It’s easy to discount the idea of building a brand or having a brand strategy when you are a small business owner.
You aren’t Apple: You can’t spend millions to get people in love with your product.
Or you have a service and you only need a handful of clients a month (or a year even) to do your thing.
You likely paid a graphic designer for a logo and your website design when you started your biz and you thought your could cross branding right off your list.
But the truth is your brand goes deeper than your color, logo and design.
Those are aspects of your brand. They are one simple spoke to a multi-spoke wheel.
As a solopreneur, service business or a small business, here is how to build a brand that attracts people like the iPhone does for Apple.
How to Build a Brand as a Small Business
1. Become Known for One Thing
When building a brand as a small business, it’s really easy to offer lots of services or options. You think more options gives you the opportunity to help more people.
But to the market, it just makes you general and forgettable.
So, as you build your brand, focus on becoming known for one thing and one thing only.
You want to be known in your area, or your niche (for those who are not locally focused businesses) so that you are THAT person.
Write all your content, do all your marketing talking about the one thing you do and you do well. So that people who need your services will think of you.
When they hear of friends or family talking about needing the service that you offer, you are the first one to pop into their head.
You have positioned yourself in the parking lot of your audience’s mind as THE person that does that thing.
So much of branding is positioning. And you need to take that spot in their head for your service before it gets filled by a competitor.
When you offer too many things, people don’t know what spot to put you in, and so they just don’t. And you become forgotten.
2. Understand Your Niche
This is where most small businesses fail. They don’t want to turn any business down, so they walk around talking about how they can help everyone. And this is a quick death for your marketing efforts.
Not niching down is going to hurt your marketing efforts and make your brand forgettable.
We live in an age of hyper individualization. Facebook ensures we only see the types of ads that are so specific to our exact likes and desires, that when you see something that isn’t hyper tuned to you and your needs, it’s a fast turn off.
So, while that means the ads we see are more likely to get us as consumers to click, it makes it even more specific to talk to one specific person in your marketing and advertising.
Which is why you should niche.
Here’s an example. In addition to being a branding coach, I am a photographer as well.
But that’s quite a large distinction.
If I were to say “Hire me because I can take a beautiful photo of you!” you likely will move right by.
But if I say I’m a brand photographer and I help service based businesses create kick ass photos so you can build your personal brand and attract more clients.
Which tells you more of what you’ll get with working from me.
If you aren’t a business, you will pass right by, but if you are a service based business, your ears just perked up did they not.
So niche down, and when you niche down, get very specific on exactly who you serve.
3. What Problem Do you Solve?
The next part of how to build a brand as a small business is understanding exactly what problem you solve. And how to convey that problem to your audience.
Most of the time, it’s not a direct relationship to the service you offer. It’s what having that service will give them.
For example as a photographer, I could say that the problem I solve is that I give them great photos.
Nope. Wrong. Not having photos is not the problem. It’s deeper than that, and it’s your job as a service business to understand the deeper need that your customer has.
A good brand can then convey those needs and how they fix it.
So, lets go back to the photographer example. Let’s say this is a family photographer.
You are not solving the problem of photos. You are preserving memories. Slowing down time. Adding to the legacy of the family. Showing the world the happy times this family has. And allowing mom the ability to get into the photos and be a part of the action instead of the one always doing the documenting.
So, talk to the deeper problem you are solving.
Here are a couple more examples.
As a health coach, you are not solving the problem of diet. You are solving the problem of self esteem and self worth.
As a handyman you aren’t solving the problem of home repair. You are helping them to be proud of their home and giving them back time to do the things that make them happy in life.
You see the difference?
These three tips on how to build a brand as a small business should be at the forefront of how you talk about your business, how you market your business. So that you can attract the right people to your business.
Because the truth of the matter is no one comes knocking until you’ve given them something interesting to pay attention to.
And that is your brand.
Then the next step of building your brand is how you convey who you help, how you help and why you are different through the messaging and visuals you use.
The visuals, like your colors, logo and design, build brand recognition so they can notice when they see your stuff. And the messaging and photos of you will tell them who they are listening to and the tone of your words and content will tell them if they are in the right place for them
That is why branding for small businesses is so important. If you are struggling scaling your business, a lack of a cohesive brand is likely your biggest problem.
Now, how are you going to build your brand moving forward?
If you still don’t know what to do or where your business stands today, reach out to me. As a brand coach, this is exactly what I help service-based businesses do. So that you can be seen as the go-to in your own niche, and you can grow your business year after year. Allowing you to have the life and freedom you wanted when you started your business. See how we can work together here: Brand Coaching