I’ll let you in on a secret.
Even brands that look and sound like a million bucks can struggle to get business.
I know, right? A collective sigh of relief, all-round! Just because you’re not yet raking in those dream prospects doesn’t mean your brand message is off. It doesn’t mean repositioning your brand was a waste of time and cash. And it doesn’t mean what you do isn’t worthy or enticing.
Most likely, it simply means you had the brand makeover—but you didn’t invite anyone to the party.
We all wish it were enough to wave from the window of our snazzy new website, decked out in our new dress and have clients come running. Especially when you’ve had the courage and smarts to invest in defining (or redefining) your brand.
Yet if you want to grow, and sustainably so—you can’t stop there. You need to market your business. Take that brand out into the world.
And if you’re anything like the clients I work with, this is where it gets overwhelming. Because there’s a whole lot of information out there telling you what you should be doing. Like webinars or Facebook ads or blogging ‘til your eyes bleed. (And very few resources that tell you which to do first, or what’s most relevant to your industry or stage of business maturity, or how to connect them all.)
In my experience, there’s one simple answer to all this: Play to your strengths.
This applies whether you’re a solopreneur building a personal brand, or a small business owner crafting a company one.
Before you dismiss this idea as unsophisticated or naïve—consider your past success. While there may have been an element of luck or ‘who you know’, hasn’t winning often come down to doing more of what you do best?
For example, if you’re a writer, stringing words together is something that probably comes pretty naturally to you. (Which is not to say we don’t have days of doubt, like everyone does. Welcome to being a creative and a businessperson who’s putting something out into the world!) But what you enjoy and are good at tends to be something people are prepared to pay you for as well.
So for me, what this also means is when it comes to marketing my business—writing is a way that makes sense. Blogging and sharing content socially have both brought me visibility and in turn, clients. (On that note, look out for my upcoming articles in The Huffington Post!)
Your zone of genius is as relevant to how you promote your brand, as how you position it. What are you best at and how can you package that up in a way that puts your best self in front of your audience?
If you shine on stage, consider speaking opportunities as a top marketing tactic. (Throw your own event or put yourself forward for existing gigs where you know your people will be present.)
Or, if visualizing the biggest ideas of some of the world’s top companies is your thing, like my friends at ImageThink—publishing an illustrated book that brings that to life is ideal. (Check out theirs here!)
Or if writing is your jam too —who can you guest blog for? What eBooks, guides or how-to articles can you write for your own site?
Naturally, you shouldn’t narrow your entire brand marketing strategy to a single method.
Different people gravitate towards different kinds of communication—some of us are visual, others more auditory. And certain types of marketing work better at different stages of the process of converting warm leads to loyal clients, and different phases of business maturity. Am I at my most comfortable on camera? Definitely not. But that’s not to say that short videos shouldn’t be in my marketing mix. (Though I’m not making any promises!)
You can also round out your strategy by outsourcing elements where you’re not an expert, to people who are in those disciplines.
‘Build it and they’ll come’ isn’t a brand marketing strategy. But to get things off the ground, playing to your strengths is a great start.
What works for you? Let us know in the comments.