How to build an online brand – this is one of the most important things we would all like to get done the right way the first time. But, at the same time, it is probably the hardest part for any new online entrepreneur to think up and develop this so-called “brand” online.
One of the strong points successful marketers and entrepreneurs have had in their own web presence was the brand they created, and the same goes for those who are just starting out. I mean seriously – what you see here is what you get, and that is as it should be with your brand as well.
So, let’s look at what you should be considering when putting together your online brand, from the technical to the personable.
How to Build an Online Brand
A brand sounds like a long metal bar with some signage or insignia at the end, hot and red and ready to stick it to your back-end!
And in a way, that is what setting up a solid online brand is all about. It is all about creating something that is memorable, something that sticks to people’s minds and connects personally, something that can be seared into the minds of others.
Before we dive into some of the helpful tips I have here for you, I want to share just a bit about how a successful social media marketer, Katie Barber’s branding, came about. This way, you have something to follow along with to help you.
Personally, if you didn’t see it, I love her website. The minimalistic logo, the colors of her website, the layout, the imagery, and even the WordPress theme was designed by a professional web design team.
Even the imagery she used throughout the home page follows the essential principles of great photography and image SEO.
Now her business may be digital marketing consulting and coaching, but the real passion behind it all is to simply be a coach, a social media community builder, a mentor for those who want to build, brand and manage something successful here.
Either way, however, her personal brand bleeds through, so much so that HootSuite, Peta Pixel, and other popular brands have featured her on their blog posts based on her portfolio style, her marketing quotes, and the content of her website and blog.
Successful businesses bleed their brand through everything they do online.
Now let’s look at how to build an online brand that bleeds you!
A Brand That Bleeds You
The hardest part of building a successful online business is not the learning curve of internet marketing, the software you will need to use, or even the multitude of strategies you can choose from to build traffic and convert it with.
Actually, getting started with a great looking and feeling branded web presence is the hardest part.
I mean, think about it:
- What colors do you want to use?
- What content management system? (WordPress, Drupal etc.)
- Do I need a blog style layout or a frontpage based theme?
- What kind of imagery?
- Style of videos?
- Video header or image?
- Sidebar or no sidebar?
- Sharing buttons, read more buttons?
- Social media channels?
- Sales funnel pages, landing pages?
- About page, website terms and conditions, services page, do I need them all?
- What kind of selfie image?
- Email templates?
And these are just the simple questions you’ll need an answer. And that is not all, just wait until you get to what type of content you will create, the style, and how to optimize and brand your social media pages.
Creating content has its own issues, but those issues simply take a learning curve to get past. But a brand? Well, that sticks with people, or it does not, and if it does not, well, you’ll have to work on it until it does.
But why continually tweak it when you can cheat? Let’s look at how to get great ideas for creating a brand that bleeds personality and trust.
The Cheating Brand?
Never cheat – it is morally wrong and only hurts you in the end. However, it is not cheating to get ideas a tweak them a bit from other influencers and brands already atop your industry.
“That is simply smart business.”
This can help you with finding “weak links” within some of your leading influencers out here and how to make your brand better and much more effective. It can also help you determine what exactly people (your prospective customers) are seeking online when it comes to their questions about your niche and how they are seeking them out.
This is not stealing – it is learning and infusing ideas that work with your own original brand and philosophy behind your niche business.
There are nearly 190 million Google search results for “social media marketing coach” query and pieces of content online about my niche, and yes, I use my own influence and take here and there from others ideas that I can infuse to my own.
Once again, this is just smart business and even smarter marketing.
The Original Brand
Getting ideas and even using some of them is a great idea and practice, but do not ever never be a copycat.
Like Levi’s brand jeans, you need a ton of originality in the mix of your online brand. There are many types of jeans out here and many companies that make them, but there is only one Levi Strauss.
And while there are many social media marketing coaches out here that are good, there is only one Katie Barber.
And when it comes to your business and brand online, there is only ONE YOU too.
Realize that building a brand online the right way the first time does not take a marketing or PR firm – it takes you and your personality as a living, breathing, and interesting entrepreneur and person out here to share who you are as much as what you are about online.
This is why, as a small business owner and entrepreneur online, branding can be the hardest part of all, because at the end of the day, it is really all about you and how you want and choose for your business to look, feel, and act online.
No school, no degree, and no one person can decide this for you, nor can any of us “marketers” online truly be the one answer for you – we can only help with ideas for your branding. In the end, it’s still all about you.
Let it bleed you – that is the best advice any online or internet marketing coach could ever tell you. Personalize your content, the formatting, and everything in between.