How can you build a successful business, promote and market and find clients without spending a fortune? Here's how I do it... First up - you need to decide who your ideal client is and where they hang out. Once you know that ,you can choose how to reach them Network. When I first started Sassy Branding I knew that my ideal client was the small business owner and the best way to find them was to network. Yes Networking does cost money, but it's essentially the only thing I actually spend money on and it's worth every cent - if you do it right and choose the right networks. There are a lot out there so attend a few and see what works best for you. And, this is really important, don't expect referrals and work immediately! Networking takes time and commitment, following up, turning up, giving and being your own lovely self. Social Media. I've been active on Social Media (mostly Facebook and more recently LinkedIn) for about 7 years now. I personally really like it, I like posting, sharing information, promoting my business and keeping in touch with my people. That's where they hang out, so I do too. Join groups where your clients are and participate in conversations and theme days. It's about building relationships and trust, so even though it won't cost you money, it does require time and energy. Build a Database (or List). I use Mailchimp and initially it's free. Once you get more than 200 subscribers it costs about $15 per month. Building a list doesn't happen over night but it's definitely worth the effort. You can build your list with a subscription option on your website (I offer a Free e-book and in exchange people enter their name and email address). I have a few different lists, including people who have subscribed, people I've met at networking events, people who have attended my own events and my precious clients. I don't send newsletters very often but I am aiming for once a month. This keeps me in touch with people and reminds them that I'm around. Hopefully you'll think of me first when you need my services. These are the three main ways I market my business, but as I said it depends on where your ideal client can be found. Once you figure out where they are, you'll know where you need to be. If you'd like to discuss your branding further or want some help with your graphics, contact me here and let's organise a time! Oh! and if you want to find a great Business Network in Brisbane check out Key Business Network - we are leaders at the Jindalee Group, we meet every Tuesday morning and we love visitors!
How to Make a Memorable Visual Brand A Visual Brand is a combination of elements that create a unique ‘look’ that represents your business. It’s the first impression that people have of your business so when developing a visual brand it’s important to represent your business in its truest light so that at first glance it communicates your style and personality. A memorable brand is developed over time through repetition and consistency. It’s vital to remain true to your brand so that it retains its integrity and the only way to do that is to make sure the elements your choose remain grouped and solid in every instance. Following are the five elements that build a strong visual brand:
- Logo – A logo gives you a foundation to build a brand on. When developing your logo, consider things like the shape and layout and how it will fit into different scenarios. For instance, will it sit well on your website header in a horizontal space, or within a square shape, like a pinterest graphic? Ask your designer to give you a selection of layouts so that you have a logo that will adapt to different shaped spaces without need to stretch or warp. Make sure you love your logo and don’t settle for something that doesn’t make your heart sing because you’ll be looking at it for a long time.
- Colour – this is probably THE most important aspect of your visual brand. Colour will dominate your brand, no matter where you put it. The colours you choose can be in the background and sit behind your logo, or they can be part of your logo. Choosing one dominant colour will make your brand powerful and eye-catching. Too many colours can be confusing and distracting, so go and google ‘colour theory’ and find out what colour would be best for your type of business.
- Font – fonts have personality and can say a lot about you and your business. The font you choose largely communicates the style of your, whether it’s informal, corporate, fun, casual, professional etc. TIP: Ask your designer to supply you with the font and to make sure the fonts are converted to paths on your logo files (if they’re not converted and you send the logo to say, a sign writer, and they don’t have your particular font installed on their computer, the font will convert to something generic like arial or courier).
- Background elements – Now that print isn’t the only way to promote and we have access to a plethora of images and backgrounds online, it means that your brand can take on a life of its own with the use of background images and designs. Subtle or strong, a background effect can impact on the look and feel of your brand and helps to create a style that’s unique and individual. Examples of backgrounds include photographs of scenery, patterns and textured images such as timber, sand, hessian or stone. You could have your designer create a customized background graphic with colour and shapes. You’re only limited by your imagination and plenty of ideas and inspiration can be found on stock photography websites. TIP: Always create your own images, take your own photos or buy stock images.
- Photograph – whether you’re a small business or larger, the relevance and importance of having professional photographs is rising. People (your clients) want to connect with people (you) and the best way to do that in your marketing and advertising is to add your photo to the mix. It may feel a bit daunting at first, but you’d be surprised at how effective it is. Including your photo inspires trust from prospective clients and also adds value so that when you’re speaking on the phone or online, that person already feels like they know you. Spend the money on professional photos and make sure you update them every year or two.