Your small business brand is like a business card that you present on the market, clearly indicating who you are and what goods and services you provide. When someone sees your brand, you want him to associate with positive experiences, excellent products and services and quality, whether or not he has a direct contact with your company. Branding is important to the success of your business, so you must be determined to develop it. You could hire an expert and spend tens of thousands of dollars or spend time and effort doing it yourself. DIY efforts can be very effective and easy on the budget if you know where to look.
Where to Find Branding Help for Small Businesses
Set your mark
When you spend the DIY, the definition of your brand is inexpensive, it will cost you time, but not money. You must ask basic questions to start, for example:
- What is your mission?
- What makes you different?
- Who are your clients?
From there, you will need to decide on a name or change your name if you have already started a business and you have not reached its full potential. Your brand, including the name, must be professional but also reflect your mission, your personality, your goals, etc. This first step is critical and if you want help, the Small Business Administration has created a network of Small Business Development Centers across the country. which offer free or inexpensive consulting services and training on a variety of issues, including branding.
Once you have defined your brand and determined your name, the next step is to create a logo that distills this information into a memorable image. There are many free logo design sites and cheap freelancers available to do the work, but it's true that you get what you pay for. There is a better and cheaper DIY alternative, the artificially clever designhill designer of Designhill. This service allows you to play with fonts, colors and layouts until you find what you need and provide a high resolution image that can be scaled, rendered in black and white, and more. virtually everywhere.
Developing a Website
Today, a small business without a website has a very limited scope and will likely disappear before having a real chance of succeeding. Web sites offer many benefits, including generating more sales, increasing the trust factor, and providing an online marketing presence 24/7. Yet most small businesses do not have $ 3,000 or more to pay for this essential piece of their brand. Fortunately, there are inexpensive DIY website development options that offer the internet presence you need. Sites such as Squarespace and WiseIntro may allow you to access the digital map and you may update or modify your site later if funds permit.
Your brand is only effective if you keep everything consistent. Creating a branding style guide will allow you to keep everyone on the same page so that your visual message and your voice are consistent across each platform, project, marketing effort and promotion. The goal is to create clarity with your group by using the same colors, fonts, slogans and logo on everything. But this guide should go beyond the visual to include copy and picture rules, tones and structures so that whatever you write or display is consistent with your brand. The lack of coherence can lead to confusion, or worse, to the discredit of your brand. Fortunately, developing your brand style guide does not have to cost you more than your time. There is a simple and easy to follow infographic that guides the way.
Share your business
There are many ways to create your brand, and two popular resources are blogs and social media. There are several free or inexpensive blogging platforms that allow you to share ideas, introduce yourself as an expert, discuss relevant issues for your target audience and create a personal connection with them. The key to branding strategy is to regularly provide new content and setting an editorial calendar will help you stay on track.
S actively engage on social media will also build your brand. It is free to join all platforms, but you do not have to be everywhere. Do some research to find out which platforms are best suited to reach your target audience, then launch posts, photos, tweets, or anything that reinforces your brand. As with blogs, it's important to stay active on social media, and there are many free and inexpensive social media tools to help you stay on track. The effective resources include Buffer and Hootsuite, both of which offer a variety of plans, including free and inexpensive, and allow you to try them for free.
Your brand is the platform on which everything else is built and is essential to the success of your small business. You could spend thousands of dollars building your brand or accessing free and inexpensive resources to do it yourself. You will have to invest your time, but that is the foundation of any small business.
Photo via Shutterstock