to source in your niche online.

Step #9) Have a Unique Free (Opt-In) Offer

 Whileeverything I’ve mentioned will help you boost your brand awareness andlikability, the content should always be your main focus. Without greatcontent, nothing else matters. Your audience will begin to trust you(and your brand) when they see that you’re out to HELP them. Having aninsanely valuable piece of content to give away as an incentive to signup for your email list is one of the fastest ways to build trust. Thereare still people using crappy material in an attempt to get emailsign-ups. That’s not only damaging to your brand, that also destroy therelationship with your potential customer before it starts.

What I always suggest you do here is create something that you’d have no problems putting a price tag of at least $100 on. Then package itnicely and simply give it away for free – well, almost free… gotta getthat email address!

In my case, I created a 7-Day video course that helps people getstarted with all the new media topics they need to inject into theirbusiness in todays ‘new economy’. So far, since going live I’ve hadalmost 8,000 people opt-in and get their hands on this highlyactionable, helpful content.

Step #10) Be Yourself

 Before I launched this site, I blogged regularly (where I started building my personal brand) forabout 2-years. I was always holding back. I was worried about what mycorporate clients would think. I was worried about what strangers wouldthink!!! It sucked. When I made the move over to this site Ipromised that I would be all me, all the time. I wasn’t going to holdback anymore. I wasn’t going to be someone, act like someone that wasn’t truly ME.

Being yourself is by far one of the most important parts of buildingyour brand. Nobody can duplicate you! You are the only one of YOU outthere, and you need to use that massive ‘edge’ to your all-out advantage in the battle for peoples eyeballs, trust, loyalty and business.

Now I’m Taking the Bull By the Horns!

For the last year or so, there hasn’t been a week that has gone bywhere I haven’t received a compliment on the way I have built my brandonline. The look and feel of it. The way that I stand behind it, and myP2P (People-to-People) philosophy of creating a fan base and workingwith customers. The consistency in design across multiple onlinechannels – here are screenshots of my Twitter and Facebook profiles.
I’ve relished every compliment that has come along of course.However, along with those compliments have come questions – a ton of’em!

Up until recently I could cope with giving advice as and whenquestions and queries came through to me. However, with everything elsethat has happened for me, my businesses and my overall brand in the last 12-18 months, I simply don’t have the time to answer the 250+ emails,as well as all the tweets and FB messages I get on a daily basis, one by one. I try – believe me – but, it’s becoming harder and harder.

Get Serious  – Join My Branding Bootcamp!

Not so long ago I was chatting with a good friend of mine and hesuggested I put together a quick course that people could run through in a relatively short space of time that would cover all the basics tobuilding a brand online, as well as some more in-depth strategies andtips to take it to the next level, including making money from a brand.After thinking about it for a while, I decided to do it.

My ‘Branding Bootcamp’ covers everything that Imentioned briefly in this post (in a lot more detail), plus a whole lotmore. The course learning is a mix of video, audio and written contentwhich is all presented in a very easy-to-follow format and also includes some amazing bonuses, too.

If you’re serious about building a brand online, I’d love for you tocheck it out and hop on board – it’s exactly what I wished was aroundwhen I made the conscious effort to start building my own personalbrand!

I’d love to answer any and all questions you’ve got on thesubject of building an online brand, as well as hear from you on yourbranding success, too! Comment below.
Thanks for dropping by today!

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