In a world where visual presence is vital, businesses struggle to keep up with their competition on a daily basis. It is forever an uphill battle, for the second you let your guard down, someone will surpass you and make all your hard work void. Be diligent, be prepared, and never give up!
There is a Brand Formula posted by Seth Godin on April 24th of 2007. He says, “[Prediction of what to expect] x [Emotional power of that expectation] = Brand Resonance”. In more simple terms, it comes back to channeling your focus as to not overwhelm or confuse your customer base. He uses the analogy that we love FedEx because we know what we can expect from their brand. However, companies that we loved at one time, like AOL or AT&T have become too broad so we lose focus on who they are and what they do. Make your brand stand for something and resonate within the minds of your customers so they will always use you loyally and not someone else.
Be visual for your customers by creating a logo and a presence that will stick in their minds. A catchy name and mission statement will do wonders for your reach. Some argue that this is not all that important, but when thinking of places like McDonalds, those golden arches are ingrained in the minds of nearly every person in the world. That visual is what people look for when they are in an unfamiliar town and need a bite to eat. Few things make you feel back at home like finding that giant yellow ‘M’ and you generally get the same food, same service no matter where you are. That is the same concept you should be applying to your business, large or small. You want to be remembered, sought out.
Computers are a way of life for everyone now days. Don’t under estimate the power of social media. Having your logo plastered all over every aspect of the social scene is just extending the Gadget Arms of your business. Those who do not participate on the Web, will be left behind and may fail. Create personal connections via Facebook, blurt out happenings through Twitter, post videos with YouTube, and blog, blog, blog. All of these will help you create your voice.
Speaking of having a voice, you need one and yes, social media helps. What you need to remember with it is to be consistent. Try something and if it doesn’t work, tweak it until it does, but stay consistent in how you say it. What you say is different than how you say it, believe it or not. All of your words, online and paper advertising should keep to the same message. Remember to keep the focus in one direction, going back to the Brand Formula.
Once you have laid the ground work for your business, get out there and show the world what you have to offer. Introvert or not, you need to conquer your fears or weaknesses to become successful. I know people in business for themselves, authors to be exact, that really have a difficult time promoting themselves. Writers tend to be introverted by nature…that is why they write. They love to socialize with their characters, not other people so much. When it comes time to making appearances at book signings and such, they freeze up. The publicity freaks them out. This is not the case for just writers, there are many business owners who are suffering because they are afraid to have fair booths or attend tradeshows and display their brand with pride using posters and large graphics to catch the attention of possible customers. Being bold and being out in the business world is essential.
Once you have laid the foundation on which to build your business, it will be so much easier to run it and maintain your success. Remember the formula, be loud, be unique and break through into all the markets you can.
Jessica Reynolds loves spending time with her family and living life through photography and art. She has spent considerable time running her own businesses while raising her kids. Currently, she blogs for Poster Session, a large format poster printer.